Monday, May 31, 2010

Tofu Is the New Steak

Beef steak is gross. Bloody, nasty, rotting meat. How can anyone cut into a still-pink steak and not make the connection that some precious creature had to die for some selfish human's 15 minutes (or less) of pleasure? I don't understand that.

What I do understand is the sheer awesomeness of tofu. I like my 'fu all kinds of ways — marinated and baked, frozen and thawed, deep-fried, sauteed, and even cold and plain. But my new favorite tofu comes in the form of Helen's Kitchen TofuSteak.

I recently received some coupons for a couple of Helen's Kitchen products, which I'd seen next to the veggie burgers at Whole Foods but passed up buying because I'm cheap. Now that I've had a chance to try the stuff for free, I won't be such a tightwad. I don't know who Helen is, but that lady makes some serious magic in her kitchen.

The square GardenSteak flavor TofuSteaks come four to a box and only consist of a few ingredients, but it must be the mysterious "garden mix" (listed only as yeast extract, natural flavor, and salt) that gives these little guys the best flavor I've ever tasted on a bun. Notes of celery, garlic, onion, and carrots are evident, but there's something else I can't even explain. Since the tofu is frozen, it has that great "meaty" texture. I tried my first TofuSteak on a Rudi's Organics Whole Wheat Bun with Daiya Cheddar Shreds:

Better than a veggie burger, swear to god. The back of the GardenSteak box also suggests using the patties in roasted red pepper & avocado sandwiches, spicy enchiladas, and basil pesto farfelle. I've yet to try those applications, but I'm certain they wouldn't disappoint.

Since the company sent me two coupons for products of my choice, I used the other one to try a Helen's Kitchen frozen TV dinner. The only vegan flavor available at the Memphis Whole Foods is the Thai Yellow Curry, though other vegan entrees are sold elsewhere.

Chopped TofuSteaks, broccoli, and red bell pepper are covered in a creamy coconut curry sauce and served alongside white basmati rice:

The chopped "steak" was so delicious paired with the curry sauce, but like most TV dinners, the serving size was a little too small to satisfy my inner fat ass. I solved the food shortage issue by pairing the frozen meal with a side salad with a homemade sesame-chili vinaigrette.

Conclusion? Nobody has any reason to kill a cute little cow when they can have a Helen's Kitchen TofuSteak instead.

13 comments:

Rick said...

oooh damn! time to research this company, you made the food sound too awesome for me to pass up! yumtastic!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the review! I've always wondered about these - I'll try them soon!

Keri - I Eat Trees said...

I noticed these on my last Whole Foods trip, but didn't grab any because I'd never heard of/read about them. Thanks for the review- I'll have to grab one to try next time.

Dianne said...

ooh! I'm going to Whole Foods today! Thanks for the review!

zemmely said...

Helen's Kitchen Tofu steaks have been the ONLY type of tofu that I absolutely couldn't stand (in the last 4 years that I've been actively eating tofu). The texture of the steaks is mealy and quite unpleasant. I don't know if the recipe has changed in the last few months, but when we got them, they were absolutely UNBEARABLE.
Did you find that the flavor makes up for the terrible texture?

misss_e said...

Better than a veggie burger! Can't be!

Glauce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glauce said...

Oh boy, this tofu steak looks amazing. I wish I could find all these options around here!

Ava Cado said...

The first time I tried one I almost had a heart attack because I think they taste *exactly* like those Dunkin Donuts "omelettes" I used to get in my egg-eating days. I usually eat TofuSteaks like that (only far healthier) with a whole wheat english muffin, daiya cheese, ketchup and a tofusteak and a sprinkling of salt. Best breakfast ever!

susan said...

i wonder the same thing as zemmely...two (?) years ago wegmans started carrying their products...i tried the tofu and i think two dinners...it was all horrible...(i have no issue with other frozen dinners)...hopefully/maybe their recipes have changed...i will proceed with caution...

Leslie R. said...

I like Helen's...that big thick texture is awesome!!

radioactivegan said...

thanks for the review! i've been wondering about this brand for a while, but hadn't taken the plunge yet

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

I wouldn't buy them without a major mark-down, too expensive for my tastes.