Not to be confused with vegetarians, vegans don’t wear, use, or eat animal-based products, including cheese, eggs, beef, pork, fish, seafood, and even honey. Since meat and dairy are primary sources of protein—a vital part of our diet—vegans eat other protein sources. Chia and flax seeds, tofu, lentils, leafy vegetables, and garbanzo beans are great options. They’re not only packed with protein and other nutrients, but also low in fat and sodium.
If you’re feeling a bit iffy about dishes that don’t contain meat, seafood, or dairy products, think about this: American supermarket shelves overflow with countless varieties of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans! When it comes to making vegan dishes, the possibilities are virtually endless!
One of the easiest ways to introduce vegan cuisine into your family’s mealtime rotation is to make a dish using their favorite ingredients. As we transition from lighter summer fare to heartier fall “comfort” foods, try this delicious tofu scramble recipe, courtesy of the renowned Bon Appétit magazine. Although this breakfast dish looks like eggs, it’s made with extra-firm tofu and colored with a spice called turmeric. Tofu is extremely versatile because it easily picks up flavors from other ingredients and seasonings. The scramble also uses healthy options such as whole-wheat tortillas, and crisper drawer standards such as onions and bell peppers. Feeling adventuresome? Add a touch of heat with minced jalapeño or Hatch chile!
Tofu Scramble Recipe*
- 2 14-ounce blocks extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4-6 whole-wheat tortillas, warmed
- Garnishes: salsa, chopped avocado, grated cheddar (vegan if preferred), sliced scallions, hot pepper sauce (optional)
Place tofu on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels (to absorb liquid). Using a fork or potato masher, smash tofu.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in coriander and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tofu, then turmeric. Add beans; cook, stirring often, until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
Serve scramble with tortillas and garnishes, as desired.
Easing Into the Vegan Kitchen
Here are a few other tips to help you and your family welcome vegan food into your household:
- If you have any picky eaters, don’t even tell them that the dish in front of them doesn’t contain meat. Chances are they won’t even notice!
- Gradually introduce dishes. Start with an appetizer at one meal (check out grilled tofu with chimichurri), then a side dish for another meal (ooh, roasted broccoli!). Move on to an entrée, and then eventually go wild with a dairy-free vegan dessert!
- Feel free to experiment and modify any recipe. If your family likes black beans, then consider substituting them for the white beans in this brothy beans recipe.
- It’s OK not to go full-on vegan at first. For example, if a dish calls for vegetable broth and you prefer chicken, go ahead and use a low-sodium, reduced-fat version of chicken broth. Or, better yet, go 50/50 veggie and chicken broth!
Your doctors at Teladoc wish you a warm, cozy, tasty, treat-filled fall. As we move into flu season, remember that Teladoc’s extensive network of board-certified physicians is available 24/7 by app, web, and phone anywhere you are in the U.S. any time you or a family member needs non-emergency care. We can also prescribe medications when necessary. Be sure to select a convenient pharmacy using our pharmacy selection feature in the app.
Check out a springtime salad recipe