breakfast for dinner: curried Southwest Tofu wraps and PB&J Smoothies

My little brother Mark is an insatiable eating machine. He’s 6’5″ and weighs something like 160 pounds. He’s basically just bone, muscle, and skin. He and Daddy were over for second Christmas this year, and one of the Feeding the Troops exploits was breakfast for dinner.

I served this because I think that brunch is my favourite meal, albeit the least vegan-friendly one. Everyone knows that I love a challenge, though, so maybe I’m drawn to veganifying that laziest of meals. Hopefully the zing of this helps brighten your insides wherever you are, especially in this snowy/sleety/rainy/icky weather.

Curried Southwest Tofu Wraps filling

I sort of just threw these things together. The OTHERSIDE has wicked good vegan brunch options, and I wanted to make something like their southwest wrap, but a little different. You can mash the tofu if you like, but I really like fried little tofu cubes.

For the hash browns, I tried to make nice stick-like ones, but they ended up just starchily sticking together in the pan, so I cut them into wedges. (See the note in the method for troubleshooting that stickiness.) According to Google, large wedge cuts, patties, or cube hash browns are your only options, so I’ve no idea why I was imagining a potato-stick-like version.

And for the smoothie, go crazy! Marks’ constantly making them, and I never realised that smoothies are as easy as ‘hey, blend this all together with some milk.’ I’ve got to make smoothies more often.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

For the wraps: 

1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes (or crumbled) 

oil for frying 

1 onion, diced 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced (seeds removed optionally) 

1 green pepper, chopped 

2 medium tomatoes, chopped 

2 T curry powder 

2 t garam masala 

1 t cayenne pepper 

freezer vegetables (corn, mangoes, peas, carrots, etc.) lying around, optional 

juice of half a lime (you can cut it in half and squeeze from the half, and the other half can be cut into wedges and used for garnish) 

salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked (you might not use all of it) 

1 can black beans, heated until warm 

4 large flour tortillas 

For the hash browns:

3 medium baking potatoes, grated 

1 small onion, diced 

2 T flour 

1 Ener-G egg replacer egg 

2 t cayenne pepper 

salt and freshly ground black pepper 

oil for frying 

For the smoothie:

4 c soy milk (you could use chocolate soy milk!) 

2 bananas 

4 T (1/4 c) peanut butter 

2 T jelly 

I added some chocolate protein powder 

freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish 

Method:
Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add oil (I use 2-4 T) and tofu.

In a large non-stick skillet, sauté onions over medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic and peppers and continue to sauté. When cooked, but still crunchy (just a few minutes), add tomatoes and spices and stir. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.

Check on the tofu! Keep watching it until it’s nicely golden. When done, drain and add to sauce mix. Add any odd freezer vegetables (corn, mangoes, etc.) that you may have around.

Note: For the hash browns, I think that if you rinse the grated potatoes in a colander really well (until the water running off them is clear) and squeeze dry, then the patties won’t be as chewy-sticky. If you try this, then let me know how it turns out!

Still with the hash browns, combine all ingredients (except oil) in a bowl.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil for frying hash browns. Add potato mixture either in one large layer or four patties and fry until brown. Flip and fry again. When done, remove to a plate, optionally with a towel for draining.

For the smoothie, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend. Check for taste and consistency  and adjust accordingly (if it’s too thick, then add a splash more soy milk). Pour into glasses and garnish with nutmeg.

Chocolate Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Banana Smoothie!

To make the wraps, briefly heat a wrap on a skillet until warm. Add tofu mixture, a few scoops of beans, a handful of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice in a line across. Fold the bottom side up, fold the sides over, and then wrap tightly and cut in half. Garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.

Curried Southwest Tofu Wraps and Hash Browns

Throw the hash browns onto a plate with the wrap and serve!

Garnishes: cilantro, lime wedges, and red pepper flakes
Goes well with: mimosas and coffee!, also salsa and guacamole

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