September 26th, 2013 by NashVeggie
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Some like to use books. The heavy cookbooks are best. The larger the better and don’t stack them too high because they will topple. Some like large cans of various vegetable from the kitchen cabinets. Those fat 28 ounce cans of tomatoes are great but I don’t recommend stacking those over two high. The cans will crash to the kitchen floor or roll off onto the counter and knock over your spice rack leaving a mess to clean up. My mother used two 10 pound hex-shaped dumbbells. This worked well and they would not roll off or topple but, like the books and cans, they still left you with a lopsided block of tofu a few minutes later.
I’ve tried all of those methods to press a block of tofu. I’ve tried others that I would rather not mention. I’ve just recently been able to try the EZ Tofu Press after being sent one to test drive. I’ve seen other presses available and considered purchasing but never thought those to be worth the price. After all, I’m simply pressing a block of tofu. I’m not doing such a task everyday, maybe once a week. Some of those presses just look complicated. Parts to lose. Springs to break or wear out. I just don’t see the need for the extra hassle. It should be a simple tool and not one that looks to be a piece of over-thought MIT engineering. The EZ Tofu Press is the simple tool.
The EZ Tofu Press i a vice. Two plastic boards with two screws on each end press your tofu somewhat evenly (more on that later) and leave it ready to marinade. One of the best things is it can be done in as little as 10 minutes if you are in a hurry.
All it takes to press is to place the block of tofu between the two plastic boards and screw each plastic nut down evenly until the tofu block is lightly pressed. After a couple minutes tighten each nut evenly to press more liquid and repeat until you have pressed the block to about half its starting thickness.
The only fault I can find with the EZ Tofu Press is the thickness of the plastic boards. They are not exactly thin at 1/4″ each but they do tend to bow slightly enough in the middle to not distribute pressure evenly across the block and thereby pressing the ends of the block more than the middle. increasing the thickness of the boards by 1/8″ or adding a 1/8″ -1/4″ piece of plastic on top of each board, opposite the pressing surfaces, between the screws should give a more even press. Still, I am very happy with the results.
If tofu is in your kitchen there’s no reason you shouldn’t have the EZ Tofu Press. You can have one in your kitchen thanks to Ben, the inventor of EZ Tofu Press. To win an EZ Tofu Press all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell me your favorite way to enjoy tofu. For an extra entry, follow me on Twitter and tweet a link to this post. Be sure to mention me (@nashveggie) so I can count your second entry. I’ll pick a random winner on October 11.
EZ Tofu Press at Amazon.com
September 18th, 2013 by NashVeggie
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Most of us know that Chipotle’s pinto beans have long contained bacon as an ingredient, as plainly stated on their menus. This leaves the vegan or vegetarian looking for a burrito at Chipotle with black beans as their only option.
I recently received an email form a reader to inform me that his local Chipotle was serving pinto beans that are vegan. I had to confirm this news so I called each Chipotle location in the Nashville area as well as the restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama just to get an outside-of-the-area report. With each call I was told that indeed the pinto beans are now bacon-free.
Checking the Chipotle website the ingredients for the pinto beans still list bacon. This ingredient change may be gradually moving out to locations and is still in progress. Be sure to ask before getting pinto beans on your burrito.
So, if pinto beans are your favorite burrito bean feel free to safely munch away at Chipotle. Also, let me know in the comments if your Chipotle is serving the new pinto bean recipe.
July 14th, 2013 by NashVeggie
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We love to travel and it has been awhile since I’ve made a travel post. Our last trip was to Colorado just last week. It has been 3 years since visiting one of our favorite places and in that time the vegan options have become plentiful. It is always great to visit somewhere you can easily dine out without worrying if your veggies have meat sprinkled in them.
We were excited to discover that Denver now has its own food truck. Food trucks are booming in some areas and languishing in some. I still believe it is a food fad but I’ll still partake of one when I find it. We did happen upon Denver’s Vegan Van while making a visit to Nooch, which happens to be a full vegan market.
