Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tofu to Gail: "Press Me at Your Own Risk!"
... No More!

Just last week I was saying how a TofuXpress was at the top of my wish list. And look what arrived in the mail yesterday!


When I first heard about the TofuXpress from my friend, Bryanna, I didn't think I really needed one. After all, anyone can build a "tofu tower" out of heavy items they have lying around the house. So this is how I used to press my tofu:


No less than five minutes after I completed my last tofu tower, it all came crashing down. I ran into the kitchen to find a floor full of broken shards of glass, porcelain, and grains of rice scattered everywhere. I admit that I went a bit overboard with this one, but to be honest, it wasn't the first time this had happened. I realized then that I really needed a TofuXpress. So I stopped being foolish, and I got one.

Now I can make The Great Untuna Salad


and Scrambled Tofu (recipe below)


without turning my kitchen into a hazard zone. So, that's just what I did today. I used my new handy-dandy TofuXpress and made a tofu scramble for dinner. I loved not making my hands red and chilled from crumbling tofu that still had the last vestiges of cold water in it. And it crumbled so easily! In only an hour, the TofuXpress removed more water from my block of tofu than any tofu tower ever could. See how bone-dry this block of tofu looks:


It's hard to tell from the photo, but this block of tofu compressed to about two thirds it's original size. I can't even imagine how much more water would have been pressed out had I left it in the press overnight.

My TofuXpress came with everything you see here:


including a marinating lid, instruction booklet and recipe guides, and a light tension spring attachment for silken tofu and for making vegan cheese and yogurt. (Apparently, this is an optional item, but one I thought would come in very handy.) The TofuXpress also comes with a 1-year limited warranty, although with its sturdy construction, it seems rather indestructible to me.

While reading the instruction guide, I discovered that the TofuXpress can also be used to squeeze the water out of defrosted frozen spinach. That was super exciting news to me, because my hands get nearly frostbitten whenever I try to squeeze all the water from frozen spinach when making Pizza Bombay from Vegan Planet.

I often write about how much I enjoy eating breakfast for dinner. My recipe for Garden Tofu Scramble served with Smoky Tempeh Strips and Roasted Potatoes is one of my favorite go-to breakfast-for-dinner meals. And now that I have my very own TofuXpress, I'll probably be making it even more often.


I used to think that $39.95 was a steep price tag to pay for this nifty gadget. But much like my Cuisinart immersion blender, it's one of those kitchen tools I didn't think I needed until I got one. Now I am kicking myself in the butt for not having purchased a TofuXpress years ago. It makes life a little easier (and in my case, a lot safer) and my tofu doesn't mock me anymore. If you want your very own TofuXpress, head on over to their website and grab one for yourself.

I think there are as many recipes for scrambled tofu as there are snowflakes. And I really do want to try Julie Hasson's Yummy Tofu Scramble, because Bryanna has been telling me how wonderful it is! Everyone has their favorite spice blend, and most people like to add nutritional yeast. Following is my favorite recipe for Garden Tofu Scramble. I actually prefer it without the nutritional yeast. But you can of course, add up to 1/4 cup, if that suits your fancy.

Garden Tofu Scramble

Ingredients:

1 lb extra firm tofu (I use White Wave Reduced Fat Tofu drained and pressed)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 green onions, chopped
3 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups packed spinach leaves

Directions:

Using your hands, crumble tofu into a bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sauté green onions 3 minutes until slightly softened, then mix in tofu and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add soy sauce, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add spices, and mix together well.

Mix in the shredded carrots and red bell pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes. Then add the broccoli florets and about a cup of spinach. Stir well, then add remaining spinach. Stir, and cover skillet. Continue cooking until spinach is completely wilted, about 5 minutes more. Makes 4 large servings.

13 comments:

avegangirl said...

Oh, no! Something else I gotta have? I can totally relate to your tofu-pressing experiences. I'm putting a bug in Santa's ear right now. It's never too early to start your Christmas list. Thanks for sharing! I'd never heard of a TofuXpress before.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Way to go, Gail! It's a great tool and doesn't take up much room, either!

Jacklyn said...

haha your tower looks funny..I usually just put a cutting board and a can or two on top. The press looks like something I still must have though, since I usually waste a lot of paper towels to wrap the tofu in. Thank you for sharing this!

Angel said...

Like Jacklyn, I am also tired of wasting paper towels to press out tofu. This looks like a wonderful gadget. And your tofu scramble looks delicious!!! Thanks so much for posting.

Lisa said...

I want one of these! Your tofu tuna and garden scramble look amazing, too. Can you please invite me over for breakfast, lunch, or dinner sometime?

JL Goes Vegan said...

Isn't it the best???? I love mine and can't imagine using anything else again!

Sava said...

Even though it must have been a pain once it fell, your description of your tofu tower made me laugh pretty hard.

I don't think I've ever made a "tofu tower' that big, and I'm actually impressed you got it to stand long enough to take a picture, much less five whole minutes!

That does look like a useful gadget to have, though!

Vegiegail said...

I'm delighted that my foray into faulty kitchen architecture is bringing so many laughs! I laughed pretty hard myself, once I looked at the photo and realized what a dodo I am sometimes!

Justine said...

I didn't know I needed a TofuXpress, but now I definitely do! I'm also tired of cold hands, wasting paper towels, and taking up precious limited counter space with my own version of the tofu tower, made with wooden cutting boards and books.

Your garden scramble looks so delicious, that I can hardly wait to try it. I've made your untuna salad several times already. The kids are really happy when they find it packed in their lunchboxes.

Anonymous said...

I want one! (Meaning the Garden Tofu Scramble. But the TofuXpress looks pretty awesome, too!)

GiGi said...

Hmmm I might just have to try me a press. I've built too many tofu towers myself. I've given legos a run for their money!

VeganMarr said...

You're tofu tower cracked me up! Yes, there had to be a better way! Too funny!

Ijeoma said...

Ooh the tofu xpress is definitely on my birthday wish list. Everytime I see it on a blog I'm green with envy. Actually more hungry with envy.