Calling all savory vegan breakfast fanatics! This Austin breakfast platter is a panoply of spicy scrambled tofu, refried beans, breakfast potatoes, and guacamole. All of your brunch favorites on one plate. Gluten-free optional. Just add corn tortillas instead of flour!
One of my favorite parts about travel is exploring the vegan scene in other cities.
Dining at restaurants that I’ve heard about for years, finding new-to-me treats in all-vegan grocery stores, and perusing compassionate clothing shops is always a highlight.
While traveling, I pack up souvenirs like bottles of hot sauce, spices, and local specialties that aren’t easy to come by where I leave. But some of the best souvenirs are the ideas that I get when I travel. After trying an amazing vegan meal in another town, I’m eager to recreate it at home.
The joy of travel lasts much longer than the actual trip. It continues when I’m back home in my kitchen, recreating flavors and recounting happy times.
Today’s recipe was inspired by a trip to Austin, Texas about two years ago for the final Vida Vegan Con. Vida Vegan Con was a vegan bloggers’ conference. It was held twice in Portland. And then it had one last run in Austin, Texas.
Joined with some food blogging buddies, we ate several meals at Bouldin Creek Café.
It’s a vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options and a particularly noteworthy tofu scramble.
When I was at Bouldin Creek Café, I had a hard time not just ordering and re-ordering El Tipico. It’s a Southwestern style Austin breakfast with that famed tofu scramble, refried beans, and hash browns.
What makes the tofu scramble so noteworthy is that it has a dry, dense, and chewy texture that’s really different from your usual scramble. It’s coated in spices and nutritional yeast flakes.
In my version I use super firm tofu in vacuum packaging, which means no pressing is required. But feel free to use water packed tofu and press ahead of time instead.
I don’t add any additional liquid to the pan, and I’ve had no problem getting the spices to stick to the tofu. However, if you need to, add the tiniest splash of water for sticking.
The dryness of the scramble makes it work particularly well for mixing with refried beans – something dense with something creamy.
For the pictures, I put the refried beans in their own little cup, because let’s face it, refried beans just aren’t that pretty. But you can be assured that as soon as the camera was off, I dumped out the beans, and had a bite of scramble with a bite of beans for maximum flavor and texture appeal.
And of course, a few dashes of local Austin hot sauce never went amiss.
El Tipico is my dream Austin breakfast. It’s the kind of platter I would have to order anywhere, but it seems to kind of encompass the spirit of the place in one go.
Since there are several components to the Austin breakfast platter, I recommend making a double batch of refried beans earlier in the week. Enjoy them in refried bean burritos, breakfast nachos, or double decker tacos.
Then use the second half of the refried beans for this hearty Austin breakfast.
(If you’re not in the mood for potatoes, this platter would also be delicious with vegan corn cakes!)
This hearty Southwestern platter is the kind of breakfast that sticks with you… in my case about two years. 🙂
El Tipico: Austin breakfast platter
For the scrambled tofu
- Bring a large non-stick skillet to a medium heat with canola oil. Crumble the block of tofu with your fingers and spread it evenly across the skillet. For the best browning, you want the tofu to have the most skillet contact possible. So don't overcrowd.
- Let the tofu sit undisturbed on the skillet for about 4 minutes, until it's nice and toasty brown, and then stir the tofu. If it looks like it's getting too dark, lower the heat slightly. Let the tofu sit for another four minutes without moving, so that it can brown on that side as well.
- Once it's nice and brown, sprinkle the following spices across the tofu: paprika, onion powder, cumin, ancho chili powder, and kala namak. Stir to evenly distribute the spices, and break up the tofu a little, so that it's evenly coated. (If the spices aren't sticking, add a small splash of water.)
- Once the spices are evenly incorporated, add the nutritional yeast flakes, and incorporate it into the dish.
- Serve with refried beans, breakfast potatoes, warmed tortillas, guacamole, and cilantro for garnish (optional).
**Kala namak can be found in Indian grocery stores or online. It's a sulfurous salt that adds an eggy flavor. If you don't like eggy flavors, use regular table salt instead.