Tofu Scramble and a Vegan Cookery Workshop
I’ve heard a lot about tofu scramble over the last few months and I have to say, my inner sceptic wasn’t convinced. However, when I found out this vegan breakfast alternative to scrambled eggs was one of the recipes in the Vegan Toolkit Workshop, I thought I really ought to try it. I volunteered to make this particular dish and was of course completely won over.
I was one of four vegetarian bloggers attending the Vegan Toolkit Workshop last Friday. This course is one of many offered by the Vegetarian Society Cookery School, formerly known as Cordon Vert and is based in the rather grand old manor house at the Vegetarian Society headquarters. As regular readers will know, I don’t get over the border that often, so it was with a sense of excitement that I set off to Manchester to first meet up with Shaheen from A2K – A Seasonal Veg Table, Chris from Thinly Spread and Becca from Amuse Your Bouche. Being in the company of other vegetarians meant I had the rare treat of going out to eat in a vegetarian restaurant, 1847 – and very nice it was too.
The main purpose of the trip was, of course, the vegan workshop. We’d been invited by Cranks who’ve recently started working more closely with The Vegetarian Society. More and more people are turning to vegan food here in the UK, either because they want to reduce their meat and dairy consumption or go all out and become vegans. And it is Veganuary after all. Being a vegetarian for most of my life, I’m used to cooking lots of vegan dishes, but my repertoire of substitutions for eating a completely vegan diet is slim.
Our instructor for the day was principal tutor Alex Connel, who not only knew his stuff, but made us laugh and stopped us flapping. We were joined by Cranks people, Grace for the day and Lauren for an hour. We started with knife skills, which is always useful, even if I do go back to bad old habits when I get home. We then got down to the serious business of making vegan ravioli. I’ve never made pasta before, let alone vegan pasta, so I was surprised at just how easy it was. A pasta roller is pretty much a requirement though, so I’m not sure I’ll be replicating this one at home. I was just a little bit thrilled at my rather neat pasta sheet, which I proceeded to cut and fill with vegan pesto.
For the rest of the dishes, we either watched Alex demonstrate, or divided the recipes up between ourselves. We made pesto, mayonnaise, shortcrust pastry, pancakes, quesadillas, cashew cream, pizza dough, mushroom pate and much more – all vegan of course. Armed with a good sized chunk of tofu and a few other ingredients I produced a rather tasty tofu scramble in just a few short minutes. It was so tasty in fact, that I made it for breakfast as soon as I got home. I didn’t have the requisite nutritional yeast, so I had to improvise; I used a little brewers yeast and added some nori seaweed flakes. CT was as impressed with the tofu scramble as I was. It looks like scrambled eggs and tastes really good.
After taking a brief break to sample our ravioli, we commenced with the main dishes of the day: crispy sweet & sour tofu, roast vegetable plait, paella, Jamaican ackee & tofu, pizza and Grenadian oil down. I opted to make Thai mushroom soup with crispy wontons, which was another new one for me. The soup was a clear spicy broth with fried mushroom slices and the wontons were baked and then floated in the soup at the last minute. Sharp, sweet, spicy and earthy all at the same time, it was really quite delicious. Becca did an impressive job of plaiting the pastry, Shaheen opted for the ackee dish, which I enjoyed far more than I expected and Chris got familiar with breadfruit in her Grenadian oil down. Grace tackled the very chocolatey fudge cake, which we all agreed was irresistible and Lauren made a vegan cheesecake. My goodness what a feast we had. The dining room table was beautifully laid out and the sun came out just as we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labours. I felt thoroughly spoiled.
The Vegetarian Society is the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world, going back, as it does, to 1847. It campaigns, offers advice and support to families, individuals and businesses and approves various products, restaurants and cafés under its Vegetarian Society approved trademark. It’s a membership organisation and publishes a quarterly magazine: The Vegetarian. Its patrons include the McCartneys as well as one of my own vegetarian gurus, Rose Elliot.
This week is National Breakfast Week, so if you’re looking for something a bit different to try, why not give this tofu scramble a go?
- 1 tsp brewers yeast (or 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp rock salt ( I used Himalayan pink)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
- 200g firm tofu
- ground black pepper
- 1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh herbs - I used coriander and chives
- ¼ tsp nori seaweed flakes (optional)
- Mix the yeast, turmeric and salt in 1 tbsp warm water and set aside.
- Warm the oil in a frying pan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and fry gently for a minute.
- Crumble the tofu in with your fingers and stir gently for a couple of minutes.
- Add the yeast mixture and stir through.
- Add the pepper, herbs and seaweed and stir for another minute or so when everything should be hot and resemble scrambled eggs.
Disclosure: Many thanks to Cranks for the cookery course. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.