Saturday, October 11, 2008

Making Tofu! and ruebens.

I'm tired of putting 'Vegan Mofo Day whatever' up there.  It's not my style.  Anyway, can you believe I've blogged for over 11 days straight?  This is a total anomaly.  But I've been enjoying it, so yay!  Before I tell you about our tofu making adventures, you must bear witness to my very first ever rueben experience.  I have to tell you, the idea of ruebens has never appealed to me.  I don't like sauerkraut, I don't like thousand island dressing, I thought I didn't like rye bread, and I obviously wasn't a fan or corned beef.  But I've seen lots of vegan bloggers talking before about how amazing the vegan rueben I had to try it.  This one comes from the recipe from VWaV.  And what a lovely recipe it is.  This is a mishmash of pics because the finished product pictures last night were no good, but we had them again for lunch today and got some better shots.  Here's the assembly from last night though:
grilled marinated tempeh, pickled cabbage, pickles, avocado, and homemade thousand island all on rye

They were just incredible.  I never in a million years though I would enjoy any of those things together on a sandwich, but something about the combo is just...right.
michael's 'working man's lunch'

Today I added some spinach and a slice of Tofutti mozzarella to mine.
the spinach was awesome, but the cheeze...meh.  that stuff is only good on pizza, apparently

Anyway, in the midst of us eating lunch, we were also making TOFU.  Yes, that's right.  Our very own, homemade tofu.  It was so easy!  After you put the soybeans in the soymilk machine, it does all that work for you.  Here it is in a pot after it was all done brewing (brewing?).
foamy like a latte

But then we realized you're supposed to spoon the foam off, so I did.  At this point, just add the packet of coagulent (came with the machine), stir it in, cover, and let sit for about 12 minutes.  Then you spoon/pour it into the little press (also came with the machine), like so:
just like curds and whey...but SO MUCH BETTER!  up yours, little miss muffet!

Fold the cheesecloth over it, put on the lid, and pressssssss press press.  But be careful about leaving stuff on top of it to press because we had a bit of an incident involving falling spaghetti sauce cans and water being everywhere.
press out as much water as ya can.

Then after a little bit, it looks like this:
i can't believe that this is tofu.  and that we made it.  in our own home.  cool!

And it's delicious!  We added nothing to this batch, just to see what it was like, you know, and it's nutty and yummy and has the consistency of ricotta cheese (which is a little weird, but whatever).  Apparently to get really firm tofu, you're supposed to add 2 packets of coagulent.  Still, this is totally awesome and even the soymilk tasted good without any salt or sugar.  Coming from someone who HATES the taste of plain (and really any) kind of soymilk, this is big.  Plus, Michael ordered 13 pounds of beans for like $18.  13 pounds makes 58 cakes of this size.  That comes out to 32 cents per tofu cake!  And I've been paying $2 for one at the store.  Not that $2 is exorbitant or anything, but hopefully this will save us a load of money.  As long as we don't get lazy about it.  You can also make rice milk with this thing, just by rinsing rice 3 times and then pressing the button.  Voila!  Rice milk!  

So, all in all, this soymilk maker is fabulous, and the tofu we made is awesome, and ruebens are good.  Also, is there nothing better in this world than nutritional yeast (plus some garlic powder and some pepper) on popcorn?
the answer is, no.  there is not anything better than this.

If you're wondering why so much of this is underlined...I have no idea.  There isn't even an underline button on my toolbar.  Blogger sucks.


Virginia said...

where did you order your soybeans? that is pretty cheap! i get mine at the HFS and they are 1.19 a pound, which is a good price, but if i can get them cheaper, i will. i think you have convinced me to order a tofu making kit...already have the soymilk maker, so that's all i am missing. oh, and u also convinced me to make the leek and bean the ingredients today! w00t!

Marni said...

I've been itching to try my hand at soymilk / tofu making and you've made it look so easy. Maybe I'll try to get someone to get me one of those kit thingies for the the holidays. It looks like great fun.

Georgia said...

Ohhhhh I am so jealous - I just can't afford a soy milk maker and my partner is a little picky about his soymilk so I am too scared to fork out the money and then have him say it tastes too beany or whatever. Now tofu wouldn't be too bad because you flavour tofu.

What do you put in your soymilk to stop beany taste??
Do you put any butter or oil on your popcorn before nutritional yeast garlic and salt (I have never tried this combo but I am thinking I will soon).

