In a prior article entitled, “Ideal Healthy Breakfast,” I compared an unhealthy breakfast with a healthy breakfast and I presented my Spicy Tofu Scramble recipe. Since that time, I’ve shifted my diet toward being about 95% vegetarian for health and ethical reasons. In this article, I’ll be giving you an even healthier and tastier vegetarian breakfast recipe.
When I learned the truth about the myth that you can’t get an adequate amount of protein from a vegetarian diet I became very interested in this lifestyle. After I watched a documentary about how farm animals are treated, my appetite for eating dead animals disappeared almost immediately.
When I talk to people who aren’t into healthy eating, especially those who love to eat beef, ham, and bacon, I always hear the same two concerns. 1.) They can’t imagine that a healthy diet, especially one that is vegetarian, could possibly taste good. 2.) They can’t imagine that you can fulfill all of your body’s protein needs with a vegetarian diet.
The truth is that a healthy diet, even one that is 100% vegetarian, can be more satisfying than a junk food diet. Once your body adjusts to a healthy diet, salty, sugary, and greasy foods will disgust you. And as far as fulfilling your body’s need for protein, plant foods are generally abundant in protein. You can see examples of this in a related article entitled, “Ultimate Healthy Lunch.”
My favorite meat and egg replacement is tofu, which is made from soy beans. Soy is considered to be the perfect protein by many nutrition experts. Soy is high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber.
So it goes without saying that the main ingredient in my vegetarian breakfast recipe is once again – drum roll – tofu! Unlike my Spicy Tofu Scramble recipe, in this one I leave out the eggs, change the rice, and add a few new ingredients that liven it up, make it more hardy, and increase its health benefits. The result is a 100% vegetarian breakfast.
The new ingredients are yam and/or sweet potato, chili pepper (various options), and powdered red pepper (cayenne). Each of these has many health benefits that are too numerous to list here.
All the accompanying food and beverage items that complete my breakfast are the same as I had for my ideal healthy breakfast. I’ve named this recipe the Veggie Delight Breakfast Bowl. Here it is.
Veggie Delight Breakfast Bowl – Recipe
Ingredients (1 serving.)
- 5 oz. extra firm tofu block drained and diced.
- 1/3 cup pre-cooked “jasmine” whole-grain brown rice.
- 1/4 cup per-cooked chopped spinach.
- 1/4 cup of diced yam and/or sweet potato.
- 1/8 cup of diced pasilla, poblano, anaheim, or jalapeño chili pepper.
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or other low or non-sodium (salt) seasoning.
- 1/8 teaspoon powdered red pepper (cayenne) or other low or non-sodium (salt) seasoning.
- Note: Liquid seasonings are not recommended as they make the recipe watery.
- 1/2 diced small (Hass) avocado.
- 5-7 (based on size) cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Microwave oven. Used for speed, easy clean up, and to avoid frying.
- Medium size (deep & 6-8” diameter) microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave-safe cover. (I use a plate.)
- Heat protection pads or gloves.
- Medium size kitchen knife.
- Tofu usually comes in 15 oz. blocks packaged in a tub filled with water. Using a knife, cut an opening in the plastic covering along one side of the tub and drain the water into the storage container you’ll being using for the leftover tofu.
- Completely remove the plastic cover. Cut the tofu block into thirds so that you end up with three pieces. Place one of the pieces into a medium size (6-8”) microwave-safe bowl. Place the other two pieces in your storage container, pore in any remaining water from the tub, and place it in your refrigerator for your next breakfast bowl.
- Dice the tofu by slicing it into 3-4 strips across the top. Turn it on its side and do the same. Then slice it in the other direction across the strips so that you end up with a bunch of 1/2” – 1/4” cubes.
- Add 1/4 cup of diced yam and/or sweet potato.
- Add 1/8 cup of diced pasilla, poblano, anaheim, or jalapeño chili pepper. IMPORTANT: Be sure to remove the seeds and membranes before dicing as these are very hot.
- Stir to mix the yam, chili pepper, and tofu.
- Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe cover (or plate) and cook it on high for 2 1/2 minutes.
- Using heat protection pads, remove the bowl from the microwave.
- Push the cover slightly to one side of the bowl to create a tiny opening. Using heat protection pads, firmly grasp the bowl and cover, and then carefully rotate it toward the opening until the water from the tofu begins to drain. Shake up & down to encourage thorough draining. Reverse the process by creating an opening on the opposite side and then drain again. This procedure works best with a plate.
- Add 1/3 cup of pre-cooked “jasmine” whole-grain brown rice.
- Add 1/4 cup of pre-cooked chopped spinach.
- Stir to mix ingredients thoroughly.
- Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Drain in the same manner described above. Little or no liquid should drain out.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or other low or non-sodium (salt) seasoning.
- Add 1/8 teaspoon powdered red pepper (cayenne) or other low or non-sodium (salt) seasoning.
- Stir well to mix in seasonings.
- Add 1/2 diced small avocado on top.
- Add 5-7 (based on size) cherry or grape tomatoes on top.
You don’t have to measure each ingredient exactly or include every item. If there are ingredients that you like or don’t like, increase, reduce, or eliminate them. However, I encourage you to NOT remove ingredients simply because you’ve never eaten this particular combination of foods before. Be bold! Try it!
Draining is necessary due to the high water content in tofu. There is also some water in spinach. Although it’s a bit of a hassle, draining it well makes the recipe much better by not being watery.
For expediency, I make a 5-7 day supply of brown rice and chopped spinach in advance. Doing it in the way that I will explain takes very little effort.
I buy 32 oz. bags of uncooked “jasmine” whole-grain brown rice from Fresh & Easy. To keep it fresh, I only cook one cup at time in a rice cooker. It takes about 35-40 minutes and it makes 2 1/4 cups of cooked rice. My rice cooker automatically switches from the cooking mode to the warming mode when its done. To allow for the additional cooking that I’ll be doing later when I prepare this recipe, I put the rice into a storage container and place it in the refrigerator the second it’s done.
I used to buy frozen precooked brown rice from Trader’s Joe’s for these recipes until I discovered Fresh & Easy’s “jasmine” brown rice. It tastes better and it’s much less expense. To me it smells like freshly cooked buttered popcorn, especially when it’s cold.
I buy 16 oz. bags of frozen chopped spinach from Trader Joe’s, but this type of product is available at most stores. I like the Trader Joes brand because it easily mixes in my recipe and it’s pesticide free. I cook 1/3 of the bag in a microwave for 1 minute less than what the instructions say to allow for the additional cooking I’ll be doing when I make this recipe.
Once I add the brown rice and chopped spinach to the recipe, I microwave it for 1 1/2 minutes rather than 1 minute to allow for the fact that it is usually cold from refrigeration and it is mixed in with the other ingredients.
You can play with the seasonings so that the tofu scramble matches your favorite flavors. One word of caution though. It’s easy to overlook the high sodium (salt) levels in many seasonings. For example, most hot sauces are high in sodium. That’s why I use chili powder instead. It’s low in sodium and it doesn’t make the recipe watery like liquid seasonings do.
Here’s a downloadable copy of this recipe. It is in a PDF format. You’ll need Adobe Reader to view and make a copy of it. To download a FREE copy of this software, go to Adobe.com. Downloads come from my publishing website, Propel Publications.com.
Download a copy of this recipe here: Veggie Delight Breakfast Bowl
To your health and fitness.