EASY VEGAN MEALS FOR ONE // WHAT I ATE IN A DAY #98, TOSHIBA MICROWAVE/CONVECTION REVIEW & UPDATES


Hello friends and not-yet-friends! Welcome back What I Ate Wednesday here on
Mary’s Test Kitchen..where we’re making cooking for one a little less sad. Now there’s no shame in eating instant ramen
or hummus and veggies when you’re just making food for yourself and/or can’t be bothered
but these easy single serving vegan recipes only take a teensy bit more effort and, honey,
you’re so worth it! First though, full disclosure! The Toshiba Microwave Convection Oven I’m
using today was gifted so I could give you my first impression of it. This is not a sponsored video and I’m under
no obligation to say anything positive one way or another. Nor am I obligated to link to the product,
but of course I did so you don’t have to google. You can be sure, I’ll point out anything I
don’t like as well as what I do like about it. You do not need a microwave convection oven
to make these recipes. Just a regular microwave for two of them. And for the third, a regular oven or any convection
oven, which includes airfryers. So let’s start with breakfast. Something super simple, looks kinda fancy
and is so delicious. Vegan Shakshuka. I might be saying that wrong. I’m sure someone will let me know. You’ll need tomato sauce. I’m just using plain crushed tomatoes AKA
passata. Also smooth, fresh-tasting silken tofu as
a stand-in for the poached eggs. I’m using this tube version by Sunrise Soya
Foods which is from my hometown of Vancouver, BC and I love it. Great quality stuff and side note, we’ve had
a tofu shortage in Canada due to increased demand at the begining of the year. Kind of awesome as more people are buying
tofu but, like…guys, save some for me! You’ll want garlic, olive oil, and cumin for
this Middle Eastern dish and perhaps paprika which I’ve run out of so I’m using Korean
red pepper flakes AKA gochugaru, which I’m sure someone is going to tell me I’m pronoucing
wrong. Lay off, I’m doing my best. Some ground coriander seed for bright lemony
herbaceousness. And dried chives. Or fresh if you have it handy. Let’s start by ladling some of that tomato
into a microwave safe bowl. About a half cup. Ish. I’m not about the measurements when I want
something quick and easy, just for myself. We can adjust later if we need or want to. Add an eighth teaspoon ground coriander, an
eighth teaspoon ground cumin, some salt if your sauce isn’t already salted, and a quarter
teaspoon of red pepper flakes or paprika. And finally, one minced clove of garlic. Of course, adjust your seasonings if you’re
not using plain crushed tomatoes. Add a little olive oil and mix mix mix. If you want to keep this oil-free, you do
you. It’ll still work. Then add your tofu. I just made inch thick slices and pressed
them into the sauce. And that’s ready for the microwave. Look at that shiny new inside. My usual microwave will never look that clean. Get it going with a one touch start which
gives you a minute and watch. Take out the bowl and give the sauce a little
gentle stir. Microwaves generally heat the outside faster
so push the sauce at the edges in or the middle sauce out. Then continue heating with 30 second intervals. I only needed the one round as I started with
room temperature tomato sauce. You’ll need longer if you started with cold. Top with some chives. And to make this prettier, spoon up the tofu
to reveal that contrast. Add some tasty toasted seasoned sunflower
seeds or other crunchy seeds or nuts, some more red pepper flakes, and maybe add a little
olive oil. Highly reccommended for the flavour. And there you have it. Beautiful vegan shashuka for one. The combination of crunchy sunflower seeds
and smooth silken tofu with tangy spiced tomato sauce is just so wonderful. And it all took less than five minutes to
put together. This is actually my new favourite breakfast. You can really customize it with what you
have in your pantry. Make a bigger bowl with more tofu if you want
a larger breakfast, maybe add some toast to that, mix in some greens if you have them
handy, or more seeds or nuts if you have a long time until your lunch break. This is your vegan shakshuka and there are
no rules. This next recipe rules for lunch. Or as a snack after work or a workout. Microwave Mac and Nooch. Creamy, simple, quick. I had my doubts when I first heard about microwaving
pasta so I don’t blame you if you’re cringing right now. But trust me, made right, it tastes no different
than pasta cooked on the stove. Pour three quarters of a cup of regular dry
macaroni noodles into a microwave safe bowl. Add a cup of water. Add a bit of salt, about a eighth teaspoon. Then nuke for 3 minutes. Stir and test a noodle to see where you’re
at. Then nuke for another minute or more but check
every 60 seconds so to test the doneness and to make sure the water hasn’t totally evaporated. When your noodles are fully cooked, they might
have just a little water left. For the creamy sauce, I’m using a tablespoon
of Chinese sesame paste. You can use any kind of toasted tahini but
I’m currently addicted to this particular kind. Add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast for
it’s delicious savory flavour and stir in. Maybe some frozen peas, not too much. And heat for 30 seconds. Afterwards, add a teaspoon of lemon juice. You can see this is getting a bit dry. The pasta will keep absorbing liquid, especially
if the noodles were a bit on the undercooked side. So if you like, add a little water or vegetable
broth to loosen the sauce. Maybe even vegan butter or a little olive
oil. It’s up to you. Add salt and pepper. Maybe some crushed red pepper flakes. Dried chives. Salt or whatever else you like. Just taste and adjust. And there you have a super simple, creamy
mac and nooch dish in under 5 minutes. For when you need something filling and tasty
right now. And honestly, I go for these easy meals lately