Thanks for your awesome post!

miss v said...

you've got some fine looking tofu over there. fiiinne.

also, i hope you start to like sauerkraut, because i'm getting ready to blow up my blog with kraut recipes.

Bex said...

I want to make tofu. Add soymilk maker to my wishlist.

aTxVegn said...

I'm so very impressed. I bet you will save lots of money and your tofu will be so much better.

Zoey said...

Your tofu looks awesome. Thank you for showing it to us. Every day I get closer and closer to ordering one of those machines.

Have you tried the rice milk yet? We are going through Rice Dream like it is going out of style at our house.

Celine said...

I like that you are updating so often! even though you hate sauerkraut...;p

jessy said...

holy sh*t, Jessica - you freak'n ROCK SO HARD! here are the reasons why you rock so hard: #1. you made the most delicious rueben i've seen to date. #2. nooch + garlic powder + popcorn = genius. #3. YOU MADE YOUR OWN TOFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you're awesome. that's "alls i gotsta" say! yay!

Anonymous said...

You are making me want a soymilk maker so, so, so badly! Making your own tofu? I'm such a DIY kid, I think it's the epitome of cool!
And that Pabst picture is the best!

Jeni Treehugger said...

I so badly want a soy milk maker - I'm asking santa for one and he better deliver!
I tried making tofu once out of store bought soya milk - it was BLEUH!
Probably because silly old me used one that was sweetened!!
Yours looks soooo good.

*sticks fingers up at little miss muffet*

Happy Herbivore! said...

i am so impressed! wow.

& I was just saying over breakfast that I was dying for a good vegan reuben! you are my stomachs hero.

allularpunk said...

virginia - the beans are called 'laura beans' so if you google 'laura soybeans' they should come up near the top. i'm not sure of the actual website because michael ordered them. enjoy the cassoulet!

marni - it really was a lot easier than i'd imagined. for some reason i thought it was some big difficult process, but it's not at all!

georgia - the soymilk tasted nutty..but you can flavor it, too! just add some salt, a little sugar, and some vanilla extract and BAM vanilla soymilk. you can do the same for the tofu and i can't wait to make some flavored batches. the popcorn i use is a storebought microwave kind that's just plain, so i guess it's popped in oil in the bag, but i don't add any extra after it comes out. i want to start popping my own, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

miss v - i'm working on it! it's not repulsive to me anymore, which is good since we've got 2 more cans of it in the pantry that michael brought with him when he moved in (over a year ago!).

bex - definitely get one if you can. they're great.

atxvegan - i know, i can't believe how much cheaper tofu is going to be! and i will know exactly what's in it, which is cool.

zoey - i haven't tried the rice milk yet..but we've only had the machine for 2 days :) i plan on making some..maybe today!

celine - i know, i can't believe i've lasted this long, haha... and again, i'm working on liking the kraut! slowly but surely...

jessy - thank you! you are totally awesome too. i bet you could make some damn fine tofu yourself!

shelly - pabst is the best beer ever, haha.. for poor kids like us, anyway! and the DIY aspect of making the tofu is so cool and fun.

jeni - i've heard storebought soymilk doesn't work so well with tofu. get a machiiiiine!

happy herbivore - thanks! and now that i know the ruebens are wonderful, i can see myself wanting one more often now, myself. they're pretty easy to make, surprisingly.

ok, everyone. i'm going to try my hand at the iron chef challenge today. i have 5 hours left to post, and michael got unexpectedly called into work (pouty me...i'm sad) so my sunday is now open like a wide expanse of nothing, so i might as well fill it with some baked goods. and it will give michael something nice to come home to after being forced to work on a sunday, which is the ONLY day we have to spend together :( no! i am trying to be :) wish me luck!

allularpunk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dynah said...

Wow! I'm intrigued and impressed by your tofu-making skills! Very cool.

Erin said...

Your own homemade tofu?!? Cool. Fresh tofu is so much better. The reuben looks amazing too! Although I love sauerkraut and thousand island, so it's not a stretch for me.

Anonymous said...

I love the reuben with Pabst blue ribbon!

chris said...

hi, love your posts. just wondered what specific brand your soymilk maker was. was it soyajoy? i was looking on amazon and that one stuck out cause it came with a tofu press. i thought i saw a pic. of it in your post earlier but, now i can't find it. thanks!

Kelly said...

I am impressed you make your own soy milk and tofu. I remember seeing the soy milk maker on TV and now I am curious.