Greek-Inspired, Soy-Free Breakfast Scramble

[STOP THE PRESSES!!!** I am beyond thrilled to share the news that Ellen (yes, that Ellen!) has featured one of my recipes on her “Going Vegan with Ellen” website! Thank you, thank you, Ellen, once again for your generosity in sharing my recipes! And thank you to reader Weisserose for letting me know about it in the comments yesterday. My mouth is still sore from smiling so much! (or could that be just because I basically never shut up? 😉 ]


One of the things I loved about attending university in the only Canadian city south of its closest American counterpart was. . . . shopping in the States. 

Sure, I loved the fact that the University of Windsor was small enough that all of my profs knew me by first name (and many welcomed students at their regular “lunch meetings” at the local pub). Or that it was possible to actually become close friends with my beloved mentor, with whom I remained in touch and from whom I continued to solicit advice on life, love and literature right up until he died (far too early, at age 66).  Or that U of W’s  literature profs were revered, famous or a little bit crazy .  Or even that the university was located near one of the all-time best Chinese dim sum places I’ve ever had the pleasure of frequenting.

But what really made it seem fun to be in Windsor (because, let’s face it, Windsor on its own needs quite a bit of help in that area) was heading across the Ambassador bridge to Detroit and spending an afternoon at the Fairlane Mall.  In those days, Canadian money was accepted at par–a perfect invitation to a twenty-something  fashion-obsessed female undergrad. And once the shopping was done, the new earrings, belts, mini-skirts and knee-high boots  donned and the old outfit (which I’d been wearing while shopping) shoved into garbage bins in the mall’s public restroom, there was the inevitable trip to Greektown, the downtown section of the city close to the Detroit River.  It was there amid many a wooden table and bench, whitewashed walls and robin’s egg blue décor that my first boyfriend and I spent countless evenings enjoying dinners together.

I’ll never forget the excitement of seeing my first performance of Saganki, also known as flambé Kalofagas cheese.  First, a swarthy waiter swaggers over to your table, compact cast iron skillet balanced on a heavy towel that he brandishes on his outstretched hand.  He dips the skillet down toward your table, splashes it with a good dousing of brandy, and with consummate showmanship, sets it aflame, shouting, “OPA!” with a flourish.  The surrounding patrons all emit cries of “Ooooh!!” and “Ahhh!” as if the server has embodied one of the unfortunate drummers from Spinal Tap, about to spontaneously combust. He extinguishes the flames with a deft squeeze of lemon juice, leaving the skillet behind for you to dive in, relishing the salty, rubbery, lemon-kissed cheese.

While I no longer eat most of those Greek delicacies these days, I still love many of the Mediterranean-inspired components like salty, briny olives, oregano-infused tomato sauces and the fruity aroma of unrefined olive oil. What could be more appetizing, really (besides an entirely new wardrobe, at par)?

For this dish, I decided to combine some of my favorite Greek flavors in a breakfast scramble that offers a great alternative to tofu.  Modeled after the concept of my Green “Eggs” and Ham recipe, the scramble is fragrant with oregano, basil and thyme; pungent with black, oil-cured olives; and punctutated by bursts of juicy grape tomatoes. Best of all, the chickpea base provides a substantial serving of protein to get you going in the morning in a form that imitates the appearance of scrambled eggs incredibly well.

And while I wouldn’t recommend setting it ablaze, you might nevertheless find your kitchen infiltrated with “oohs” and “aaahs” once people taste their first forkful of this scramble. 

** Of course I realize that there’s probably no longer any such thing as “presses”  these days, what with digital media, interwebs, iPhones, yadda yadda.  But some expressions are not meant to be updated.  I mean, can you imagine saying, “Walk a kilometer in my shoes”?  Or “rose-colored contact lenses”? Or “sounds like a broken MP3”? Or “The best thing since sliced foccacia”? Or “don’t put all your (free-range, organic) eggs in one recycled paper carton”? Or “out of the frying pan and into the six-burner gas range”? Or “$1.25 for your thoughts”? Or. . . (okay, somebody, stop me–I must be off my IKEA Poang Chair).

