There was a time when I scoffed at tofu, associating it with virtue-signaling vegetarians, as ridiculous as the socks and Birkenstocks set who went to work as Wall Street traders. Well, sometimes a girl has to reassess her assumptions. Tofu is not only a valuable source of plant-based protein, low in saturated fat, it can taste really good when expertly prepared in a variety of contexts. I’m fond of agedashi tofu served at my local sushi restaurant, but I’ve also learned to use tofu at home in different ways for any meal.
Tofu for breakfast is pretty nice. I’m allergic to eggs among other things, and because of my allergies, as well some other genetic predispositions, I am susceptible to increased inflammation, which is linked with negative health outcomes such as cancer and dementia. My father died from Alzheimer’s and my mother, still alive, has a different form of dementia. The medical community pretty much agrees that each of these brain diseases is preventable in most people because they are diseases of lifestyle, no different from Type-II diabetes or heart disease. Neither is genetic destiny. Restricting eggs, dairy, and mammal meat reduces inflammation in the body. I embrace tofu because it might help me to grow old without losing my marbles.
Skeptical at first, I’ve managed to develop a frittata that is really delicious. I don’t think of this as an egg substitute, though of course that is what it’s attempting to be. I find that trying to make plant forward foods into imitations of animal based foods is rarely satisfying. The key to loving these new foods is to embrace them for themselves. After several attempts, I’ve developed this tofu frittata into something that both my husband and I enjoy not because it’s an exact replica of an egg-based frittata but because it’s yummy as its own self.
28 oz (800 grams) firm tofu, drained and patted dry with a paper towel. Don’t use silken or extra firm tofu. Neither works well here.
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil.
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) turmeric.
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) garlic powder.
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) chickpea flour.
- 8 ounces (225 grams) oyster mushrooms.
- 2 shallots, minced.
- 1 large garlic clove, minced.
- Tarragon, minced. Enough to fill soup spoon or more.
- Parsley, minced for finishing garnish.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Process tofu, olive oil, one teaspoon of salt, turmeric, garlic powder and several grinds of black pepper in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add the chickpea flour and process for about 15 seconds until everything is well combined.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch oven safe nonstick skillet.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown and their juices have released, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shallots and stir, continuing to cook until the mushrooms are brown; about 5 more minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Off heat, stir in tarragon, more salt and pepper to taste.
- Smooth the mixture so that it is even across the pan and put the pan into the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the frittata from the oven and rest for 5 minutes.
- Loosen the frittata from the skillet using a silicone spatula and slide it onto a cutting board.
- Sprinkle with more tarragon and parsley, cut into wedges and serve.
This is good hot or at room temperature. Serves 6 generously.
Note: If you want to learn more about inflammation, here is a credible source that explains how diet impacts inflammation: https://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/antiinflammatory-and-proinflammatory-foods.html