Have you ever had tofu for breakfast? Before you run for the hills, let me tell you something – it’s simply amazing. The thing about tofu is that it takes on the flavors around it. So, if you cook tofu in sesame oil it’ll taste Asian flavored. Similarly, when sauteed with onions, peppers, smoky cumin, and spicy chili powder, your meal will be filled with the perfect flavors for a southwest tofu egg scramble. Sounds delicious to me!
Tofu makes such a great breakfast because it’s so healthy and quick to cook. This meal will be ready in 10 minutes, so it takes no time at all to whip it together before heading to work. If you’ve never worked with tofu before, read on to learn more.
The Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is a vegan’s best friend. It’s so versatile, not only because it’s able to take on the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with, but also because it can be soft or extra firm. For this scramble, we chose extra firm tofu because it holds up well to being sauteed. More on that in a moment.
While tofu has been consumed in Asia for centuries, it’s relatively new to western cooking. It was brought over to America after the nutritional benefits were discovered in the 1970s. By itself, it is a plant-based complete protein with all the essential amino acids your body requires in a day. In fact, an 8-ounce portion of tofu has 18 grams of protein!
It’s not all about protein, either. Tofu also contains calcium and iron, along with other vitamins and minerals like magnese, zinc, and vitamin B1. It’s also believed to lower bad levels of cholesterol (LDL) and it has also been linked to reducing the risk of breast cancer.
How To Cook with Tofu
Earlier, we mentioned that we chose extra firm tofu for a specific reason. Tofu is made in a similar way to cheese – fresh soya milk is curdled. The whey is discarded and the curds are pressed into a block. How much water is pressed out of the curds determines the tofu variety.
There are four major varieties of tofu. It’s worth noting that while all tofu absorbs flavor, the firmer tofu varieties are able to absorb less than the softer ones. So if it’s really important for you to have more flavor in your tofu, you could choose firm instead of extra firm for your southwest tofu egg scramble.
Which Type of Tofu Works Best?
Silken Tofu – this variety is undrained and unpressed, and it works well for blended foods (like smoothies or desserts). It would be close to impossible to sautee this type of tofu because of its water content.
Medium Firm – this pressed tofu is spongy and soft. It’s denser than silken, but it’s still fairly delicate. It’s perfect for soups because it will hold its texture but melt in your mouth.
Firm – this type is firmer than medium but still has some spring to it. It’s great for stir-frying but it can also crumble for making vegan cheese.
Extra Firm – if you want your tofu to hold its shape and slice easily, the extra firm is the way to go. While it can be crumbled to resemble ground beef, this tofu is the best for sauteeing because it won’t easily fall apart.
We chose the extra firm for exactly this reason – when cut into small cubes, this type of tofu will keep its shape but eat in a similar way to breakfast sausage. It would pick up the flavors of the cumin and the chili powder without becoming overly infused and intense.
If you really want to up the ante, skip the store-bought stuff and make your own tofu. It will be fun and delicious, and it’s a great way to really make this southwest tofu egg scramble your own. We’d love to hear how it turned out, so don’t forget to drop us a note in the comments below!
Check out this video to see how to make the recipe:
Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 107 | Total Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 97mg | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 10g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed small
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped small
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped small
- 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 6 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a large skillet, heat the oil. Once hot, add the tofu, pepper, onion, and kale. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and kale is wilted. Stir in the cumin and chili powder. Gradually add the egg whites, stirring frequently to scramble. Once the egg whites are firm, but not browned, remove from heat. Sprinkle with cilantro, serve and enjoy.
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