Food & Drink Meatless in Steer City

Faking it - Who needs eggs when Tofu Scrambler will do?

One morning, Paul McCartney awoke with a song running through his head. It had a melancholy melody, but no words. So until he wrote "Yesterday," he used as a placeholder the phrase "scrambled eggs."

While the traditional breakfast entree helped inspire one of rock's biggest hits, there's a shadow hanging over vegans and those allergic to eggs. Enter Tofu Scramble, which, served with a side of faux sausage, is a protein-mighty substitute for an artery-blocking breakfast, and might fool æ at least visually æ a rookie waitress at Denny's.

Tofu Scramble is such an easy game to play: a mixture of barley flakes, tumeric, and dehydrated potatoes, onions, garlic, celery, and red peppers. Mix a package of the powder with 12 ounces of crumbled, extra-firm tofu, add 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet (I eyeball it), and fry'er up until it begins to brown and is hot throughout. Meanwhile, cook two frozen faux sausages in the microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds. Voila! All your troubles seem so far away.

A word of disclosure: Tofu Scramble resembles scrambled eggs, but it doesn't taste like them. Tofu is bland and soaks up the flavors of whatever it's marinated, fried, or mixed with. In the case of Tofu Scramble, it has an eggy consistency, but a spicy taste.

As for the "sausages," try any of the many soy-based breakfast patties available in the frozen-food section, but Morningstar Farms' brand holds together well and with a genuine blend of spices and chewy texture, easily passes for the delicious entrails, tails, testicles, and goddess-knows-what else that lurks inside pork sausage. With ingredients soy protein and wheat gluten, I wouldn't be afraid to watch soy sausage being made, but please check the label, as some faux sausages contain egg whites.

Add several drops of hot sauce to the Tofu Scramble, brew a pot of fair-trade coffee, and as McCartney (who in his post-Beatles days became a vegetarian) would sing, "Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mmmm."

By Lisa Sorg