The Vegan Van has a short menu as a food truck should. Selections were limited to sandwiches and wraps with their version of vegan ‘wings’ made buffalo or hoisin style. Nothing very mind-blowing or extravagant to be found. Just a few simple things. Simple is good.
The Planet Rock - A tofu sandwich with buffalo sauce and topped with creamy cole slaw. While the sauce was very good it didn't do much for the seemingly unmarinated tofu underneath. It did not "rock", as the name implies.
I went for a Planet Rock. This was a standard buffalo sauced tofu sandwich topped with a creamy slaw. The flavor of the sauce was OK, there were 3 pieces of, unfortunately, unmarinated tofu on the sandwich and the slaw had a good flavor. Mrs. Nashveggie and Miss Nashveggie each had the Super Freak, an Italian-style veggie burger with bruschetta. The burger was covered in a mix of green and yellow peppers. I’m not really sure what was Italian about the burger. One might expect some basil or oregano. Perhaps some marinara-sauce topping if even taking the easy way out. There was no bruschetta to be found, the bun was just a bun. There was no toasting, garlic, oil or anything else typically used as bruschetta topping. The patty had a rather bland flavor and the greens and peppers lent more flavor to the sandwich than the patty did. While none of the sandwiches were absolutely stand-out even more of a let down was paying $7-$9 per sandwich and getting nothing more than stale popcorn as a side. Even plain potato chips would have been a better offering than a handful of popcorn that was mostly unpopped kernels.
The Super Freak - I'm not sure what about this sandwich supports its name. Described as "Italian-style" nothing about it gave it the flavor.
I really believe that Denver can support a vegan food truck and I hope on our next visit to the area the Vegan Van is still riding. I also hope in that time they have made significant improvements. They have plenty of room to make them.
June 3rd, 2013 by NashVeggie
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We all have those times when we just want a greasy treat and you want that treat topped with mustard, ketchup, relish and maybe a heap of sauerkraut. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and that hunger hits you should find yourself at Cori’s DogHouse.
You can have your dog served up anyway you like and the menu is fairly extensive. For the vegans and vegetarians you can choose from a Lightlife dog or a Tofurkey Italian Sausage or Kielbasa. After that small decision it’s up to you on which direction to travel. I personally go for a New Jersey Italian with deli mustard, fried potatoes and grilled onions and peppers or a Chicago with tomatoes, onions, dill pickle, hot peppers, mustard, celery salt and add sauerkraut. Our first visit we were inquisitive about the buns, which are just sliced thick bread, and the “butter” for the buns which is just a vegetable oil. We were assured both were actually vegan and were shown the packaging to view ingredients.
You can also get your dog with a heaping side of hot crispy fries. I recommend it. I mean, if you’re going to indulge in the dog why not go all the way. You can always run a few extra miles or sweat them off with another hour of hot yoga or something like that.
After you devour that dog be sure to go back for a second and try something new. It’s worth it. I always do.
The Jersey Italian with a vegan Tofurkey Italian sausage.
Cori's DogHouse - Chicago Vegan
If you're really hungry just order a group and pig out.
Cori’s Doghouse has two locations, Nashville’s West End and Mt. Juliet in Providence Marketplace.
106 29th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
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401 South Mount Juliet Road
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37122
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April 15th, 2013 by NashVeggie
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Months have passed since the last post only because there have been many things keeping me busy. One of the more enjoyable things taking up my time is working outside in the garden. Gardens are great because not only does it give you a wonderful reason to be outside but it also gives you plenty of fresh veggies.
I built this square foot tower garden after Mrs. Nashveggie requested something to allow vines to hang over such as cucumbers. It also replaces four 4′x4′ square foot boxes we previously had. Those boxes had become covered in shade form a nearby magnolia tree for a few hours each day and anything planted didn’t get the amount of sun needed. This one garden is situated in the only area of our yard that has no shade as we have many large trees.
Overall, a 3 day project. If time allows and there are requests I can post more specific instructions.