January 15, 2014
Vegan Vegetable and Sausage Tofu Scramble by the Bored Vegetarian

When I first moved to New York, brunch was an event, with a lot of thought put into who had the best mimosa deal, breakfast potato option (hello Cameo tater tots) and best chance of getting a table right away. These days I prefer making brunch at home after a quick trip to the grocery store and grabbing coffees from Cafe Grumpy. Chris will throw on some reggae and draw at the table while I get to work in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite times of the week and most weekends I wouldn’t trade it for the hour-long waits and overpriced omelets of the past.

This scramble recipe can be modified to include whichever vegetables you have on hand.


– 1 container Soft Tofu, drained and crumbled into small pieces (I left mine on the bigger side)
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
– 2 Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties, chopped up (I used Gardein)
– 1 cup Kale, chopped, big stems removed
– small handful of Basil, cut into ribbons
– 3-4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to taste


In a large saute pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over low/medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and saute until nearly translucent. Add in the bell pepper and continue to saute. Next add the garlic and the chopped sausage patties. The sausage will take a bit to brown up, but they’ll take on some of the flavor of the other ingredients as you do so. After about 5 minutes of sauteeing the sausage, add the tofu and mix together. The heat will help evaporate some of the liquid in the tofu. Add in kale and basil and season with Nutritional Yeast and salt & pepper. Continue to saute until all ingredients have been incorporated well into the scramble and the tofu has firmed up from the evaporated liquid. Serve hot.

February 5, 2012

Buffalo Tofu with Blue Cheese SauceI’d never watched a full football game until I was living in Boston circa 2005 and the Seahawks made it to the Superbowl. They lost (as Seattle teams tend to do) but I found an appreciation for Superbowl snacks. Speaking of Boston, Christopher’s in Porter Square makes great buffalo tofu.
1 container Extra Firm Tofu1 cup Hot Sauce 1 1/2 cup Flour1/2 cup Bread Crumbs2 tsp Salt2 tsp Paprika Cooking Oil1 cup Greek Yogurt1/3 cup Blue Cheese
Cut block of tofu into about ten thick rectangular pieces. Place on a few paper towel sheets and cover with more paper towels. Place something heavy (I used a big pot) on top for about 20 minutes to drain the tofu. Prepare three bowls: In the first, a 1/2 cup of flour; the second: hot sauce; the third, mix remaining flour, breadcrumbs, salt and paprika together. Take each piece of tofu, coat it in flour, hot sauce and then breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with hot sauce and breadcrumbs a second time. Set aside and continue with remaining tofu. In a pan, heat oil on medium/high. Add tofu to the pan and fry each side, rolling until entire piece is brown. Remove from pan and drain on brown paper to absorb excess oil.For blue cheese sauce, warm greek yogurt in a saute pan over low heat. Add blue cheese and stir until incorporated.

January 25, 2012

Vegetarian WontonsI’d been trying to plan a dinner party with my friends Whitney & David for a few months now and we finally got it together over the weekend. We decided on a dim sum theme (David wanted to do a “seance” theme, but we’re holding off until we know exactly what he means by that) which happened to fit with the Chinese New Year. I made these wontons and some disastrous semi-congee. They made everything else – and my lord it was delicious. Thanks to Loryn, Laura, Jodi & Eric for joining in the festivities. A lot of sake was consumed. A lot of 90’s music was played.
1 package Extra Firm Tofu2 medium Carrots, peeled and shredded1 can Water Chestnuts, drained and finely chopped1 1/2 cups fresh Bok Choy, finely chopped1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil2 Tbsp Soy Sauce1 clove Garlic, minced1/4 cup Scallion, thinly choppedSalt to taste
1 package square Wonton wrappers (typically contains 50-60 wrappers) Drain tofu. Slice 1 inch thick and layer between paper towels on a plate. Place weight (canned goods perhaps?) on top and allow to drain moisture for around 20 minutes. Chop into cubes and add to a medium-sized bowl. Add carrot, boy choy, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and scallion. Mix well. Salt to taste.To roll the wonton (I found this video very helpful), lay wonton wrapped on a flat surface. Spoon a small amount of tofu mixture into the middle of the wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold up lengthwise (again, the video!) and seal the edges – they should stick together. Wet the bottom two edges and fold upward to meet each other, sealing again. It will look like a little nurse’s cap! Continue with remaining tofu mixture & wontons. It’s back breaking work!Bring a pot of water to a boil. Poach wontons a few at a time for 2-3 minutes. Drain and serve hot with soy sauce.  
The rest of the spread (apologize for rushed photos.. I was ready to eat!)

