When we’re camping, we find that what we eat for breakfast can really affect the course of our day. The times we try to get by with just a handful of granola or an instant oatmeal packet never turn out well. It’s important to lay down a solid foundation with a healthy, nutritionally balanced breakfast – but damn it, that takes time! Or does it?
We actually developed this tofu scramble for ourselves as sort of a behind-the-scenes working meal. We needed something quick and easy to eat for breakfast BEFORE we started our day working on more time-intensive projects (like shooting a Dutch oven banana bread recipe).
While we were building our camper van last year, this tofu scramble is what Megan ate almost every morning.
Since it’s nutritionally diverse and packs a lot of protein, it has a lot of staying power. Whenever we make this for breakfast, we know we’ll be full until lunch.
The other great thing about this tofu scramble is once you master the basic technique, you can sub in different veggies or add different spices to keep it interesting. Eating the same thing every morning can be boring, so it’s nice when you’re able to adapt a basic recipe to include whatever ingredients you have on hand!
So let’s dive in and get you set up with one of our favorite go-to camping breakfasts!
Tofu Scramble Ingredients
Firm Tofu: While tofu might not seem like a common camping food at first glance, we actually think it’s a lot easier to deal with than eggs (no shells, less delicate, no salmonella). Tofu travels great in a cooler if you repackage it into your own resealable container. This way you only bring what you need for your trip (probably not the entire block) and can drain the water off ahead of time. If you travel without a cooler, we’ve started seeing shelf-stable tofu in some supermarkets. You can also pick it up online.
Potatoes: Any potato you have on hand will work, but we prefer waxy yellow potatoes for this dish. As with all potato hashes, the smaller you cube the potatoes, the faster it will cook. (You can tell how much of a rush we are in by the size of our potatoes!)
Mushrooms: You can dial up the fancy or tone it down with your mushroom selection. We opted for relatively basic white mushrooms (again, it’s what we had on hand) But if you want to make something special, consider picking up morels, oyster mushrooms, or even shiitakes.
Shallot: When we want to combine the flavor of garlic and texture of an onion, we use a shallot. It’s a versatile ingredient we use a lot when camping. While it can’t ever fully replace garlic or onion respectively, when we are trying to cut down on ingredients, it’s a great compromise.
Spinach: We used spinach for this recipe because we had it on hand, but any leafy green will work. Also consider the robustness of kale, the spiciness of arugula, or the color of swiss chard.
Nutritional Yeast: We love using nutritional yeast in our breakfast scrambles. It gives a nutty-almost-cheesy flavor that really compliments the savory aspects of the dish.
Turmeric Powder: It doesn’t take much turmeric powder to get the flavor and color you want. Too much and everything will start to taste bitter. So add in a little, scramble, and taste.
Equipment for Making a Tofu Scramble
While you don’t need any special equipment to make this recipe, we would like to take a quick moment to talk about the ideal type of skillet for this recipe.
For most potato-based breakfast hashes/scrambles, we recommend using a cast iron skillet. Cast iron does an incredible job at retaining and radiating heat. Because it radiates so much heat, you can actually cook food 1” inch above the cooking surface. This heat profile is great for cooking potatoes, which are notorious for taking longer than you’d expect to cook.
A non-stick, anodized aluminum or stainless steel skillet will work too, it just might take longer to get those potatoes soft.
The size of your skillet also matters. If you want to properly fry your potatoes and saute the rest of the veggies, it’s important not to overcrowd the pan. We are the first to admit that we’ve been super guilty of doing this on multiple occasions. The problem with an overcrowded pan is you end up steaming everything. So instead of delicious crispy bits, you get soft and mushy mediocrity.
As with all one pot or one skillet meals, the key to success lies in the sequencing.
Of all the ingredients, the potatoes take the longest to cook, so we will start there. Start by heating up some cooking oil in your skillet. Cube the potato into your preferred size – remembering the smaller the cubes the faster they will cook.
Add the potatoes to skillet with a bit of salt. While they’re cooking, de-stem and quarter the white mushrooms and add them in. Slice your shallot into thin rings and add them in as well.
When the potatoes, mushrooms, and shallots are nearly done, push them to the side, add a little more oil and crumble in your tofu into the open space. Add the turmeric, scramble. Add the nutritional yeast, scramble. Add salt and pepper, scramble.
It’s important to scramble between each step so the seasons evenly distribute the ingredients. Nobody wants to bite into a pocket of straight turmeric. (We’ve done this by accident and want to spare you!)
The last step is to place a few heaping handfuls of spinach on top and stir into the combine. The steam from the hash with cook the spinach down to a fraction of the size, so don’t be afraid to put a whole bunch on to start.
And that’s it! Hearty potatoes, savory mushrooms, leafy greens, and wonderfully seasoned tofu. It’s a stellar breakfast skillet that just might give eggs & bacon a run for its money.
Chop the potatoes into ¼” cubes. Quarter the mushrooms. Slice the shallot into half-moons.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the potatoes and cook until beginning to soften and turn brown, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook 3 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown and the shallots soften. Move to one side of the pan.
Add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Crumble the tofu into the pan and toss with the oil. Dust the turmeric and nutritional yeast over the tofu, then saute 4 minutes.
Add the spinach to the pan, then toss with the other scramble ingredients until wilted.