Tofu can become extremely boring. I would never try to deny that fact. But once you embrace its blandness, you can make magic happen. Tonight I opted for a bit of a Southern take on tofu. A spicy cumin-tofu scramble, studded with black beans, peppers and onions, and collards. I also made a quick jalapeño cornbread, because I’ll admit, I have a weakness for carbs. So sue me! Regardless, this is a healthy, high protein, super easy weeknight dinner that will make a tofu lover out of the most obstinate carnivore. Recipes after the jump.

Cumin Tofu Scramble
Serves 4

1 package of extra firm tofu
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
2 c. chopped collard greens (can be subbed for chard, spinach, or kale)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, minced (seeds removed)
1 T. cumin
1 1/2 t. coriander
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. chili powder
salt to taste
sour cream, lime, and cilantro for garnish

Heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil or olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, jalapeño and garlic and stir. Cook the vegetables over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers have softened a bit, about 5 minutes. Drain the tofu and crumble into the pot. Add the spices and a generous sprinkling of salt. Stir to incorporate. Add the greens and put the lid on the pot for about 5 minutes, to help the greens start wilting. Add the drained black beans and stir. Taste for seasoning and add any spices you feel lacking (tofu absorbs flavor like crazy). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until any water from the tofu has evaporated and the collard greens are nice and tender, about another 10 minutes. I like to top with a dollop of sour cream with lime juice mixed in, and lots of chopped cilantro.

This would be extra good with the addition of almost any veggie, depending on the season. Certainly tomato, corn or zucchini would be quite at home in the summertime.

Jalapeño Cornbread

3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 small jalapeño, minced, with seeds
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
4 T. butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8×8 metal or pyrex baking pan. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Stir in jalapeño. Whisk buttermilk and eggs in medium bowl to blend, then whisk in melted butter. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cornbread until lightly browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Try not to eat it all right away — it’s best cooled in the pan.