Friday, September 2, 2011

what I hate

Hate is kind of a strong word, but honestly, there is one cooking "chore" I despise above all else.  I've mentioned this in passing a long time ago, but there is no prep step I hate more than pressing water out of spinach.

Hate it.

Unfortunately, there are at least a few recipes in this world [and my recipe repertoire] which require this soul-smothering step.  Tofu-Spinach Lasagna from The Vegan Table is one of them.  Fortunately for me, the effort is eventually worth it, since this is a flavorful, aromatic, and actually quite simple dinner to prepare.  Due to extensive prep, you definitely can't make this on a rushed night, but I'm sure you could prepare it and then pull it out of the fridge or freezer for a quick, easy meal another night.

Back to how much I hate pressing excess water out of spinach, though, because that's the point.  I've done all kinds of things to avoid this step in the past, one of my favorites (though not terribly efficient) is "dry frying" the spinach until all the water evaporates.  Tonight, though, there was no getting around the need to do it "right."  So there I was, standing over my kitchen sink with the spinach in a colander, pressing the back of my wooden spoon against it to get the ever-so-slightly satisfying sloop of water being squeezed out.  I was contemplating how much I hate doing this and a brilliant thought popped into my head.

I didn't have my Tofu Xpress the last time I had to "press" the water out of my spinach, but when I got this bugger for Christmas, I remember the little instruction manual (yes, I do read them) made an off-handed comment about also pressing water out of spinach.

I guess other people hate doing that as much as I do.  So I gave it a shot.  It was so efficient, and the best part was, I didn't have to do anything!  So, while that was pressing, I crumbled the tofu and sprinkled the soymilk, lemon juice, basil, salt, and garlic in the food processor and made "ricotta," to be combined with the waterless spinach.

After baking a little more that 40 minutes, my lasagna looked delicious and my kitchen smelled delicious.  Mister and I put away about half that pan.

So, I start my new job on Tuesday, and I have some shopping to do before then.  My purse is starting to show its age, as are a great many of my clothes.  I hate shopping.  I do.  I'm sorry - I know I sound dreadful, but I just can't stand shopping.  I want to like it, really I do, and maybe this weekend I'll finally have some Estrogen Awakening and find that I could go shopping every day.  That would really help me get a new purse, a few new items of clothing, and a pair of shoes in which I won't break my ankles walking from the bus to the door of my new job.  That would be a little embarrassing, and my healthcare doesn't kick in for three months, so the 4.5-inch Carlos Santanas have to go.

I also have to go food shopping.  That is generally far less traumatic.  How's about a menu?

1. Rotini with Spicy Vegetable Ragu from Vegan on the Cheap.  It's been a while since I consulted this cookbook, but I figured it might be a wise choice since I'm between an old paycheck and a new one...

2. Savory Sausage and Pepper, also from VotC.

3. Better-Than-Takeout Tofu Stir-Fry, also from VotC.  I needed to get a different flavor profile in there - this should do it!

4. Salsa Rice and Red Beans also from VotC.

5. Yakisoba from The Accidental Vegan because I also haven't played with this book in a while and in case you didn't notice, I'm sticking to familiar stuff this week.

6. Kedgeree also from The Accidental Vegan.


  1. I hate clothes shopping too! I will wear clothes until it's unacceptable to bring them out in public anymore.

    I NEED a tofu xpress. NEED IT.

  2. ha ha - corrie - me, too! So, when I say I need to go shopping, what I mean is, "my clothes are becoming see-through and my blacks are really dark grays..."

  3. All caught up on your posts! I have a love-hate relationship with clothes shopping. I do like to buy pretty things, but given I am either at work (in uniform) or just at home, I have no where to wear them, which makes me sad. So I just tend to wear the same things over and over and over and over until they eventually just fall apart. ;)

    Glad you liked my US stories... I have one more Portland one to go (hoping to do that now that I am all caught up on my blog reading), then it shall be on to San Francisco!

  4. I always put my spinach in a towel, gather up the edges, & then twist the towel over the spinach TIGHTLY so that the water comes out through the towel, leaving the spinach in a little dry ball.

    It's more exciting than it sounds, especially when the spinach is still hot. :)

  5. I just went through half your site to find this post about the loathing of spinach pressing. The tofu express is going on my wish list. It is the most annoying prep activity there is! Together with pressing tofu, which I guess I will now also have covered. Thanks!

  6. Laura, you're welcome - the Tofu Xpress is an incredibly helpful device. I have little doubt you'll enjoy the heck out of it!