September 22, 2011

Tofu Lettuce Wraps
1 head of Boston Bibb or butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed and dried1 container firm tofu, crumbled1 Tblsp cooking oil1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped 3 Tblsp low sodium soy sauce (or to taste)1/3 cup hoisin Sauce (or to taste)2 Tblsp sesame oil 2 tsp freshly grated ginger3 Tblsp rice wine vinegar1/4 cup green onion, choppedCilantro, washed, patted dry and chopped (optional)Salt to taste 
In a large saute pan, saute chopped onion in cooking oil until almost tender. Add in garlic and tofu, season with salt. Continue to cook – tofu will lose some of its liquid. Add in soy sauce, rice vinegar and hoisin, tasting as you go. Add water chestnuts. Continue to stir and cook down liquid. Add grated ginger and stir in. Once the tofu has firmed up a bit and the mixture is well combined (taste!), add in green onions. Spoon portion of mixture into a lettuce leaf and served warm, topped with cilantro.  
Last night I arrived in Seattle for my friends Heather & Michael’s wedding on Friday (!!!) After a single malt and two episodes of The Wonder Years, I promptly passed out on my brother’s couch. Vacation!I spent the day rolling around on the living room floor with my niece Marion, and made the tofu lettuce wraps for my brother and sister-in-law for lunch. Marion just passed the 1 year mark and hates all food – except the tofu I made for this recipe! She was crazy about it. I’ve never been so flattered.
And just to brag about how cute the little lady is: 

September 2, 2011

I knew from the minute that I saw this Pumpkin Seed Crusted Tilapia recipe that I wanted to try it with tofu.

Toasted Pumpkin Seed & Parmesan Crusted Tofu (adapted from Jane Deere)
1 container, extra firm tofu drained and cut into triangles1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted1cup grated Parmesan 4 Tbsp butter, softened4 cloves fresh garlic1/2 cup fresh parsleySalt & pepper 1 lemon, cut into wedgesOlive oil4 Tbsp mayonnaise (I know)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor combine toasted pumpkin seeds, parmesan, garlic, parsley, butter, salt and pepper until evenly chopped (about the texture of jarred chopped garlic). Using a knife, coat all sides of eat triangle of tofu with mayonnaise (if you hate mayo, maybe try greek yogurt?). Using your hands, cover each triangle with a layer of pumpkin/parm mixture on all sides. It will be messy and not perfect. Coat a baking sheet with some olive oil and place each triangle on the sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until coating browns. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Use a spatula to remove from pan. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.
Growing up in the Northwest, fish was a fairly big part of my diet. We went fishing every summer at La Push (before Twilight took over) and caught King Salmon in the Pacific. Some of my best memories were out there on the boat with Grandpa Jack, trying to return to the cabin with bragging rights on the biggest fish caught that day. Although I never quite acquired a taste for it, seafood is always the first thing I think about when I have doubts about being a vegetarian – perhaps cause it reminds me of home.
Anyway, the point is to keep in mind that when you see recipes with a meat or fish protein, don’t be afraid to adapt. This was incredible with tofu! And there’s always meatless meatloaf or a veggie BLT.
Glad this week is nearly over – I’m helping a super sweet couple, Audra & Chris, get married in Brooklyn this weekend, as well as going on a photo excursion with my friend Corry. Also, I’ll be doing the coloring for the BYOB 2 poster that Emma just drew and sent me! Coming up on October 9th! Email me if you have books to donate early: bethanypickard(at)gmail.comBYOB Bring Your Old BooksA Bookswap & Benefit for Housing WorksSunday, October 9th, 12-6pm$2 donation for entryBring unwanted books to swap/donate!
DJs Ian Michael JacksonSpindlerMore info TBA! 

