You’ll be strong to the finish when you start your day with a hearty Spinach Tofu Scramble! The Vegan Popeye is ultimate vegan breakfast, brunch or brinner dish! This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
The Vegan Popeye Spinach Tofu Scramble
There’s a small chain of independent pancakes houses in Northern New Jersey that has quite a few vegan items on the menu, including a few tofu scrambles. The Vegan Popeye is loaded with spinach and mushrooms, and it’s my favorite. They serve it with home fries and whole wheat toast, and it makes for a deliciously filling weekend brunch.
We used to treat ourselves to breakfast at one of the pancake houses on weekends, but but these days we aren't eating out so often. Instead, we like to make our favorite tofu scramble at home.
This scramble is easy to make, yet it makes a terrific breakfast treat. It might not build instant muscles or help you fight Bluto, but it will definitely satisfy your taste buds and fuel you through your morning.
Pressing Your Tofu
I ran into a little hubbub on Facebook recently when I posted a meme about pressing tofu. A few people said it's not necessary, which started a little fight, and people started to get nasty with each other. I deleted the arguing, because I don't allow people to get nasty on my page. There's no need to fight over tofu!
Pressing tofu removes excess water, and it helps the tofu to absorb the flavors of what it’s cooked with, so I always recommend doing it.
To press your tofu, wrap it in a towel and put something heavy on top of it, such as a cast iron pan or a cutting board topped with a few cans of beans. Leave it for about 30 minutes to an hour. If you give yourself enough time in advance, you can wrap your tofu in a towel and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. There’s no need to place anything heavy on top of it if you do it this way, as the towel will absorb the excess liquid over time.
You can also use a tofu press, such as the TofuXpress, if you have one. I’ve found that tofu only needs to be pressed for about 15 minutes when I use my press.
How to Make Your Spinach Tofu Scramble
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the onion until it begins to brown, about five minutes.
- Next you add the mushrooms, garlic, and pinch of sea salt, and cook for about five more minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown and become fragrant.
- Then you crumble the tofu and add it the pan along with the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, black salt and black pepper. Stir everything to coat the tofu in the spices, and cook the scramble for about 10 minutes or until the tofu begins to brown.
- Finally you fold in the spinach and cook for just a minute or two longer, until it begins to wilt and turn bright green.
Serving Your Tofu Scramble
I serve my tofu scramble the same way Rutherford Pancake House does, with sliced avocado, whole grain toast, and home fries.
How to Customize Your Tofu Scramble
- If you don't like mushrooms, you can substitute another vegetable. We sometimes use zucchini or red bell pepper.
- Instead of spinach, you can use another leafy green, such as baby kale or arugula.
Also known as black salt, kala namak is a type of rock salt that’s used in a lot of Southeast Asian cooking. The smell is reminiscent of sulfur, and it has a bit of an eggy taste to it, so I use it often in tofu scrambles and omelets. I buy it at an Indian grocery store, where a 3-ounce bag usually only costs a buck or so.
The Vegan Popeye Tofu Scramble
- 1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 10 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- pinch sea salt
- 1 14-ounce block firm or extra-firm tofu drained and pressed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 16 ounces baby spinach
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to brown, about five minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and pinch of sea salt, and cook for about five more minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown and become fragrant.
- Crumble the tofu and add it the pan along with the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, black salt and black pepper. Stir to coat the tofu in the spices. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the tofu begins to brown.
- Fold in the spinach and cook for just a minute or two longer, until it begins to wilt and turn bright green.
Originally posted March 20, 2017. Updated April 13, 2022.
More Tofu Breakfast Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
More Spinach Recipes You Might Like Include:
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pesto
- Spinach Mushroom Lasagna
- Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Avocado