Tofu Scramble with Tomato Thyme Gravy – Crunk Style!


Cookin’ Crunk by Bianca Phillips hit stores last year. I’ve made several recipes from the book, and enjoyed them immensely. So when I got an email from Bianca inviting me to participate in this promotion, I enthusiastically said yes! I’ve recently fallen in love with Asheville, North Carolina, which (besides Cookin’ Crunk) is my only exposure to Southern cooking.

During this love affair with Asheville, we’ve been fortunate to indulge in many incredible meals prepared by Jason Sellers at Plant. That’s where I learned to love grits, and pecan crusted seitan (me, a nut hater!), and many more dishes. It was during brunch at Plant with our friend John P that I first heard of tomato gravy. It’s been in the back of my mind ever since, and seemed the perfect choice for this “crunking” of one of my signature dishes: tofu scramble.

I make tofu scramble every weekend and in every way imaginable. While the vegetables and seasonings vary, I think I’ve figured out the technique to get the kind of scramble I love. Being weird about textures, I like super pressed tofu, cooked dry, with a sauce on top. I’m sure you see where this is going: Crunk Scramble with Tomato Thyme Gravy. The gravy is a knock-out! I almost always think of tomatoes in sauces Italian style. The Southern version is so different! It’s smoky and addictive and is sure to become a fixture in my menu planning. Maybe it will in yours, too!

The scramble is prepared my usual way, starting with cooking the tofu until golden before adding the seasonings and vegetables. This version is made with onions, peppers, swiss chard, and mushrooms, which are barely cooked to retain their texture. Greens are almost always in our scrambles, adding such great flavor! For the seasoning, I used a Cajun blend from Penzey’s. I couldn’t resist serving this with Quick and Easy Hash Browns from my soon–to-be- released Grills Gone Vegan book.

Speaking of soon-to-be-released, don’t miss Whole Grain Vegan Baking  (out in April!) which is co-authored by Celine Steen. We’re also teaming up for another book to hit the shelves next spring. The working title is Vegan Finger Food!  It will be filled with appetizers, small plates, snacks, skewers and even some mini desserts!

In the meantime, give this crunked up scramble a try. It is a fantastic way to start or finish any day. Thanks to Bianca for spurring me on to cook outside the box a little, to Jason Sellers for lots of cooking inspiration, and to John P for wonderful conversation and introducing us to Asheville.


Tomato Thyme Gravy

Originally made with butter and bacon drippings, this lighter version of tomato gravy doesn’t  miss a beat. It’s amazingly versatile, so store any leftovers (if you have them!) in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

1/2 cup finely minced onion

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (15 ounce can) diced tomatoes with juice (I use no salt added)

3/4 cup tomato juice

1 tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce (or more to taste)

2 teaspoons liquid smoke


Heat the onion, flour, oil, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring 3 to 4 minutes, until the flour is cooked. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: 2 cups



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  1. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you sooooo much Tami!! I updated my blog post to add this link and then I tweeted your URL, Facebook-ed it, and pinned it to the Keep on Crunkin’ board!! You’re the BESTEST!!!

    P.S. I may have accidentally posted this same comment on the Superbowl post. Oops! Just ignore that!

  2. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It’s my pleasure, Bianca! I love your book and am happy to tell people about it!

  3. in2insight
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    This looks good, so good in fact that it’s going on the weekend menu.
    SO happy to hear about all the great books to be. No grass growing under your feet…. :)
    If ever you need a tester, let me know.

  4. Posted February 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Really? You’d be interested in testing? You’re on! I’ll shoot you an email tomorrow with the basics.

    We’ve all got to eat, so I might as well keep cooking. 😉

    Thanks!!! And hope you enjoy the gravy, too.

  5. Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Yay for all forms of gravy! Your version of tomato gravy looks fantastic, and very authentic. I look forward to trying it soon (as in maybe tonight).

  6. Tami
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I figured it wasn’t authentic at all! Let me know if you try it. :)

  7. Posted February 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Ooh this looks delicious! I love a tofu scramble, and tomato grave sounds like it would really up the scramble ante!

  8. Posted February 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Becky! Let me know if you try it!

  9. Liz Ardell
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to let you know that my husband won’t eat a tofu scramble without red thyme gravy now. Its a definite staple in our meals. Also, if you totally forget to add the tomato juice (I use V8), its still good, just alot more chunky instead of gravy like! And you inspired me to buy Vegan Crunk cookbook. YUM! Made the dill potato salad for a cookout on Mother’s Day, and I received many compliments. My family likes spicy, so my brother requested to use some sort of pickled pepper instead of green olives next time. Also made the Crunk version of a tofu scramble made with soymilk instead of water. Totally yummy! Oh, and I made the Jalepeno Buttermilk Cornbread too from the Crunk. Another winner!

  10. Tami
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    How cool that the gravy is a hit! Sounds like you are getting use out of Vegan Crunk! Happy cooking!

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