August 11, 2010

It has been approximately 14 years since I’ve had a piece of bacon (unless you count the time I accidentally ate some on a veggie burger while living in Boston… not my fault!)  I have, however, had countless versions of veggie bacon from Morningstar Farms, Lightlife and my personal favorite, Vinnie’s Pizza here in Greenpoint.  I’ve even made my own from tempeh.
Yesterday I opted to use up the rest of my firm tofu by making tofu bacon… and what better way to eat it than in a BLT?  I classed up the traditional sandwich by making a oven-roasted balsamic tomato mash.

Oven-Roasted Balsamic Tomato Mash1/2 cup grape tomatoes (or whatever kind you have)1 tbls olive oil1 tbls balsamic vinegarpinch of kosher saltPreheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.  Roast in oven until tomatoes become soft.  Toss a few times and return to oven.  Remove from oven and mash with a fork.

Tofu Bacon1/4 cube firm tofu, sliced thinHickory flavored liquid smokeSoy sauceGarlic powderBrown sugarMix hickory smoke, soy sauce, garlic powder and brown sugar in a flat pan.  Add tofu and marinate for at least an hour, flipping ever 20 minutes.In a frying pan, heat up a little oil (I used cooking spray to cut down on greasiness.) Brown tofu on each side, pushing down with a spatula to remove excess moisture. 

TBLT (Tofu Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato)2 slices of good bread (I picked up a loaf simply called “Health Bread” from my local polish deli.  I love Greenpoint.)Oven-Roasted Balsamic Tomato MashBacon TofuLettuce (I used arugula)Avocado, sliced (optional.  I intended to use this, but forgot.)Toast bread and assemble sandwich.
Emma and I are leaving for Philly on Friday and have been mulling over where to eat Friday night.  So far Horizons and Audrey Claire are the front runners.  If you have any favorite brunch destinations, l’d love to hear them.  Or vintage stores.  Or karaoke bars.

August 8, 2010

Brunch is typically a main event on weekends in New York (Need suggestions? I like here, here, here, here and here), but sometimes it’s good to turn on some soul music and make breakfast at home.
I love eggs, so I never understood the point of a tofu scramble until last weekend.  When I was in Atlanta, Maria and I grabbed a vegan brunch at Soul Vegetarian, where I took the tofu scramble plunge.  Surprisingly, I loved it!  Though (as I’ve mentioned) I’m not a huge tofu fan, I love how it can take on the texture and flavor of so many different things.  I bought a soft (or silken, if you want to use the gross name) version when I was at the store this week, but you can use any variety, depending on the texture you prefer.
Keep in mind that the ingredients you use are up to you!  I used what I had in the fridge, so it’s not the most sophisticated recipe in the world.  Who cares, I’m in still in my pajamas.

Tofu Scramble (for one)1/4 block of silken tofu, chopped1/4 green pepper, chopped1/2 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, chopped1/2 cup grape tomatoes, choppedhandful of green onion chopped1 tbls Nutrition Yeast (What’s this, you ask?  It’s a deactivated yeast that’s rich in B vitamins and protein and has a distinctive nutty taste.  Read more here!) olive oilcumin, to tastesalt & pepper, to tasteHeat olive oil in a frying pan and add vegetables, stirring until tender.  Add tofu and mix with veggies, season with nutritional yeast, cumin, salt and pepper.  The longer you cook the scramble, the more firm the tofu will become.  Serve immediately. Notice that my pictures are a bit more refined?  My new camera arrived on Thursday!  It’s a Cannon Rebel Xsi, and it may be the love of my life.  Yesterday I walked to Calvary Cemetery in Queens (one of my favorite places in NYC) and gave it a test run.  I won’t death-up my blog post with graveyard pictures, but here’s a shot of my favorite visitor.

August 4, 2010

What do you make when nothing is making you feel good?  I spent the majority of today laid up in bed and had to cancel my conference calls in hopes of feeling better.  Now I’ll be spending the rest of tonight catching up on work and hoping the waves of nausea pass.  Sounds like prime time to talk about food!  I bought a couple of mangoes the other day and figured I’d better put them to good use before they got overripe.  This is a similar flavor to my mango salsa recipe, but is more fitting as a summer salad.  Less juicy, more filling.

Mango & Chickpea Salad1 can of chickpeas, drained1 mango, chopped1 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves1/2 red pepper, chopped1/2 cup green onion, chopped1 clove garlic, choppedCilantro (handful) chopped1 lime (just the juicesalt & pepper to tasteCombine all ingredients in a bowl, mix and season to taste.
Tofu is hard to get right.  I still can’t, no matter the firmness, marinade or cooking method.  I keep getting back on that bicycle, and hope to conquer this beast one of these days. 

