Growing up as a lacto-vegetarian, I remember feeling left out of a lot of food events in elementary school. On the day after we read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, I walked into the classroom and was met with the nauseating smell of eggs and ham.
On principle (and to avoid gagging), I didn’t try any, but I was pretty intrigued by the idea of green food. As repulsive as the smell was to me, green food sounded fun, so my child self felt left out. Even back then I knew it was ridiculous to feel like I was missing out, since it was basically chicken periods with green food coloring. Gross. Plus, I still didn’t understand how people could eat animals in the first place. It was absolutely weird to me (still is). We’ll have to re-visit this topic later–I have a cool discovery to share!
Last week, I stumbled upon an article about Amanda Cohen, the founder of Dirt Candy, an upscale restaurant in New York City featuring inventive veggie creations.
I love her mission statement for her work with vegetables.
Inspiring! While reading up about Dirt Candy, I also found a recipe for Cohen’s “secret weapon stir-fry sauce.” I was fascinated and had to try the idea as soon as possible. Since tofu takes on flavors so well, I decided to try this fresh green sauce in a tofu scramble. The results were equal parts gorgeous and satisfying.
Pictured above: Cohen’s secret weapon stir-fry sauce ingredients, with some of my personal adjustments (extra super greens, no ginger–although I do love ginger). For our tofu scramble purposes, this sauce will be henceforth be referred to as “green sauce.” 🙂
Alright, Dr. Seuss fans, meet a better, kinder (and not gross) version of Sam-I-Am’s silly green dish. No nasty food coloring needed. And it’s all plants–truly green!
I made this just for fun but it turned out to be an easy, delicious way to get some pretty greens in my tofu scramble!
Green Tofu Scramble
(makes 3-4 hearty servings)
Active time: 25 minutes
Wait time: 30 minutes
Total time: about an hour
- 2 blocks firm tofu (14 oz each—I used Kroger’s Simply Organic brand—love that stuff!)
- 1/4 cup + 3 T green veggie broth (see step #1 below)
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 T nutritional yeast (plus more, to taste)
- sea salt, to taste
- a couple pinches of turmeric
- garlic and onion powder, to taste
- 1/2 t mushroom seasoning/no-salt seasoning
- 1 cup green sauce (my ingredients listed below–please see Cohen’s recipe for full instructions):
- 2 scallions
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2/3 cup cilantro
- 2/3 cup parsley
- 2/3 cup Thai basil
- 4 cups baby super-greens (my mix had baby red chard, kale, spinach, and arugula!)
- Before anything else, press the tofu for about 20-30 minutes. While you’re waiting, you can prepare the green sauce. Save your green broth* from the blanching process–you’ll need this later. The green sauce takes no time at all to make, so for the rest of the wait time, just chill, or have a photoshoot for your ingredients (like I did)!
- After the tofu is pressed, mash it with your hands into your desired consistency.
- On medium-high heat in a nonstick pan, sauté the onions with green broth until they are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add more green broth by the tablespoon if needed. The onions should sizzle and take on a light golden color.
- Add tofu, nutritional yeast, and seasonings to the onions. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon/spatula, to keep the tofu from sticking.
- Pour the green sauce into the tofu, mix, and let them cook together for another five minutes or so. Taste and re-season to your taste.
- Enjoy with avocado slices (because avocados > ham) and fresh lime juice! You could also serve with some kind of vegan ham or a homemade tempeh bacon, but avocado was calling to me this time! This scramble is delicious in breakfast burritos, wraps, or stuffed in mushrooms.
*Note: I ended up with a lot of yummy green broth left from making the green sauce, so I saved it to use in soups! 🙂
Green fun aside, Dr. Seuss was such an inspiration to me–my favorite book from him (back then and now) has got to be The Lorax! As a kid, I was drawn to the environmental message of the Lorax who spoke for the trees.
“I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”
As I got older, I recognized it as a critique of corporate greed exploiting nature. I’m pretty sure The Lorax had at least some influence on my eventual transformation into a tree-hugging vegan.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
What are your favorite words from Dr. Seuss? I hope you enjoyed this post–please let me know how it goes if you try the recipe! 🙂