I love tofu scramble. It’s the quintessential vegan answer to scrambled eggs, and it seems like no vegan cookbook is complete without at least one recipe for it. All you need is tofu, a little seasoning and any vegetable you can get your hands on, and in less than half an hour you have a delicious breakfast or breakfast for dinner.
But what do you do if you don’t have any tofu on hand?
I first got the idea for chickpea scramble from the nebulous recesses of the Internet (or maybe VegWeb) when I was out of tofu but still wanted something scramble-like. Since then, it has become a regular part of breakfast, sometimes appearing several mornings in the same week. It’s a little more involved than oatmeal but still fairly quick and is packed with nutrition. You get your protein from the chickpeas, good carbs from the veggies and of course a bunch of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants provided you choose a rainbow of colors.
I serve this as a side when I have bready things like bagels or English muffins, but it’s pretty versatile. You can dump it in a wrap with a little salsa, serve it alongside a fruit quesadilla or cook up your favorite grain to go with it. (I think spelt berries would work particularly well.) It’s also fabulous as an accompaniment to fruit and yogurt parfait, which I just tried for the first time the other day with some homemade cashew/soy yogurt and just about went to the moon it was so delicious.
The premise is the same as with tofu scramble, so although I’ve listed the vegetables I use most often in my Breakfast Chickpea Scramble, go ahead and use whatever you have on hand. Diced summer squash, broccoli and thinly sliced Brussels sprouts are all great additions. If you do use mushrooms, see if you can get an unusual variety like oyster or shiitake. They add a nice earthy flavor to the dish.
I like to include potatoes to make the scramble more like a hash, but they need to be cut very, very small in order to cook within the allotted time. If you like larger chunks of potato, I recommend steaming them first so that you don’t wind up with underdone crunchy bits in your breakfast.
You can mix up the seasonings, too. Try chili powder and oregano for a Mexican flair, or curry your scramble with a good quality curry powder, some coriander, Garam Masala and a little cayenne. It’s a template recipe–go nuts!
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 small red potatoes, scrubbed and diced very small
- 2-3 cups chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned
- 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)
- ⅔ cup shredded carrots
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- TO TASTE:
- sweet paprika
- dried thyme
- black pepper
- Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, covered, until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir occasionally and add small splashes of water to the pan if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add the chopped potatoes and another splash of water and stir to incorporate. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes more. (You'll definitely need more water now and then--potatoes like to stick!)
- Add the greens, chickpeas and spices to taste. Stir to incorporate. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots and nutritional yeast and cook until just heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then serve immediately.