I've been following Glue and Glitter for a while, and lately she's been making these cool videos, especially using her Air Fryer. As a new Air Fryer owner myself, I thought a tofu press might also be in order. Even though the EZ Tofu Press I found on Amazon was just under $20 and we eat tofu often, I decided I should try to make my own, mostly just for fun and power tools.
I headed to my local hardware store in southern Louisiana, and let me tell you, these guys were professionals who helped me. When I explained that I wanted to make a tofu press, and what that was and how I planned to make it, they just helped me find what I needed with zero comments about tofu or vegetarians or anything else. The stereotypes were not strong here, even though they had never heard of tofu press and probably never ate tofu. One of the many reasons I love my small local hardware store- they totally support my crazy and just sell me what I need (even when I told them I was painting my door bright orange, which in retrospect I kind of wish someone had talked me out of).
2 long stainless steel screws (You want it about an inch longer than your thickest block of tofu is thick)
2 regular nuts
2 wing nuts (for hand tightening)
I went with the thinnest options because they were the cheapest, and I wanted to stay under the $20 of the one I found online. These cost me just under $8. I got all stainless steel so it was food safe and wouldn't rust when it got wet or I cleaned it.
Also, you need a medium sized plastic cutting board (or two small ones). I found one at the grocery store for $7.
Here you can see the order of the hardware. Bolt, board, washer, nut, board, washer, wing nut.
I cut the cutting board in half with my Ryobi sawsall, which is my favorite power tool by a landslide, just FYI. I once cut down a tree with it. Anyway, I cut the cutting board into two rectangles that left plenty of room for a block (two, in fact) and room to drill holes on the sides. I drilled the holes about a half inch from the edge on each side, fairly centered. The cutting board I used had a handle, so I left that part sticking up and now my tofu press had a handle.
While I'm proud of my creation, I honestly see the improvements made to create the EZ Tofu Press, and I'd probably recommend spending $4 more dollars than I spent on parts and just getting the good one. If you happen to have an extra plastic cutting board, though, this would be a good use for it rather than throw it away, so there's that too.
You can always just wrap your tofu in a clean kitchen towel or two and place on a plate with another plate and something heavy on top, and that is by far the most economical and minimalist approach. This is just a fun project.
If you make one, let me know in the comments how it turns out!
On Sunday morning, Mother's Day, I was given my brand new Air Fryer! My mother-in-law had secretly ordered it for me and had it sent to my husband's work. I knew I was getting one, but didn't realize who it was coming from. A very very sweet present.
I immediately opened it and had to try it out. The first thing I did was chop up some sweet potato, mushrooms, yellow squash from the garden, and bell pepper and toss them in there with a spritz of oil and some chili powder. I didn't know what I was doing, but I've seen a few videos and I opened it and shook the basked a few times. It turned out cooked through, but not crispy, which was fine. (Now that I've experimented more, I realize it just needed more time and/or higher heat and could have gotten crispy). I took that Air Fried veg and wrapped it in a corn tortilla with a little of Miyoko's Kitchen Revolution Nacho cheese. Then I put my rolled tacos/taquitos (where you are from will dictate which of those terms you relate to) back in the Air Fryer and made them nice and crispy.
Sunday afternoon, I went to Nola Veggie Fest and saw a demo with JL Fields using the Air Fryer. My daughter came with me and ate up everything- even though JL used cayenne and kale and my daughter generally says she doesn't like spicy. My favorite thing she made was soy curls, which is hilarious because I thought I didn't like soy curls. I remember liking them when I first tried them, but every time since when my husband makes them they have a gross taste. Turns out, thanks to JL's advice, they should be kept in the freezer because they don't have preservatives and they will go rancid!!! No wonder I didn't like them!! So I ordered some fresh ones and they just came today. I can't wait to make some for after school for the kids. It's so simple! Just rehydrate with some veggie or "not chicken" stock and toss with a little starch (potato, tapioca, or corn) and spritz with oil and cook at 400 for about 8 minutes. They come out just like nice little nuggets! So tasty. I also bought her book, The Vegan Air Fryer, and definitely recommend it if only to get an idea of times and applications- because she has worked her tail off getting all that trial and error out of the way! JL also has a group on Facebook for trouble shooting Air Fryer recipes and for inspiration called Vegan Air Frying Enthusiasts.
I also recommend checking out Glue and Glitter's section on Air Fryer recipes.
Since Sunday (it's Tuesday afternoon now), I've made crinkle cut french fries 3 times, made mashed potato, broccoli, and Daiya cheese nuggets, made my husband a veggie burger from frozen in 7 minutes, brussel sprouts that my picky eater ate, and made crispy tofu.
So, you could say it's getting pretty serious.
I look forward to sharing specific recipes with you soon, I'm just having so much fun playing now. I'm including a link to the one I got, and the size up. If you have a family (aren't just cooking for 2) the size up is probably ideal, but I'm making it work with the smaller one just fine too! The larger one I linked is not the same brand as mine, but has 4 stars on Amazon.
Summertime is basically here in Louisiana and I get pretty serious about popsicles this time of year. Call me crazy for inviting sticky, drippy, melty hands into my life, but it's just easier than a bowl of ice cream to cool off and run around.
I have been really nurturing my love affair with peanut butter lately, for no particular reason except that peanut butter is tasty. These popsicles have the texture of an ice cream pop (and you could probably just pour this mixture into an ice cream maker instead of the popsicle mold for delicious results), but they don't have any added sugar aside from what's in your peanut butter.
Blend it all up, adding dates if needed, and then pour into popsicle mold (or ice cream maker) and freeze. For my popsicle mold, this made 8.5 popsicles, and they are pretty standard size. YUM-O! You could jazz these up by melting some vegan chocolate chips with a little coconut oil and dipping your frozen popsicles in and then sprinkling with chopped peanuts, but I don't think it needs it. The flavor reminds me of a salted caramel with the dates and peanut butter combining to flavor perfection (one of my favorite sweet snacks in simply dates dipped in peanut butter).
If you don't do peanut butter, try it with sunbutter or almond butter, or whatever you use. Let me know how it turns out in the comments. I feel like the peanut butter has a special magic, but I'd love to hear how it turns out with other options.
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I love cooking and playing in the kitchen with my toys, so let me share that joy with you and your family to bring the FUN back into the kitchen!