Tofu Scramble and Massaged Kale

Tofu scramble is popular among vegans for breakfast – and I’m not disputing this in any way. But tofu scramble can be so much more and enjoyed for lunch or as a light dinner. Here’s an example of what I mean…

I get a nice big bunch of kale, remove the leaves and begin to massage them with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt. This converts the kale into something like wilted spinach – but with a bit more texture. I whip up a moist tofu scramble and add the massaged kale to the mixture. Add some other flavor elements and adjust the seasoning. That’s it! My quick and easy meal that packs a huge nutritional punch!

Yield: makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 bunch tuscan kale

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (see tips below for oil-free version)

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 500 grams (1 pound) semi-soft tofu

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon kala namak

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 bunch sliced green onions

  • a squeeze of lemon juice

  • Wash the kale well, then remove the leaves from the stems. Place the leaves in a large bowl. Don’t throw away the stems because they are great in other preparations (see tips). Tear the kale leaves into large pieces. Add the extra virgin olive oil and ½-teaspoon sea salt. With your hands, mix the oil and salt well with the leaves. Now begin to massage the kale by picking up handfuls and squeezing them – this will begin the process of breaking the kale down. You should see a change in color and the kale will begin to reduce in bulk (taste a bit – it should be sweeter with no real bitterness). Continue to massage until all the leaves are crumbled but still have a bit of texture. Leave in the bowl for one hour.
  • Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Drain off the excess water from the tofu packaging, then crumble it into a large bowl (I just use my fingers to loosely crumble the tofu, and don’t worry about getting it too fine because you can always crumble it some more with your spatula while it cooks). Mix in the mustard, turmeric, Kala Namak and about 60 ml. (1/4-cup) water.
  • Add the tofu mixture to the preheated pan and stir constantly as you cook the tofu for about 4-5 minutes. Add a bit of water as necessary to prevent the mixture from getting too dry and to control the temperature in the pan. Use your spatula to break-up any larger chunks of tofu.
  • Add the nutritional yeast, green onions and reserved kale (remember that kale you massaged earlier?) during the last minute of cooking. Mix well, remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice while adjusting the seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy soon…

Jack’s Fresh Tip

Tuscan kale is also called Lacinata kale or dinosaur kale, black kale or cavolo nero.  It is the sweeter version of kale plants, which is why I use it in this salad. Substitute equal quantities of leaf or curly kale if you can’t find Tuscan kale.

The stems from the kale can be kept refrigerated for about 5 days. I like to blanch them in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes, drain well, toss with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and roast for about 10 minutes in a 200°C (400°F) oven. They make a great snack when prepared this way. You can also chop them very fine and sweat with onions as a base to a stew or some other kind of winter dish.

You can massage kale without oil, but it won’t be as sweet tasting. The oil prevents certain enzymes from reacting with the air and causing harsh or bitter aromas.

Variations could include anything, but I like to stick to something simple and tasty. I add tomatoes, sliced mushrooms (either raw or cooked), fresh herbs (marjoram, chives, parsley, coriander, dill), spinach or other varieties of cabbage. You can also create a stunning sandwich by spreading some mashed avocado on toast, adding the tofu scramble and dig in!

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