Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do not try this at home...

Ladies and Gentlemen, do not try this at home! 

I'm not sure if it's the residual hormones, lack of sleep or just plain craziness but I have been experimenting in the kitchen these days. Well that's to say when I have time to cook. Last week I went home early from work to rest (I've had a horrible cold for 2 weeks now) and when I awoke, Oprah was on. The show was on vegan-ism. Now we in Chateaux Schrall will never be vegans but I do think cutting down on meat is a good idea. Plus I'm not a huge meat eater to begin with. The next day I went to the store and had a craving for fajitas. Then I thought, why not try them with tofu? It has no taste except for the spices, right?

I sat in the tofu section for 20 minutes (thankfully Charlie was sleeping) trying to figure out which brand and what firmness to buy. Does it make a difference? No one came to my aide, in fact people just looked at me like I was crazy to even consider it. Why couldn't a meat hating hippie walk by and tell me what to get? So I chose my mostly-firm or semi-firm tofu block and went on my way. 

The next night Daniel goes for his customary workout when I got home. I decide it's the perfect time to try the fajitas. I put Charlie in his seat in the kitchen with me and set to cooking. Of course Daniel calls shortly after and asks if he can bring a friend home to eat with us. So the pressure is on! 

I saute the veggies and at the last minute add the tofu and the seasoning. I'm not sure the texture will hold up but am optimistic. Less than five minutes later I have a wok full of mush. I tempted a taste and it was disgusting. No flavor, not even with a whole packet of taco seasoning. 

Daniel calls just 15 minutes later ready to eat. They get home and I told them they were welcome to try it but I think we'd best get takeout. Thirty minutes and $45 later, we were eating yummy San Jose take out fajitas WITH MEAT. 

So I'm open to suggestions, my friends. If you've ever successfully cooked with tofu - please share! Otherwise, it's meat for us. 


  1. LOL! Thanks for the laugh, mama. I wish I could have been there in the aisle that day to help you out. EXTRA FIRM tofu, or the most firm possible is the way to go when cooking with tofu - almost always, unless you're wanting to "scramble" it as an egg substitute; then, you'd want soft spun tofu. Tofu fried rice is a staple at our house, and it's delish. The key is (again), firm tofu, and cubing/ frying it in soy or stirfry sauce to give it a bit of texture on the outside. Add onions, mushrooms, carrots, sprouts, etc. in a wok, add cooked brown rice and stirfry for a bit in soy/ stirfry sauce and it's delish!

    Re the fajitas, you could try again and try a meat substitute instead of tofu. :) A good option, that I've tried and REALLY liked is Boca Chick'N Strips - they come with chicken flavoring and have great texture. I also really like Morning Star Mushroom Burger patties - also great flavor and texture; these are both found in the frozen "hippie" section at the grocery store.

    One last thing - I created a tofu chili recipe and it's also quite good. Tofu is super bland, so unless you season it within an inch of its life, it's gonna suck... Simmering it in chili powder is a perfect way to spice it up!


    1 package extra firm tofu, cubed
    1 can tomato soup
    1 can tomato paste
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 can kidney beans
    1 small onion, chopped
    minced garlic - 2 or 3 gloves
    4 T chili powder
    half a bottle of beer (optional)

    Brown tofu well in large saucepan (sides should be toasty), then add onions. When onions are soft, add cans of tomatoes, beans, garlic, beer, and chili powder, stir and simmer for about 30 minutes. I serve it with shredded cheese and crackers. Veggie Shreds makes a good pepper jack soy cheese, which makes the meal fully vegan!

    I have TONS of great vegan recipes, so ping me if you want more. :)

    Love, Mer

  2. One more thing! The "Skinny Bitch" series of books (I have two of them) are AWESOME and preach the benefits of veganism, in terms of using it to be gorgeous and healthy - it's not PETA propaganda. It's a fun read! There are also dozens of really delicious recipes in the books, so I highly recommend it!