Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tofu Feta - It's Greek to Me

When you kick dairy out of your diet, most people say the hardest thing to give up is cheese. It sure was for me, but I can say in all honesty that the only time I really miss it is when I'm under a lot of stress. It makes sense, doesn't it, that I'd crave the soothing opiates found in cheese, in times of turmoil? Fortunately, turmoil is a pretty rare thing in my life, and I don't give in to the cheese urge even then, because I know how crappy it would really make me feel.

I have a friend who's easing herself off cheese, and says the only kind she eats now is feta. Just a sprinkle on her salads and such. To encourage her - and you - to take the next step, I have a wonderful recipe for Tofu Feta to share with you today. It's adapted from a recipe in the June 2012 VegNews magazine, which I subscribe to and adore. And of course, because I can't help myself, I've made some changes. Sorry VegNews, but I think mine is just a little bit better.

Tofu Feta (ToFeta?)
1 package extra firm tofu (always organic non-GMO)
2 cups water
juice of 2 lemons, or about 1/4 cup
1 T sea salt
1 T dry basil
1 T dry oregano
2 T nutritional yeast

Press the tofu to remove most of the water. This is kind of optional, but I like to do it because it gives the tofu more "sponge space" to soak up the the seasonings. Pressing tofu is easy. Just wrap the whole block in a clean dish towel, place it on a plate, and put a heavy weight on top of it for 15 minutes or so. I use my big cast iron frying pan as a weight.

Cut the pressed tofu into small cubes.

Place everything but the tofu in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Add the tofu cubes, turn the heat down to med-low, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Chill the tofu and juice in the fridge for 8 hours or more. The longer the better. But if you're in a rush, it will still taste good with a shorter soak time.

Try some ToFeta on a nice Greek Salad, like we did for lunch today. I'll be doing this again soon, with maybe a little spanakopita on the side. You'll need that recipe too!