Mixed Veggie & Tofu Chilaquiles

I’ll be honest, as much as I love vegetables and healthy eating,  you mention TOFU to me and you will most likely glimpse the end of my pony tail as I run out of the room. I could easily be a vegetarian or even a part-time vegan, but I do not harbor a fondness for any of those meat substitutes like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. I would rather forgo those and have additional veggies. David however, chose this for breakfast this past weekend and since I have been loving the Thug Kitchen recipes, I gave in, even though it has tofu in it. Don’t get me wrong, tofu can be pretty horrible if not treated well, but it can also be pretty good if prepared correctly. The nice thing about tofu is that it has some great things going for it- it is low in calories and sodium, high in protein, easy to digest, cholesterol free and has a chameleon-like capability to absorb the flavors of the food with which it is cooked. In the case of this recipe, I can begrudgingly say ‘3 cheers for tofu’. Crumbled and cooked with soy sauce and garlic powder, then mixed with nutritional yeast it tastes really good. Chilaquiles is one of my favorite dishes to eat for breakfast. I love the ones at Xoco in Chicago, and the best ones I’ve ever eaten were at Anepalco in Orange, California. David and I ate there for breakfast many times when we lived out there and it’s one of the eateries we still miss. Chilaquiles originated as a way to use leftovers. It consists of corn tortilla strips sautéed with other foods like chiles, cheese, chorizo and shredded chicken or beef. Instead of taking the time to crisp up the tortillas in the oven, I just substituted my favorite Donkey tortilla chips, however I will include directions for preparing your own tortillas if you want to go the more authentic route. For the sake of timing, I also used store-bought salsa verde and pico de gallo.

donkeychips

from: Thug Kitchen
serves: 4-6

12 corn torillas (or about 100 chips)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 block medium-firm tofu*
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast**
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 to 2 jalapeños, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 cups fresh spinach
2 1/2 cups salsa verde (I like to use Frontera Tomatillo Salsa)
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water

topping ideas
avocado
cilantro
more jalapeños
pico de gallo
crushed tortilla chips

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Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut tortillas into 8 wedges. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes to dry out. Stir them around halfway through. It’s fine if they start to get hard in some spots, but don’t let them burn.

While the tortillas get crispy, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a big skillet over medium heat and crumble in the tofu. It might be a little watery. Stir in the soy sauce and garlic powder and let it all cook together until some of that water cooks off, about 2 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast, turn off the heat, and pour the tofu into a bowl.

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Wipe the skillet out and heat the remaining teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion,  bell pepper, and jalapeños and sauté until the onion starts to look a little brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach and cook for 30 seconds more.

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The baked tortillas should be done now, so throw about half of them in with the veggies in the skillet (or about 50 chips). Add 1 cup of the salsa and 2 tablespoons of the broth and mix together. Add half of the tofu over the whole skillet and then layer on the rest of the tortillas or chips. Top with the rest of the tofu, salsa, and broth and gently stir around to make sure the layers are coated.  Let mixture simmer together for about 2-3 minutes so that the tortillas soften a bit but still retain some crunch, and the liquid evaporates.

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Serve right away topped with sliced avocado, a sprinkle of cilantro, more jalapeños, and pico de gallo.

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*You want the kind of tofu that is packed in water, that is sold in the fridge at the store. Make sure to drain it before you start cooking.

** Nutritional yeast is NOT the same thing as brewer’s yeast if you are unfamiliar with it. Nutritional yeast is made from a deactivated form of yeast grown on a molasses medium. It has a nutty and cheese-like flavor, so it’s often used to season dairy-free meals. It’s also a delicious and convenient source of amino acids, important minerals, folic acid, and vitamin B12. It is available in flakes or a fine powder, often in the bulk section. The flakes are preferable, because they have more flavor.

 

 

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