The Art of Tofu

So many times I have been to a restaurant or someone has made something with tofu in it and it’s just soggy and bland. It’s no wonder why people make fun of it and say it’s gross. Tofu is an art, and it is not that difficult of an art to master. You gotta treat it right, and by right I mean squishing the bejesus out of it.

Let’s start from the beginning: You buy a block of tofu and it sits in the fridge for a few days, right? Do you eventually forget about it? Then it goes past the date? Like way past the date and you have to throw it out?

No longer shall this happen! I am here to teach you the art of tofu, starting with this easy recipe.

Okay so I forgot to take photos of the first part, but don’t worry, it’s super simple to explain. Once you take the block of tofu out of the package, you need to press it. Now, I have a fancy tofu press that my sister bought me years ago, but you can make a makeshift one by getting a plate and lining it with paper towels. Place the block on the lined plate, with another layer of paper towel on top. Place a tray on top, and weigh it down with books or cans. You’ll probably have to replace the paper towels a couple of times because I always have to press mine for about an hour, and you will not believe the amount of liquid. I highly recommend a press because it is less wasteful than using a bunch of paper towels, but it’s not necessary.

So you’ve got your squeezed out block of tofu. Now, it’s time to marinate!

Wait, let’s backtrack. I have tried two different steps to this: slicing the tofu first, and leaving it as a block. Slicing them first definitely seems to get a more even marinade, but either way was still really good, so do what you want 🙂 My favorite way to marinate tofu is with a simple mixture of soy sauce, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper. There are thousands of ways to marinate: lemon pepper, salt and vinegar, hot sauce, literally anything you can think of, you can marinate tofu in. Marinate for at least an hour or two but I’ve marinated overnight before.

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(To be fair I gave whole block marinating one more chance. It didn’t work as well yet again so just go ahead and slice!)

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Heat up some coconut oil in a pan….

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And cook! Now, Some people like to cook tofu for a really long time, some people don’t. I am one of those people who constantly flips things so I just go with the flow. Look, if you pressed and marinated it, it’ll be great 🙂

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Look how pretty these savory little rectangles are!

So if you used my marinade, you now have a batch of salty smoky tofu. What to do? Ummmm a TLT obviously!

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Now normally I would not use that much vegenaise but with BLTs the mayo was always heavy so I tried to make it as legit as possible. I just swallowed the last bite and now I am sad. But, now there’s a tupperware of these babies in my fridge so, I’m set for the week!

Let me know if you make these, what kind of marinade you use, and how it turns out!

Two Years and a Sandwich

Today marks my two year anniversary with this little blog! I know I took a couple hiatuses, some announced and some not, but I cannot believe I’ve been here that long and am continuing to grow!

So to mark my two year anniversary, I thought I would post my first 100% vegan recipe! I found this recipe over at The Vegan Stoner (teehee! I know someone I have got to buy their cookbook for…). It’s a fairly simple recipe for a wonderful sandwich. Cucumbers and dill are the main event, and for me, nothing screams summer like a fresh cucumber!

I added an ingredient to this recipe, which I will list below:

Ingredients:

Two slices of vegan bread (I used Ezekial 4:9 Sesame gluten free bread)

About 1/4 cucumber, sliced thin

2-3 slices tomato

Alfaalfa sprouts (Optional, this is the ingredient I added)

Vegenaise (enough to spread on both slices of bread)

Dill

Salt

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Toast the bread. Slice the cucumber and tomato. Mix Vegenaise with dill to taste.

Spread the dill-naise on the toasted bread, and layer in the cucumbers, tomato, and alfaalfa. Put it all together, serve with some multicolored carrots, and enjoy!

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This sandwich was awesome, fast, and pretty cheap. It was also made me feel full without feeling stuffed, which is an awful feeling. I plan on making this again very soon, as it is the perfect lunch for the workweek!

As the weekend comes to a close, I’m preparing to have the most successful and productive week I can! I hope everyone had a GREAT weekend, and you shall hear from me soon!

Peace,

Stephanie

Changes

 

So it’s August now, but I hope everyone had a GREAT Fourth of July holiday last month! I know I did. I went home to my parents’ house, and had two straight days of amazing food, drink, gun and bow shooting, swimming, and overall relaxing. I love going home, and now that I live further away it makes it all the more special. I cannot stress how important family is to me; they come first and foremost, and the love in my true home is unsurpassable.

This year has presented itself with a lot of changes so far. From becoming single to moving to a new apartment, it feels like every day has been a new adventure. About a month ago, I was enjoying a glass of wine on my porch one balmy Friday night and I was thinking about the past 26 years of my life.

I am generally a very happy, optimistic person. I was not always this way: toward the end of high school and the first two years of college, there was definitely a series of unfortunate events that kept me in a dark place for a very long time. There were a couple things that kept me going, but the one that stood out to me the other night was this: I was vegan.

It was an ethical choice, and I got lucky to have a very supportive family who helped me out. I kept learning all about food and new vegetables and how to cook them, and I have to say my cooking skills definitely improved. Once I was out on my own, I made the choice to eat eggs, dairy and meat again because it was easier on my minimum wage wallet. Recently, especially after having moved into my own place, I realized that I’ve been basically eating vegan this whole time. Then I made a new friend at open mic night, and he is vegan, which I took as a sign. I stopped flirting with it. I am now officially vegan.

I’m not going to preach my opinions or throw slaughterhouse videos in your face. I’m just giving y’all a heads up that my recipes are about to change! I’m pretty excited about going back, it was something that helped me when I was in the dark place, something dear to my heart, and something that makes me feel mentally and physically well.

Have a great weekend!