Sweet Soy-Sesame marinated Tofu
Firm tofu, sliced thickSoy sauceBrown sugarSesame oilGarlic powderSriracha hot sauceBlack sesame seeds (garnish)As I mentioned, I haven’t made a great tofu recipe, but this one worked.  I mixed the various ingredients and marinated the tofu before cooking it in a hot pan. Topped with black sesame seeds. The combination of soy and sesame work well, but a grill would be nice. Have I mentioned my birthday is coming up?
In other news, I got my passport in the mail today, so Montreal is on! Also, my new Rebel Xsi SLR will be arriving tomorrow to fufill all of my food photography dreams. I signed up for a photography workshop class at NYU this fall, so an SLR was a needed investment. Needless to say, I’m insanely excited to get it into my hands and see what sort of magic it can work. Hopefully no more having to take food photos on the dirty backsteps! Oh luxury.

May 3, 2010

It got HOT this weekend.  Like the kind of hot we only dreamed of growing up in Washington.  I spent approximately 7 hours of this weekend sweating away in McCarren park with various friends.  It was grand.  And gross. 
Earlier in the week I had invited my friend Jenn De La Vega to come by for dinner, not realizing how super warm life would be by Sunday evening.  Boy oh boy, I am glad I selected some recipes that did not require too much oven time. 
Last week I met Emma for a snack at Bakeri, where I ordered a delicious avocado sandwich with a small scoop of chickpea salad.  OMG the salad was so simple but so incredible.  I sat there chewing like some a-hole foodie trying to figure out the ingredients to recreate it.  It was worth it.  I’ve made the dish twice in the past week – for the Dinner with the Band premiere celebration and then tonight. 
I don’t have exact measurements for this, so just do whatever tastes best.
Chickpea Salad
Bakeri Chickpea Salad
1 can of garbanzo beans (or you can use fresh ones, you snob)Juice of 1 1/2 lemons1/4 cup of parsley1/4 cup of chopped red onion1 tbls of mustard seedsalt and pepper to taste
The other two things I made were from recipes I found using Tastespotting. If you have not used this site, DO IT!  Lovely pictures + great recipes.  It’s the Hypemachine of food.
Orange and Fennel Salad
Orange and Fennel Salad (from Cate’s World)
makes 3 small servings
1 medium fennel bulb , thinly sliced (slice the celery-looking stalks too) 1 medium navel orange, cut into sections 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Toss the fennel, oranges, and red onion in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour over the fennel mixture and toss well.
Chill for about 20 minutes, covered, then sprinkle with walnuts to serve.
(I made this with 2 big fennel bulbs and it made about 5 servings. Toast the walnuts.  Makes a big difference. Also, I have no idea how to cut oranges properly.  Totally embarrassing.)
Maple Sesame Tofu (adapted from andthenidontdothedishes)
I saw this recipe and was jealous that I didn’t eat salmon… I remember something similar to this that my mom used to make with cod – one of the only fish dishes I liked as a kid (except salmon mashed with a ton of mayonnaise.)  I figured that the marinade would be just as tasty with a firm tofu, so I went-a-marinating. Toasted sesame seeds are key. 
Salmon or trout fillets (enough for 4 to 6 people) Tofu Steak* 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium) 2 tsp rice vinegar 1 tsp sesame oil 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce of your choice) Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Pour over the tofu and let it marinate.
I have a convection oven, so this sort of dish required a bit more attention.. but if you go by the recipe directions, you should run things under a broiler for 10 mins.
The final product:
Sunday Dinner
Jenn is a big fan of all things meat, so she was pleased with the tofu marinade (and was thinking of meats to apply it to) and even liked the fennel well (it can be a bit licoricey but the citrus juice mellows it out a ton.)  Also joining us for dinner was her friend Paul who  is in town with his company 2 Player covering their friends at Penny Arcade being honored as one of Time Magazine’s Top 100.  COOL!
* Jenn told me that if you freeze any style of tofu and then cook it, it changed the molecularblahblahblah and it basically easier/firmer to eat/cook