The boys and I have been hunting for signs of spring for the last few weeks. We've found pink blossoms on trees, irises peeking up in a neighbor's front yard, the first purple pom poms on the ceanothus we planted two years ago, strawberries (!) at the farmers market, and gaudy advertisements for plastic bunnies and easter dresses.
I don't have long to talk. Paul's home today, and we're about to go do something fun. Plus, it has just been so, so Spring all week - 70 degree days with loads of sunshine and flowers and bird chatter. We're heading to my mom's tomorrow for the Easter weekend, and I have done nothing to prepare for the holiday.
I'm thinking about you. Will you, perchance, be cooking up something to replace your mom's Cheese Baked Judy this Easter Sunday following the egg hunt? Yes? No? Okay, I'm thinking about me. And I'll need a super simple brunch-y main dish that I can easily make in not-my-own kitchen. Bonus points if my kids will eat it.
Super score. This is it. Tofu Scramble in Toast Cups. The mundane meets the unexpectedly festive in one perfect brunch dish. Happy Easter!
I have to thank Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook from 1959 for the inspiration for this recipe. Right there in the Easter spread on page 31 there is a recipe for toast cups (with eggs baked inside) that leaves me wanting to serve everything in a vessel of oven crisped bread - pot pie filling and creamy mushrooms and then I even start to think about all the creamed things that my mom hankers for on toast and I wonder about plopping vegan equivalents into these edible receptacles. Creamed Tempeh in Toast Cup - I bet that's good.
But for now, this scramble will meet your Sunday brunch needs. It's easy and delicious, and actually, after it serves its festive, holiday needs, I could see this becoming a simple, savory breakfast on the go staple. Did I mention that both boys (and their parents to boot) loved it? Hallelujah.
Toast Cups with Tofu Scramble and Spring Vegetables
Makes: 12 appetizer or 6 light main dish servings
Takes: 30 minutes (20 active)
To make the toast cups: Heat the oven to 325. Lightly butter your bread squares and gently smoosh into the cups of a muffin tin. (If your bread is too stiff - you'll know when it doesn't smoosh nicely - cover a stack of buttered slices and stick them in the microwave for 30 - 60 seconds or until soft, working in 2 or 3 batches) Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown - they will crisp up more as they cool.
To make the scramble: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the white parts of the onion and the carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Stir in the zucchini. Season with a pinch of salt and cook for another 2 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown. Add the green parts of the onion and cook just until wilted and smelling delicious. Crumble the tofu into the pan. Add the seasoning mix and a bit of dill. Smash the seasoning into the tofu and vegetables, cooking and stirring. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. If your tofu is very wet, let most of the liquid cook off. Otherwise, you're done with this part.
To assemble: Place a dollop of scramble in each toast cup and serve.
Toast cups and scramble can both be made a day ahead. Reheat the scramble and proceed.
Basic Tofu Seasoning Blend
Makes: about 2 cups
Takes: less than 5 minutes
Place all ingredients in a jar. Shake. Use as needed.
But what does remain vivid, what I have thought about approximately everyday since is the strawberry milkshake. It was so rich and creamy and perfect, and magically created without actual ice cream, the sort of decadent treat that you really don't mind your kid indulging in. But it's in North Hollywood. And we're not. And we have two small children. So that shake might as well be in another state. We needed to make one at home. And really, you do too.
Raw Strawberry Milkshakes
In a blender, cover the cashews with the water and set aside to soak for at least an hour or overnight. Puree the water and cashews until very smooth. Add the strawberries and agave nectar. Blend again until smooth and thick. Taste for sweetness. Slurp.
Makes 2 cups. Or enough for Paul, Desmond, and I to each have a very small milkshake.
Copyright 2006 - 2012 Trina Jaconi Biery