Friday, April 5, 2013

Vegan Recipe - Western Scramble & TVP Preparation

Welcome to the first Friday of the month ... the day we set aside for featuring a delicious vegan recipe. Why does a blog about green living include recipes? Because choosing a meatless meal is one of the easiest ways to live green. Simply put ... plant-based foods are easier on the environment than animal-based foods.

Before becoming vegan, we enjoyed special weekend breakfasts ... omelets, frittatas and scrambled eggs. I looked forward to these treats. Vegan breakfast options are great but ... they just aren't the same. In truth, it's been the hardest meal for me to "switch over" ... I miss those special breakfasts.

My other half, "Art", is not only talented on a canvas (you can see his work HERE), he's an artist in the kitchen as well. We share cooking duties and when he takes control, amazing things happen ... like the recipe he's sharing with us today.

This recipe is beautiful and satisfies my craving for eggs. It's very easy to put together. Try it for a special weekend breakfast or even a lite lunch or supper. I hope that you and your family will enjoy it as much as we do.

Western Scramble


1 Tablespoon Oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 block firm or extra-firm organic tofu
Pinch of Turmeric*
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Fresh Cilantro - Optional
Paprika for sprinkling on top (Spanish Paprika is delicious)

*Rule of Thumb: You can always add but can never remove. Use enough Turmeric to give color to the mixture but not too much as it will drown the other flavors.

  1. Heat the oil in a saute' pan. Cook the onion and pepper until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add half of the tomatoes and continue to saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Now comes the fun part. Rinse the tofu and then squeeze it with your hands, letting the tofu spread through your fingers. Continue squeezing it until the texture resembles scrambled eggs. Be sure to break up any big chunks.
  4. To the sauteed vegetables, add the crumbled tofu, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Taste, taste and taste again, adjusting the seasonings as necessary.
  6. When you're satisfied, remove from heat and add the remaining tomato. Mix well.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and top with cilantro and a sprinkle of paprika.
  8. Serve with dill pickles, pickled jalapenos or a tomato and onion salad.
  9. Buen Provecho!

  • You can add mushrooms to this dish. Use a small amount (about 1/2 cup), chop and add during step 1.
  • Add some Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) to make the dish heartier (recipe follows). Add it in right after step 4 and heat through.
  • For a slightly different flavor, try adding some capers. Add them in with the tomatoes in step 2.
  • Try adding some cooked, diced potatoes for a skillet breakfast. Add them in after step 4 and heat through.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)


1/2 cup dry TVP (find it at whole foods markets or Latin grocery stores)
1 tablespoon ketchup or tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 splash of liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 paprika
1/4 hot pepper flakes (optional)
oil for cooking

  1. Cover the TVP with water and soak until completely hydrated. Drain and squeeze out any liquid. Repeat 3 times.
  2. Once the TVP has been squeezed, place it in a bowl with all of the remaining ingredients except the oil. Stir well.
  3. Add enough water to cover the TVP and soak for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a frying pan and add the TVP mixture. Cook until all liquids have evaporated and the TVP begins turn brown.
  5. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a lined cookie sheet and bake in the oven, at 400 degree f, until the mixture is crunchy and resembles fried, crumbled hamburger. Be sure to stir occasionally so all sides are toasted. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.

This mixture is wonderful in the above recipe. It's also good in tacos, salads or any dish which calls for browned hamburger. To maintain it's crunchiness, do not add it to liquid ... it'll rehydrate and become soft. If you're adding it to a dish like stew or spaghetti sauce, add it at the very end or serve it separately to be added at the table. Try adjusting the seasonings adding cumin to make it more Mexican or oregano to make it more Italian. It's a very versatile product, packed with protein.

Thank you, Art, for sharing your recipes with us today!

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please contact me HERE. And for all the recipes we've shared so far, be sure to visit our recipe page using the tabs at the top of this blog ... or by clicking HERE.