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I’m sharing this recipe over at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Last Year at this TimeCrunchy Green Salad (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: How I Spent My Florida Vacation Part II: Sarasota. A Copycat Recipe. And Alligators!  (Butternut and Edamame Hash–gluten free; ACD all stages).

Three Years Ago: Three Shindigs and a Midterm (Break)

Four Years Ago: Bangkok Noodles with Cashews and Pineapple (gluten free; not ACD friendly)

© Ricki Heller

[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]



  1. Damn, this looks fantastic. I’m currently trying to reduce my intake of soy unless it’s fermented, so this fits the bill perfectly. I’m loving my oatmeal concoction for brekkie, but a gluten free girl needs a change now and then. This will do just fine! Thanks Ricki. And congrats on being featured on Ellen’s site. That is just the best news!!!!

    • Thanks, Ellen! I find I do need to switch things up on occasion, and this really helped. And thanks for the congrats–still floating! 😀

  2. Awesome recipe Ricki, great healthy substitutes. And congratulations on your recipe being published on Ellen Degeneres’ website!!! Way to go!

  3. I too try avoid soy so this is a PERFECT recipe for me!! I’ll be making it for lunch today!!!

  4. You “**” phrases just made my night. And congratulations!!! I know we’ll be seeing you on Ellen soon 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. How exciting to be featured on Ellen’s site – though I want to know why she doesn’t have more of your amazing recipes. This one looks great – I love a vegan scramble but have never tried chickpea flour – with all the extras this is very enticing. Also love hearing about your uni days – would have loved to see you exit the shopping mall in your new finery!

    • Thanks so much, Johanna! (I couldn’t agree more about the recipes–ha ha!). It was always a great day when we got to exchange the old clothes for the new ones (and avoid that pesky duty at the border, of course). 😉

  6. You rock it on Ellen! YAY!

    Love this recipe, my kind of meal! I pinned it!

  7. Congrats on being on the Ellen site.

    And thanks for this soy free recipe. I have greatly reduced my consumption of soy and can’t wait to try this.

    • Thanks so much, Sharon! It is a great alternative to soy scrambles. And you’re still getting almost the same legume-based protein, which I love. 🙂

  8. Congratz on the shout-out, Ricki! Love the look of your veggie-filled scramble… and Windsor, for me, also reminds me cross-border shopping.. and dodgy Mexican town in Detroit. 😉

    • Thanks so much! I can’t believe I lived in Windsor for four years and never went to Mexican town! We were obviously too smitten with the Greeks. 😉

  9. Very exciting to have one of your recipes featured on Ellen’s site!! 🙂 I love the way you used chickpea flour here. Adding it to my list of things to try!

  10. I am still so proud of you for getting featured on Ellen’s site. And like I said before, you totally deserve it. And now, this breakfast scramble sounds amazing. I want to eat breakfast with you on a regular basis! 😉

  11. This is an amazing recipe! I’ve thought of doing a quiche-type thing with socca and you’ve taken it one step further! I love it. I find tofu hard to digest, but I LOVE scramble. We will be trying this. Thank you.

  12. OMG!! Congrats!! I love, love, LOVE Ellen!

    And I must say, this scramble looks fantastic. I wish I would have had this for breakfast instead of my oatmeal. I don’t say that very often.. =)

    • Thank you so much, Lauren! I love her, too. 😀 And glad you like the look of the scramble. It was very satisfying (but quite different from oatmeal). 🙂

  13. I love the flavors in this scramble, what a creative idea! I also loved reading your story about crossing the border to go shopping….I love doing that too, although now I’m more excited to shop in the grocery stores rather than clothes stores so I can bring back all kinds of goodies that we don’t have here in Canada!

