Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let's talk about favorite crave-worthy to-feta

I thought tofu was weird stuff but when I dove face first into trying the vegan thing last summer, I needed to figure it out. And most of the time it was a disaster. I didn't know the difference between Silken and non silken or why it had to be firm or extra firm. Poor John had to choke down many a dinners (with plenty of hot sauce!) I knew there had to be a way to do it right. After about 8 months of trial and error I found an amazing crave-worthy tofu recipe.

I was searching for a feta cheese substitute. Now the consistency is different. The flavor is a bit different. The key is not to expect feta. The flavors marry well with anything feta would go with but it isn't a feta replacement. But it is easy and yummy and I am in love with it. (And if I can get my meat craving husband to eat it and really like it, I am convinced that anyone can.)

This stuff is good on tossed salads, on pasta salads, in hot pasta dishes, and I am even going to try stuffing it into a portobello cap tonight. I have yet to find a way I don't like this tofu.

I found the recipe on which is a recipe site I tend to have a lot of luck finding yummy food stuff on. I did lessen the oil quite a bit and up the vinegar (I like stuff to have a lot of bite.) I felt like the 1/4 of olive oil made it very greasy the first time I made it. Start with less, you can always add more is a pretty successful mantra I have found in the kitchen (especially for a girl who can sometimes be too lazy to get out the measuring cups and measure things.) I have also subbed out the herbs in the recipe when I was out of basil or oregano and it still turned out great, just with a little different flavor. I think this marinade is awesome, adaptable and quite frankly when I buried it in pasta salad over the holidays this past year, I found it to be as success (and something I could eat--which can be really hard at holiday get togethers and parties. I usually end up starving or eating bread.)

The other super important part is to press the tofu. Drain the package and set the tofu on a giant wad of paper towels on top of a plate or cutting board. Add another giant wad of paper towels on top of the tofu. Stack some big heavy books on top. Check back in about 15-20 minutes. Change the paper towel (or kitchen towel if you are a better person than I am) and press it again. The more water you get out, the more flavor the tofu can absorb. This was a huge, giant, aha lightbulb in my adventures of trying to cook tofu. It is worth the time and the (minimal) effort needed to allow the tofu to absorb all of your marinade awesomeness.

My favorite way to use the to-feta....

Take whole wheat noodles boiled drained and hot. Drizzle with olive oil.

Mix them over a bunch of fresh baby spinach (this makes the spinach kind of wilty and warm. Ah-mazing!)

Add some chopped up sundried tomatoes, chickpeas, yellow raisins, the to-feta and some garlic.

Toss and eat.

Love it. Super easy. It is yummy warm or cold. My favorite though is room temperature.

And here is the recipe for the to-feta as it appears on

My to-feta on a big old yummy salad. *tummy growls* 

Serves: 16
Units: US | Metric

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lb firm tofu, herb flavored, cubed or crumbled


1. Place everything but the tofu in the bowl and whisk together.
2. Add tofu, stir, and let sit for at least an hour.

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