TofuXpress Review

I am so excited to enter into the world of reviewing products that enhance my vegan cooking or are a compliment to the vegan lifestyle. In coming weeks, I will be reviewing several products - I am thrilled!
Richard Green, Operations Manager of TofuXpress, kindly corresponded with me and set up the delivery of a TofuXpress to my doorstep. He was very helpful and quick to respond to my inquiries about this product. The customer service he provided was fabulous. As you will see in my reviews, I am BIG on customer service! Probably most people like to have good customer service but CS is so important to me that I will choose one company over another sometimes, depending on how great the CS was, rather than simply on price of the product.
Back to the product! I was sooo excited to receive this gem in the mail the other day and have been totally impressed by the ease of use and the efficiency of TofuXpress. When I opened the box, I had no idea how the little box worked but soon realized how completely simple it was to use (I love things that don't take a degree in rocket science to figure out :-) ). Within seconds of reading the instructions, I had a block of tofu in place and being pressed!
I let my tofu sit overnight in the fridge in the press and came out with terrific results! A nice, firm block of tofu!I have seen info on tofu presses over the course ofmy vegan journey but always thought "It's not the big of a deal to put my tofu on a plate and pile a cast iron an lots of other heavy objects on top to press my tofu. Why spend money on such a luxury as a tofu press?" Well, now that I have experienced the ease of use, the convenience of a gadget that perfectly contours to blocks of tofu and takes up a minute amount of space in my fridge (on on my shelf when I am not pressing), I have discovered the worth of having one! If you are a frequent user of tofu, this is a kitchen tool you will want to invest in!I was delighted to find that the TofuXpress also comes with a marinating lid so you can leave your pressed tofu in the container, pour in your marinade, and snap on the lid for a perfectly convenient marinating vessel! Another great feature is the simple fact that it is Made in the USA! Yay! Gotta love that as an added and significant bonus! The TofuXpress can also be used to press water out of things like frozen spinach or canned goods - added product feature! An attachment can also be purchased for making vegan cheese and yogurt - I think I see one of those in my future! You can visit the TofuXpress site for more info and pricing details ( I give this company at definite 10 for customer service and another 10 for product efficiency, ease of use, and overall value! Love it! Look for some new tofu recipes in upcoming days, using my nicely pressed tofu!!

I love the option of the marinating lid on this press. It allows you to easily marinate a block of tofu right after pressing it. No extra dishes! The lid seals pefectly and allows you to flip the container during marinating to ensure all parts are coated.
This tofu recipe is probably the best I have ever made! It was a hit with the whole family - my husband raved over it! Imagine - my husband who wouldn't have touched tofu a few months ago! I combined a couple of recipes and added my own touches to create this recipe and it will be a staple in our family I do believe!! Enjoy!

Ginger Soy Marinated Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Marinade (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes):
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 t ground ginger

Peanut Sauce (this makes a pretty big batch of sauce. You can use all of it if you want or use enough to coat your tofu and save the rest for sauce on a Thai pizza or to spread over veggies and rice): (adapted from Eat Drink and Be Vegan)
2/3 cup natural peanut butter

1/3 cup ketchup
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 T fresh chopped ginger
1/4 t crushed red pepper (used a lot more than that!)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 T additional coconut milk

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, preferrably using a TofuXpress for the easiest and most efficient method

After tofu has been pressed, combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir. Pour over tofu and place marinating lid on top of press, as instructed. Marinate for 30 min. Meanwhile, combine peanut sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and heat over low heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove tofu from marinade. Slice lengthwise into 1/4in slices. Heat small amount of oil in a cast iron skillet. Place slices of tofu in hot oiled pan. Brown tofu on both sides. Place on paper towels to drained excess oil. Repeat with all slices. Place tofu in a baking dish or on a platter. Slather with peanut sauce and serve atop rice.

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Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.