Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Tracey Creed and Amandine Paniagua
Words by Amandine Paniagua
Published April 20 2020
In a large plate, roughly crumble the tofu block using a fork.
Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, occasionally stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the crumbled tofu with all the spices, mix and cook for 7 minutes, stirring until the mixture is thick and fragrant, and water from tofu has evaporated. Set aside.
In the same skillet, add the chard with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil and stir continuously until the colour turns slightly brighter and leaves start to collapse, 2 to 3 minutes.
To assemble, serve warm on bread slices, top with sliced avocado, hemp seeds and cracked pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
This avocado on toast with tofu scramble is better fresh, but tofu will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Before making the switch and leaning heavily towards a plant-based diet, I loved pairing avocado toast with scrambled eggs. And I didn’t quite find the perfect vegan substitute until Tracey suggested trying this tofu scramble version. This classic better-revisited avocado on toast is an energising breakfast toast, rich in evocative flavours, fulfilling yet quick to prepare. And versatile, this avocado on toast could be a casual light lunch as well.
For this avocado on toast recipe, we used firm tofu. If you are after a softer tofu scramble, even closer to the original scrambled eggs texture, feel free to use silky tofu and cook the tofu with one tablespoon of vegan butter instead of coconut oil, stirring regularly for about 10 to 15 minutes. A splash of vegan milk while cooking is also helpful. I have also seen that the addition of vegan melting cheese to the preparation lifts the moisture. For a creamier texture, a quarter cup of hummus, or our split pea hummus will do the trick. Simply add to the skillet with the tofu and the rest of the ingredients during cooking.
There are many benefits in massively reducing or removing animal products from our diets. Take my parents, for example. At sixty years old plus, after years debating, they are eating vegan dishes most days. They feel so good, and they actually can’t remember the last time they ate meat. We don’t understand the logic of eating meat anymore, and it feels so satisfying to eat with abundance rather than deprivation.
We all love plant-based food, yet that doesn’t mean we dislike the taste of animal products. Thankfully, vegan cooking is so diverse that I could recreate most of the omnivore flavours I adored with plants, through the adequate spices, seasoning or sauce. And it merely starts with preparing an avocado on toast, tofu scramble or miso marinade. So if you are anything like me, or in search of varying your vegan cuisine, I put together a list of essentials food, to replicate an ever-better version of that nostalgic taste in your dishes. Some of us need this from time to time.
Avocado I consider avocado on toast my vegan bread and butter. I found there is nothing comparable to avocado in the vegan food world that can deliver the fatty texture and fresh flavour similar to cow milk butter. The slight minty taste, enhanced with anything acidic is discreet enough to be paired with pretty much everything, mushrooms, tofu, wilted greens, rice and obviously bread. My favourite go-to is smashed avocado with apple cider vinegar spread over a lightly toasted slice of sourdough bread drizzled with olive oil, topped with volcanic salt and hemp seeds—a delight.
Kala Namak salt According to Samin Nosrat, the author of Salt Fat Acid Heat “nearly every decision you’ll make about salt will involve amplifying and deepening flavour.” So what happens when the salt carries its particular flavour? The Kala Namak salt also called Himalayan black salt, diffuses a robust sulphurous taste and smell, something recalling egg. Some can’t stand it, but Tracey and I love it. To be honest, that is an understatement; we adore this salt so much that we sprinkle it on pretty much every savoury food we prepare, including avocado on toast. For me, anything becomes insanely delicious with this salt. And I let you imagine how it goes when you are cooking vegan scramble. This salt will strongly match the eggy taste we are aiming for with this sort of dish.
Miso paste After volcanic salt, miso is probably my second favourite flavour enhancer. Traditionally available under a paste form, miso is made of fermented soybeans and salt. For me, it is the quintessence of umami flavour. Umami, “a pleasant savoury taste” in Japanese, is one of the basic five tastes, out of sweet, bitter, salty and sour. Besides, umami recalls to the mind a “meaty” flavour, which makes it legit for this list, and enriches any type of dish. My preferred combination is in a marinade, combined with soy or tamari sauce and ginger. I will soak in tofu, tempeh or vegan meat substitutes before cooking. I also love miso paste with pasta, noodles, rice, stir fry veggies or a simple sauce. I bet it must be delicious blended into a creamy hummus.
Nutritional yeast Also called vegan cheese. I have adopted Trace’s habit of sprinkling this wholesome food on every dish that could do with an extra savoury, light cheesy flavour. Nutritional yeast is a fundamental essential ingredient for vegan. This dried, deactivated form of yeast is as excellent for flavour as it is for health. Nutritional yeast contains important minerals and B complex vitamins, including fortified B12, folate, and protein. There should be no other ingredients added such as rice flour or other bulking agents reducing the nutritional value. As Tracey once stated, we always keep a jar of nutritional yeast in our pantry. I found nutritional yeast is well balanced with whole olives, and it is delicious with any sort of salads, or supercharged greens dishes, pasta, of course, lasagna, pesto sauce and obviously, vegan nut cheese.
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