Test Kitchen: Tofu “Plus”?


Other residents of our neighborhood told us to expect trick-or-treaters on Halloween, so we trekked to Kroger and got a pretty legit blend: M&Ms [plain, peanut, and peanut butter], Snickers, Three Musketeers, Milky Way & Twix, plus some random candies we’d received over the last week. Shaun lit the pumpkin, we put together a snazzy bowl, and we waited. And waited, and waited. Around 7:30, it started picking up: we met a little girl dressed as Sleeping Beauty, a little boy dressed as nothing [but his mom held up a plastic mask and a McDonald’s bag and said, “We’ve got these!”], a second princess, and a stray cat. By 7:45, the bowl was half-empty. I think we saw at least 20 kids.

This was actually my first time on the receiving end of the trick-or-treat tradition [which brings to light how long it’s been since I’ve lived in a house in a non-student or non-city neighborhood]. The most fascinating part was watching the kids decide which candies they wanted to pick out of the bowl. Some clearly had a method and a preference, others chose the grab-everything approach. A boy dressed as a dragon stated plainly, “I want one of everything!”

While we entertained our costumed guests, we chowed down on a test kitchen product: Twin Oaks’ “More Than Tofu” Spicy Thai flavor. It’s the traditional, dense, Twin Oaks tofu with [you guessed it] MORE: a blend of quinoa, amaranth [spices], soy, peanuts, basil, ginger, garlic and chili peppers. I had high hopes this would satisfy my lingering Thai craving after Saturday night’s awesome dinner.

i'm a twin oaks junkie.

I sliced and baked the tofu+ in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees while I prepared a stir-fry with the remainder of a package of Wel-Pac Chow Mein Stir-Fry Noodles from a previous recipe, a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables from Kroger, fresh minced ginger root and garlic cloves, and soy sauce.

I’m a firm believer in buying everything first-hand at the market, but as winter approaches and many vegetables go out of season, it’s better to have frozen vegetables than no vegetables at all. In a perfect world I’d preserve my own, but in lieu of hard-to-attain perfection I pick up a few bags like this for as little as a dollar each. Vegetables don’t entirely lose their nutrients when frozen, anyway. This package was snow peas, celery, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and green beans.

boo.

spooky dinner.

Test kitchen verdict? I don’t think I’ll buy this again. The package averages a dollar more than unadorned Twin Oaks Tofu, contains fewer servings, and honestly didn’t have much flavor. It wasn’t spicy in the least, tasting more like traditional Twin Oaks with the occasional chunk of peanut. We ended up covering it with sriracha. Although the peanuts were a nice touch, I think I could prepare a better marinade for cheaper.

Next week, I’ll either return to traditional Twin Oaks tofu or give one of their other products a try: a pate, a “sausage” or their garlic-shitake-tofu blend. I have to figure out how to get this stuff shipped to Philadelphia.

For more information on the Twin Oaks Cooperative, take a look at their website here.

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Categories: Food

Author:ryesandshine

Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/

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2 Comments on “Test Kitchen: Tofu “Plus”?”

  1. November 2, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I still haven’t tried the twin oaks even though my friend bought it in front of me in Richmond. You make it sound good!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Test Kitchen: Deconstructed Vegan BBQ Salad | Ryes and 'Shine - November 8, 2011

    […] again. The flavors were significantly stronger than the “more than tofu” I worked with last week, and the texture and consistency of this tofu was perfect for a BBQ substitute. I’m looking […]

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