I adore kitchen gadgets—probably a little too much. In my dollhouse-sized kitchen (which is not as cute as it sounds!), space is at a premium, but I still can’t stop myself from acquiring new and interesting foodie tools. I’ve got two to share in this post, along with a recipe using one of them, and tomorrow I’ll show you a dish for which I utilize both gadgets (though neither one will be required to make it).
If you’ve ever come across a recipe calling for “tofu, pressed and drained,” you’ve probably either rolled your eyes and skipped it, decided to grin and bear it and dirty all the necessary appurtenances, or just skipped the pressing step altogether. The truth is, pressing and draining tofu really does make a difference in the texture, which will be firmer, chewier, and just better overall. I must admit that I used to not bother with it—who wants to put a plate on a block of tofu on a cutting board, pile cans or a brick or the family cat on top to weigh it down, and then find some way to rest the board at an angle such that the water drains into the sink? Not I. Enter TofuXpress.
I knew from the first time I saw an ad for this thing that I would covet it until I got my hands on one. So when Richard at TofuXpress sent me one to try, I was grateful and excited.
So how does it work? You just put a block of tofu in…
…and fasten on the lid. Its spring mechanism gently and slowly compresses the tofu, and the released water rises to the top.
All you do is pour off the water that collected on top, and you’ve got extra-EXTRA-firm tofu! You can press your tofu anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how dry you want the final product to be. You can also remove the spring top, pop on the included lid, and refrigerate your drained tofu in the very same container until ready to use. Clean, simple, and effortless. Here’s my tofu after just 30 minutes in the TofuXpress.
It can be used for more than just tofu, as well; for example, to press the water out of thawed frozen spinach, zucchini, eggplant, etc. You can also use it to press homemade nut cheeze! Speaking of cheeze, a great use for pressed tofu is homemade vegan ricotta.
Per serving: 114 calories, 8.1g fat (1g sat), 2.3g carbs, 1g fiber, 7.3g protein
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Crumble the tofu into a food processor or blender. Add all remaining ingredients.
- Cover and process until mostly smooth (add a splash of water if necessary). Use immediately, or transfer to a small container and refrigerate for up to a week.
The TofuXpress is such a time (and frustration!) saver, and I can already tell it will be an invaluable item to have in my kitchen for years to come. Thanks so much again to Richard at TofuXpress for sending me one!
Another kitchen gadget I recently received is a Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer, formerly known as the Spirooli. I’d been wanting to try it for quite awhile, so I was stoked when Christian at World Cuisine sent me one!
I have no doubt that many, if not most, of you guys have seen/read/heard about this device already. It’s most popularly used to make raw spaghetti with zucchini, so that’s what I tried first.
The Spiral Slicer has four rubber “feet” that grip the countertop to keep it in place as you crank the handle, which helps a lot. It comes with three different blades; two of those create spaghetti-like strands in 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch diameters.
With just a turn of the handle, I instantly had a pile of looong zucchini noodles. It pretty much comes out as one big strand, so you need to cut it as you go along (unless you want feet-long noodles!). You’re also left with the zucchini core (Averie once cracked me up by calling it a “zucchini schlong,” haha!), which you can either throw away or find some other use for. The noodles, of course, can be eaten with a yummy raw pasta sauce, or in any other way you can dream up.
The third blade is used to make thin ribbon-like cuts like you see below. The Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer is easy to use (just turn a handle!), easy to clean (it’s dishwasher-safe), and will be easy to find multiple uses for in my kitchen. Thank you again to World Cuisine for sending me the Spiral Slicer!
Do you have a tofu press or a spiralizer? Have you ever wanted either of these gadgets? What’s your most coveted kitchen tool?
You’ll see those zucchini ribbons and the tofu ricotta above in the recipe I’ll post tomorrow. To be continued!