because I ain’t got no hand budget to spare and i’m busy. Plus, my boyfriend’s eating habits and schedule
have digressed from mine since I’ve been waking up way earlier and that throws off our timetables
so I really am often cooking for just myself. Let me know if you want more cooking for one
ideas. Use the poll coming up on the screen. Well, maybe this video is already making you
peckish so just pause it and throw something together because this next recipe will most
def make you hungry: Vegan Buffalo Chicken for one. And by Vegan chicken, I really mean this twice
frozen medium firm tofu. You may recognize this technique from such
videos as The Best Vegan Fried Chicken, Vegan General Tso’s, and Vegan Honey Butter Chicken. This tofu was frozen right after I bought
it, plenty of time before the expiration date. Frozen solid, then thawed slowly in the fridge
for a day. In the vegetable crisper since that’s one
of the warmest sections of my fridge. Sometimes the process takes two days if my
crisper happens to be full and I have to use the top shelf. Then when I felt it was thawed all the way
to the middle, I stuck it in the freezer again to make this solid frozen block. That second freeze helps give the medium firm
tofu a little more stability. Don’t ask me why but when I tested freezing
only once then thawed and pressed it, the tofu fell apart more easily. In multiple tests. This does not apply to firm or extra firm
tofu which doesn’t need a second freeze to be stable. And also isn’t really what I recommend for
this recipe. I mean, you can use it if that’s all you can
find. But the medium is better for a couple reasons. Which I will explain but first let’s defrost. I usually do this in the fridge but it takes
at least a day. So let’s try the microwave’s defrost settings. I chose the setting for fish thinking tofu’s
water content is closest to fish. But as I was waiting impatiently, I’m not
sure that’s the best setting. I really don’t know which would be best. I think I’ll have to experiment. Which is fine. Since I’ll be testing many versions of this
vegan chicken for a not-so-secret project. If you want the inside scoop, make sure you’re
following on me on social media or subscribed to my newsletter which you can sign up for
on marystestkitchen.com. I’ll be sending out a survey which I hope
you’ll fill out to help me a with that not-so-secret project. And finally after a million minutes, we have
our fully defrosted block of medium firm tofu…the water around it, pretty warm. So if we weren’t using this right away, we’d
want to press out the water ASAP and cool it down again fast so it doesn’t stay too
long in the DANGER ZONE. But we ARE using this right away. And my plan is to have this entire block of
tofu all for myself. muahuahuaha. As usual, I’m using this tofu-making mold
as a press. It fits my tofu perfectly so the sides are
supported which makes this delicate tofu less likely to break before I break it on purpose. You can use two flat surfaces, like a couple
cutting boards if you don’t have something like this. Just gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Then, very gently, separate the block into
pieces. There will be places in the tofu where it
wants to break so find those areas and peel away with just the lightest touch. This way, we can reveal the layers that the
water created when it froze in the block. I’ve tested this techique with all the brands
available to me with medium firm tofu and they all create this layered effect. If you can’t get those brands, you’ll have
to experiment. If you get a spongy effect rather than this,
try going one step softer with the brand you’re using. But go too soft and the layers just squish
and the texture is not as nice. It’s a balance. The other benefit to using medium tofu that
results in these layers is that the water comes out pretty easily. And the drier you can make this, the less
tofu-ish it will taste, and the more delicious it will become since we’re going to add in
some liquid flavour. This time, I’m using my DIY Vegan Chicken
Broth Powder which is basically nutritional yeast, salt and herbs. It’s simple and tasty though you should use
whatever vegan chicken broth powder or paste to make double strength vegan chicken broth. In this case, I’m using one and a half teaspoons
of powder into a half cup of water.. Stick the dried pieces of tofu into the broth
and gently press so the broth gets soaked up. Just leave those in there while we make a
one-step breading mix. With about a half cup of all-purpose flour. Regular or gluten-free is fine. Use any kind you like. Plus a quarter cup-ish of nutritional yeast. I also have some whole wheat panko crumbs
I wanted to use up. And some fried onions. Yup, it’s vegan if you don’t mind the palm. These will add extra flavour and crunch. If you don’t have them, just add something
else crunchy. And toss in some onion powder. Season however you like. But we’re going to add sauce later so you
don’t have to go all in. Then gently pick up a piece of soaked tofu
and coat with your seasoned flour mix. You want each piece to get coated on all sides. You don’t need too much. If you have some crumbly bits, just place
them together. They will stick together as they bake. I’m using parchment paper in the baking pan
for easy clean-up later. When all your tofu pieces are coated with
the seasoned flour and on your pan, they are ready to go in a preheated oven! Except I forgot to preheat and now we have
to wait. It’s fine. We can wait. Select the convection setting first then you
can select the temperature. Press start twice to confirm and it will start
heating up. A convection oven is a little different from
a regular oven because it has a fan. This circulates the air and is supposed to
bake your food faster. The same technology as an airfryer except
airfryers are more intense. Smaller space, heating element is closer to
