Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vegan Migas (Southwest Tofu and Tortilla Scramble)

This morning while rummaging through the 'fridge for something original to perk up the day's 'fu-scramble, it occurred to me how easy it would be to vegan-ize that late-night-greasy-spoon Mexi-Diner college favorite of mine. Migas.

If you're instantly able to translate that from Spanish, you're either wondering why I'd want to eat "crumbs", or, if you have any Tex-Mex connection at all, you're probably drooling as I was with the memory.

In Tex-Mex cuisine, migas (pronounced MEE gahs) is a traditional breakfast dish of Spanish or Mexican origin, consisting of scrambled eggs mixed with bits ("crumbs") of soft corn tortilla and topped with cheese and a host of savory ingredients, from black beans to salsa, avocado and chiles. I originally thought "migas" meant "mess" because it really is a big scrambled mess on your plate. But SUCH a delicious mess it is!!!

As a bit of history, I attended college in Eastern Washington state, far from typical Tex-Mex cuisine (one would think); but it seemed every other all-night coffee-shop and diner was owned and operated by local Hispanic families, no doubt brought to the area by it's abundance of agricultural employment. So my college years of far-too-late-night cramming for exams and study groups were centered around whatever all-night coffee-shop would put up with us. And I happily discovered that "traditional" menu items like omlettes and club sandwiches were heavily supplemented with enchiladas, huevos rancheros and what would soon become my all time fave - migas! As a vegetarian, they were usually a safe bet too, as none of the migas dishes I ran across were anything more than tortillas, eggs and cheese.

That said, let me share this extremely simple dish with you. If you've never tried it, you MUST, you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's one that should be in everyone's vegan repertoire, and a GREAT way to use up leftover taco fixin's.

(all measurements are approximate,
according to your taste and available ingredients)

* 1/2 a package soft or medium tofu (water packed, not silken!)
* 2 Tablespoons soy or other plant milk
* 1/4 tsp. EACH: salt, pepper, onion powder, red pepper flakes/cayenne
* pinch EACH: turmeric, cumin and Indian Black Salt (if you have it)
(OR, make scrambled tofu however YOU like it)

* 1 Tablespoon vegan margarine
* 3 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
* 1/2 cup grated "melty" vegan cheese
* 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
* 2 tablespoons chopped green chiles or red bell peppers
* (OPTIONAL) 1 medium tomato, chopped
* (OPTIONAL) 1/2 cup chopped avocado
* (OPTIONAL) 1/2 cup salsa
* (OPTIONAL) 1/2 cup rinsed black beans or veggie "taco meat"
* (OPTIONAL) 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
* (OPTIONAL) vegan sour cream

Pat tofu dry, crumble in a bowl, add soy milk and all seasonings. Mix well. Set aside.

Warm the margarine in a heavy skillet. Add the tortilla pieces and sauté until softened but NOT crispy. Add the chopped onion and chiles or peppers and sauté until soft.

Pour the tofu mixture into the skillet, and "scramble" until set and liquid has evaporated and tofu is starting to lightly brown. (Don't stir constantly - let set a few minutes until it starts to brown, then turn and cook some more) Add vegan cheese and stir a bit more, then cover for a couple minutes until cheese melts into the mess. (It will look like a mess!)
Remove the skillet from heat, and sprinkle with whatever topping you'd like: chopped tomato, avocado, cilantro or beans and stir again.

Serve at once (I like it with warm flour tortillas and hashbrowns). Garnish with additional salsa or vegan sour cream if desired.


Anonymous said...

YUM! That sounds great!

Karyn said...

ok, this is going to be dinner tomorrow!

I went to the farmer's market today and I over shopped, so this is a good, yummy way to use up some of my goodies and like you said, to bring back some memories...yummy!

Thank you, Marti!

Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous! I love tofu migas. Your recipe reminds me of the Scrambled Tortillas in Vegan Brunch. I always make that recipe without the potatoes to make it more like traditional migas.

Eileen Smith said...

Oh wow...this looks sooooooooooo good. I'm defo going to make this. Comfort food! And I love the flower and herb drinks too.