One of the first recipes that I learned as a new vegan was tofu scramble. I must have made it at least three times a week for a year. It was quick, easy, nutritious, and it made for good breakfast or take-to-work lunch leftovers. The other evening, I was craving tofu scramble but realized that I didn’t have any tofu in the fridge. What I did have was a couple cans chickpeas, and this quick & easy chickpea scramble is the wonderful dish that resulted.
Like traditional tofu scramble, this dish features sautéed veggies, turmeric and other spices, and nutritional yeast. It’s just a different protein base, and in many ways it’s a nice change of pace; chickpeas are more toothsome and impart more texture than tofu, and if you let them crisp up a little in the skillet, they’re especially delightful. The recipe is also a nice option for those with soy allergies.
You can use either home-cooked or canned chickpeas in this recipe; both will work very nicely. And if you don’t have chickpeas, try using black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, or cannellini beans instead.
Bean skillets are quick, economical, and easy. The fact that chickpeas (and most legumes) are rich in protein, iron, zinc, and folate means that you won’t sacrifice nutrient quality for convenience. This is the sort of meal that makes me love vegan food — a reminder that a few humble, plant-based ingredients can create something that’s as delicious as it is nourishing.
Quick and Easy Chickpea Scramble
- 1 tablespoon olive grapeseed, or safflower oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion chopped (about 1 - 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup seeded and chopped green bell pepper
- 1 small poblano pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
- 8-10 ounces white button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
- To serve: parsley lime wedges, and 3 cups cooked quinoa or rice
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and peppers. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
- Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Mix the vegetables and cover the skillet. Allow the mushrooms to cook for another five minutes, or until they've released their liquid and are soft and cooked through.
- While the vegetables cook, mix your spices (salt, turmeric, chili powder, smoked paprika, and pepper flakes) together. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the spice blend, the nutritional yeast, and the chickpeas, as well as about a third or half cup of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly to be sure everything is well combined. Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until everything is hot and tasty. Check the mixture for seasoning and season to taste with additional spices, salt, or pepper.
- To serve, divide the chickpea scramble over even portions of cooked rice (basmati would be lovely here) or quinoa, and garnish with lime wedges and a sprinkle of parsleys. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days, and they can be frozen for up to four weeks.
I should note that this spice blend is my standard for scrambles, but it’s totally customizable. If you’d like to add some curry, cumin, or oregano to the mix, that would be great, too! The recipe also presents you with a chance to use up any vegetables that need using (the half head of broccoli you’ve got in the fridge, the zucchini you forgot about, the kale that’s about to wilt). You don’t have to serve with rice or quinoa, either: any whole grain you love is a good accompaniment to this easy, one-skillet dinner. I used red quinoa for some color contrast, and the simple, nutty flavor was a great counterpoint to the spicy scramble.
Hopefully this recipe will come in handy the next time you need to throw together something special in a pinch. For my part, I’m very grateful (and excited) that Steven and I actually succeeded in leaving enough for dinner leftovers tonight (we rarely do).
Enjoy the recipe, and I’ll be back on Thursday with a giveaway that I know you all will love!