your food, and the fan might be pushing air faster. I don’t really know. This oven is just as loud as my airfryer was
though. Not deafening but it’s not quiet. I expected this to preheat fast since it’s
such a small space but…not really. It takes just as long to preheat my regular
stove oven…about 15 minutes. Then it beeps to let you know it’s reached
temperature. And you can start baking. No matter what you’re using at home, bake
until the tofu is getting some golden colour on and the edges are looking browned. This took 20 minutes in the convection oven. Since we didn’t add oil yet, they will look
kinda sad. No worries. Take them out and spray or brush on a light
coat of oil. Make sure you get all sides. Then pop them back in until they’re looking
golden brown and crispy. This took about 14 minutes. Try to resist eating them right away because
we’ve got to add vegan Buffalo sauce. I’m using the same sauce that we made for
baked cauliflower wings. Which is just hot sauce, vegan butter, onion
powder, garlic powder, and some vinegar. Once you get them coated, plate them up right
away with some celery and vegan creamy dip. This is just vegan mayo with chives and dehydrated
onions, some poultry seasoning and lemon juice. And there you have it. This one took more time and effort than the
first two recipes but I’d say, more than worth it. Look at this Vegan Buffalo Chicken. Just look at it. And if you don’t already have that tofu in
the freezer, put it in now. And if you don’t usually buy medium firm tofu,
put it on your shopping list! Because THIS! And honestly, even though this took a friggen
hour to make, time flew ’cause I was listening to City of Brass on Audible. It’s a mystical tale of genies except not
the big blue kind at all and it’s really beautiful. It’s like a Middle Eastern Harry Potter for
Adults. Sort of. Now that I’m recording this voice over, I’m
actually already finished the second book in the series, The Kingdom of Copper. So good and I friggen can’t wait for the next
one. And if you want to listen to BOTH of these
books for free, check the link in the description to sign up for your free trial with TWO books
included. Not just one. TWO. It’ll work as long as you haven’t already
gotten two free books from Audible before. After you select your books, even if you cancel
right after, you still get to keep them. And yup, I get a kickback if you sign up. So that’s one way to support the channel and
get free stuff for yourself. And that’s it, end of spiel. I’ve put the recipes or the recipe links in
the description but remember, the amounts are approximate. Use your cooking experience and personal preferences
to make them your own. Take a pic and tag me on instagram. Also, if you want to check out more details
on this machine, I’ve left the link which has all the product details. And of course, the link is an Amazon affliate
link as per usual but it’s not an endorsement! Which comes to the question: Would I buy this Toshiba Microwave Oven? First of all, I would never buy something
off of a first impression. I’d go and read the reviews on ideally more
than one site before spending my money. And then hem and haw about every little thing
before adding anything to my cart. But let me give you the pros and cons. Pros: As a microwave it works fine. I’ve never encountered a microwave that doesn’t
work fine though. It has all the usual settings that you’d want
in a microwave. You know, quick cook options, different power
settings, timer, defrost, etc. It’s not unusual in any way that I can tell. And it’s pretty. Very nice looking. Nicest looking microwave I think I’ve ever
encountered. The convection mode gives you that two in
one function which lets you bake similar to a regular full sized oven in a smaller space
and crisp things up quickly. I used it on some soggy onion rings the other
day without preheating and they came out super crunchy and perfect. So you can certainly get that air-fried effect. In the future, I’d increase the temperature
to shorten the crisping time. But for me, it’s too big for my small space. It doesn’t fit on my counters since it needs
at least 3 inches of clearance on all the sides and more on the top. So I’ve been keeping it on my filming table. It doesn’t have much insulation so the sides
get really hot when you’re baking. And I imagine that would be torture in the
summer. I’ll continue using it and if my opinon swings
one way or another, I’ll let you know. Thanks so much for watching my friends. You know, I was hesitant to bring back What
I Ate Wednesdays even though I missed doing them but you let me know on the community
page, twitter and facebook that you missed them too..so I guess the people have spoken! They won’t appear be nearly as often as before
but maybe once a month? We’ll see. And probably more vlog style than this one
was. I don’t usually plan what I eat or have a
theme but for this I was excited about trying to do all my meals in a day in this microwave
convection oven. As for my video schedule, you might have noticed
already, I’m aiming to make a video every other Wednesday. This is so I can put the time I want to in
each video and still be able to work on the not-so-secret project and also NOT trigger
my chronic pain. I guess that’s enough of an update. I do have another big life update to share
but it’s going to have to wait until the next What I Eat in a Day episode. So turn on notifications. Subscribe if you haven’t already and love
vegan fun food. Comment down below with what you want to see. Let me know which recipe was your favourite
from today. And anything else you just want to share. And don’t forget that poll letting me know
if you want to see more meals for one. Thanks again for watching. And all the way to the end. Thank you so very much. Special thanks to my channel members for your
monthly support. It’s much appreciated and encouraging. Bye for now!