Mark Bittman: Scrambled Tofu

In this hearty morning scramble, tofu takes the place of eggs. Since tofu is undeniably bland, it’s important to ramp up the seasonings a bit. I like to use spinach, but any leafy greens will work. Other options: sliced mushrooms, leeks, cabbage, and asparagus; chopped broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and zucchini; or grated winter squash and root vegetables. This scramble makes an ideal lunch, too.

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic, or more to taste
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red chile flakes, or 1 or 2 fresh hot red chiles (like Serrano or Thai), minced
1 ½ pounds fresh spinach, trimmed and rinsed well
1 ½ pounds firm or silken tofu, drained and patted dry

1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, less than a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the spinach and ¼ cup water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and fairly dry, 5 to 8 minutes.

3.Crumble the tofu into the pan and stir, using a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan and combine the tofu and vegetables; adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning. When the mixture starts to stick to the pan, it’s ready: Taste and adjust the seasoning, serve hot or warm.

Nutritional info (with firm tofu):
Calories: 224 • Cholesterol: 0mg • Fat: 13g • Saturated Fat: 1g • Protein: 14g

Carbohydrates: 177g • Sodium: 727mg • Fiber: 5g • Trans Fat: 0g • Sugars: 5g

MARK BITTMAN is one of the country’s best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman is a columnist for the New York Times, writing on food policy and cooking in the Opinion and Dining sections and the New York Times Magazine.