Last night I decided to give myself time off for good behavior. After being on my feet all day, I did what people down through the centuries have done when they’re too tired to cook: ordered Middle Eastern food. Or at least that’s what our ancestors would have done if they’d known the joys of hummus, tabouli, baba ganoush, falafel, and lentil-rice dish thingy and had had the Mediterranean Grocery and Café right down the street. Alas, folks, it was not fat-free. Now you know: I’m human, too!
To make up for last night’s laziness, bright and early this morning (around 9) I got up and decided to cook breakfast. I’m not normally a breakfast person; a couple of pieces of fruit suit me just fine. And truth be told, a Monterey Frittata is complicated enough that I usually serve it for dinner. So don’t try this on a workday morning.
This recipe was inspired by one on the back of the box of Fantastic Foods Tofu Scrambler. I’ve never been to Monterey, so I don’t know why this frittata is named after it, but I liked the sound and decided to keep the name. I used Tofu Scrambler for years before deciding to put together my own scrambler mix, so if you want to save time and use the bought version, you won’t hurt my feelings.
1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu, drained (NOT silken!)
2 green onions, minced
1 can sliced or quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
10 button mushrooms, sliced (or mushrooms of choice)
2 large roma tomatoes, sliced
vegan parmesan (optional)
black olives, sliced
Seasoning Mix (mix all together):
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. corn starch OR 2 tbsp. instant mashed potato flakes
Cheeze Sauce (based on a recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan):
1 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. powdered garlic
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 tablespoon tahini
Mash the tofu and add the seasoning mix, green onions, and artichokes. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon or so of water in a small non-stick saucepan; add the mushrooms, green peppers, and garlic and cook until the mushrooms exude their juices. Drain the liquid off, and add half the mushroom mixture to the tofu.
Brush or spray a large non-stick skillet (use one that has a lid) with oil and heat to medium-high. Add the tofu to the skillet, and stir and cook it for a couple of minutes. Then flatten it, pressing it evenly over the entire pan. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 10 minutes.
While it’s cooking, make your Cheeze Sauce. Blend all ingredients together in a blender (I actually use a hand blender and do it right in the pan) and pour into a saucepan. Heat it at medium-high, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens. Add enough water or plain soymilk (a couple of tablespoons) to make it just pour-able. Keep it warm until ready to use.
Once the tofu is heated through, place the sliced tomatoes on top, and sprinkle the remaining mushroom mixture over them. (If you’d like, you can add vegan parmesan at this point, too.) Drizzle cheeze sauce over the top, using as much or as little as you’d like. (I use about 2/3 of the recipe and reserve the rest for another use.) Sprinkle black olives over the cheeze, replace the cover, and cook until the tomatoes are done (about 5 minutes). Slice carefully, and serve. Or better yet, put your feet up and have someone serve you!