    • Ha, ha! Yes, I’d have to agree that the grocery stores are more interesting for me these days, too! I know–aren’t there so many great products available in the US that we can’t get? Grrr!

  14. This is so weird, literally an hour before I read this I was looking online for chickpea scrambles. It looks so good!
    Congrats! I knew sooner or later you’d be featured on Ellen, now you’re just one step closer to being on the show!!

    • Maggie, wow, that IS weird!! I had never found one, so I just made up my own. 🙂 And thanks for the congrats, too. I was in heaven having my book on her site, but now the recipe as well is just so gratifying. And you’re right–an invite to the show would top everything!

  15. yay for ellen featuring your recipe 🙂

  16. Holy guacamole! That is fantastic news, Ricki! Kudos!!!

  17. Congratulations Ricki-that is absolutely fabulous!!! You deserve the feature by the way. Your recipes always make me drool. What a great scramble and I love that it is soy-free!

  18. Courtney says

    First of all, how cool are you?! Well, we all know super cool, but now you are even cooler and featured on Ellen’s website 🙂 That is awesome. Congrats!
    Second of all, that scramble looks and sounds amazing. I never would have thought of using chickpea flour that way…it is intriguing. I have to try it!


    • Ha, ha!! Yes, very cool at the moment since it’s below zero here!! ;). Thanks so much. I’m totally honored and thrilled. And I think you’ll love the scramble, too! 🙂

  19. This sounds like a fantastic recipe and it looks delicious too! I have made some fairly plain chickpea “eggs” before which my husband adores so I’ll have to give this a try one day. Congrats on being featured on Ellen’s site, that’s fantastic and very well deserved. 😀

    • Mel, thank you so much! I tried the recipe in a plainer version first but it wasn’t my favorite. I love the bite of the olives in this one. 🙂

  20. I’m a little late to the table but I just had to add my two dollars. (sorry) This sounds like a scrambled version of the Spanish potato tortilla that I love so much, with slightly different ingredients. It sounds wonderful, and perfect for a light supper as well as breakfast.

    If Ellen is cooking and enjoying your recipes, it’s just a matter of time before she demands to meet you! You really should start shopping for your TV appearance, don’t you think? 🙂

    • Andrea, har har!! Don’t worry, I’ve already got the blazer hanging in the closet 😉 . Now I’m headed back to your blog to find that potato tortilla again–I bet these flavors would be awesome with potato! (And I highly doubt that Ellen herself is cooking and/or eating my recipes, actually. . . but some office intern is probably really enjoying them). 😉

  21. Andrea S says

    I just made this for dinner, super deeeelicious! I used kalamata olives. Fantastic!!!!!!

  22. Looks amazing; you are so talented. I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it.
    Have a wonderful Monday!

  23. Looks great. We are soy-free vegans and I was wondering how to replace our much-missed tofu scrambles. Thanks 🙂

  24. Made it twice and LOVED it! 🙂

    I’m married to a Greek, so this recipe is especially appreciated! Thanks Ricki.

  25. Thanks so much for the terrific recipe! I recently decided to go vegan, and I found that scrambled eggs were the animal product that I missed the most. I made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing. I think I like it even better than “real” scrambled eggs.

    • Hi Carrie,
      Thanks so much for your comment–and for letting me know! It’s been so long since I had “real” scrambled eggs that I don’t really remember their exact texture, but I’d say I love the fact that these have such a firm, substantial texture. So glad you liked it! 😀

  26. Weisserose says

    Tried this recipe today and it is really very good. 🙂

    • Glad you liked it! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know! (Hmmmm. . . might just be what I have for breakfast today!) 😀

  27. Is this something I can make tonight for breakfast tomorrow? Does it reheat ok?

    • Nicole, it should reheat fine (I’d bake it in a casserole with a tiny touch of water, rather than re-heat in a frypan, as it might get too brown that way). HOWEVER, I have never had any left over, so I couldn’t say for sure! If you try it, would you come back and let me know how it worked (or didn’t work)? 🙂


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