Tofu and Cauliflower Scramble with Spinach

Cook tofu with a little bit of turmeric and you'll never know it's not eggs! Try my vegan hack in this Indian tofu and cauliflower scramble with spinach. 
 
Indian Tofu and Cauliflower Scramble

Consider this post a big hug for whoever invented the concept of breakfast for dinner.  Without them, I would have starved this week. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this week has been crazy! At least it's been all fun stuff - evening yoga classes, private practice appointments, pumpkin carving parties, and shopping with friends. Still, I haven't had much time to spend in the kitchen, so most our dinners have been some combination of eggs, potatoes, leftover vegetables and avocado. Throw in some salsa, fresh herbs and feta cheese and you've got yourself a fancy schmancy (and mighty tasty) meal.

Tofu scrambles are a fun little vegan take on scrambled eggs.  I started making tofu scrambles after discovering them at a vegan cafe in California. Tofu has a similar texture to eggs and when you add garlic, onions and other aromatics, it tastes quite similar too. A pinch of turmeric and you can't even tell the difference!

Speaking of turmeric, if it's not on regular rotation in your kitchen, it needs to be. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice with a light flavor reminiscent of ginger.  Studies examining the health benefits of turmeric and it's main active compound, cucurmin, have shown a multitude of benefits.

  • Turmeric may reduce blood glucose
  • India has a dramatically lower rate of Alzheimer disease and turmeric heavy curries might be the reason why. Turmeric is incredibly beneficial for brain health, reducing the formation of the type of plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients
  • Due to it's anti-inflammatory effects, tumeric has been researched as a treatment for both rheumatiod arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • In lab studies, cucumin has been shown to kill cancer cells.  Evidence for an anticancer benefit is especially strong for breast cancer and melanoma.
  • There are few medical treatments for liver disease, so the fact that turmeric may prevent liver scarring in chronic liver disease is especially exciting.
  • The production of heterocyclic amines, a cancer causing compound formed by cooking foods at high temperatures, may be inhibited by turmeric.

If you've never cooked with turmeric before, there are many ways to incorporate it into your diet. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine, so curry is a good start. You could also sneak turmeric into smoothies or use it to make tea.  I often cook brown basmati rice with turmeric to for a pretty yellow color or stir a few pinches into scrambled eggs or sauteed potatoes and onions. However you use it, make sure your meal has a little fat and black pepper in it, which helps your body absorb all the good stuff!

Tofu and Cauliflower Scramble with Spinach
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: serves 4
Adapted from[url href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/indian-tofu-scramble-with-spinach"] Food & Wine Magazine [/url]
Ingredients
  • 1 lb firm tofu, drained
  • 
1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 100% whole grain naan or pita, warmed
  • Harissa or sriracha
Instructions
  1. Wrap the tofu with a clean dishtowel or paper towels, place on a plate and cover with a heavy skillet or can. Let sit for 30-60 minutes to drain, then crumble.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add tofu and and cook until both cauliflower and tofu are browned, another 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger and cook about 30 seconds, then add cumin, coriander and tumeric and cook another 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in spinach and scallions and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Serve with naan and harissa or sriracha.