Monday, October 2, 2017

Out of Retirement And Off The Rails #veganmofo2017

My last post on this blog was nearly six years ago. It was the first part of a series on brewing vegan beer (aka "beer"). I think the second part of this series is still in my drafts folder. I'll spare you further suspense: the beer was really good and it got me hooked on brewing my own! I have not brewed beer since.

I have announced a custom theme!
In a manic bout of web surfing over the summer I signed up for VeganMoFo 2017. I may not have been sober then, but I assure you I'm painfully sober now. So here I am, keeping my promise.

My theme this month is to prepare a daily recipe out of America's Test Kitchen: Vegan For Everybody, a book I'm excited about for a number of reasons. (I really can't wait to talk about it.) The screenshot from the very top of the VeganMoFo Themes page confirms that I have officially committed to this topic. So without further ado, I present to you Scrambled Tofu from the first edition of Isa Moskowitz's Vegan With A Vengeance!


Let me back up. I shuffled into the kitchen this evening while my wife (I married a woman since my last post) was preparing a tofu scramble for dinner. She was "going to wing it," a strategy that made me wince. We have an impending avalanche of cookbooks stacked in the kitchen specifically so that we never have to "wing it." She sensed my discomfort and assured me that she had quickly flipped through an Oh She Glows coobook looking for a scramble recipe, but failed to find one. Fine. This is the kind of suffering you must quietly endure to maintain a happy marriage.

While my daring wife was chopping an onion, some chitchat ensued and we settled on the familiar topic of whether we would ever feed the cats again. We concluded that it was possible they might eat this week, because we ordered special food promoting anal gland health and it was due to arrive on October 4th.  My wife looked up from the growing pile of onion bits and asked, "What's today? The 2nd?" "Pfffft," I replied, always a step ahead, "it's the 1st." This is when I realized that I had to write a blog post.

"I'll cook!" I quickly offered. "I wonder if there's a scramble recipe in the new America's Test Kitchen cookbook." The book was handy, having stood patiently on the kitchen counter since it arrived months ago. I flipped to the back and found two entries under "tofu": Tofu Scramble with Bell Pepper, Shallot, and Herbs; and Tofu Scramble with Tomato and Scallions.

"We don't have any of those things," my wife stated.

I looked at the onion pile that was clearly going to be the central ingredient in whatever we would make. Then it struck me: Isa's Scrambled Tofu. We almost always had the basic ingredients for that. It starts with a ton of onions and mushrooms and ends with satisfaction, every time.  There are plenty of other days in the month for ATC:VFE. Surely my faithful audience would understand.

I helped my wife tease the first edition of Vegan with a Vengeance out of our Jenga library. (We have the new edition, too, but this exact book is the one that taught me how to cook like a human back in 2005. It's special.) Scrambled Tofu was clearly marked by a pink post it and years of accumulated scramble splatter. I asked my wife to shovel the onion pile into the pan and bid her withdraw into the parlor. I was about to follow some rules.

Having made this recipe countless times, there were few surprises. I used Wildwood firm tofu, which is a bit dry and required adding about a cup of water while simmering. I added broccoli at the same time as the tofu, and it cooked nicely. I forgot to saute the garlic with the onions, a pretty rookie mistake. I added it early into the simmering phase and no one got hurt, thank God. I definitely missed the classic tang of hot, oily garlic, but the sweeter notes of simmered garlic weren't bad.  I served it with Field Roast breakfast links and grilled toast.

Looking back at my early posts, this recipe was also the subject of the 7th blog post I ever made, during the very first VeganMoFo. So it's a good recipe to come out of retirement with.


  1. W00t!

    As I have become vegan since your last post you have got one reader here at least.

    1. Kreig! If I had to choose only one, that reader would be you. Thanks for the comment. Is NYC still a vegan wonderland?

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