Tofu Two Ways

Apparently I have a thing for tofu lately. My last post featured Pan-Seared Tofu with Wilted Greens, and today I’m sharing two tofu salad recipes.

I came upon these salads by accident. Kind of. I’ve been eating a very high raw diet (95% or higher) for a couple of weeks (It’s just the beginning!), and I the lack of chewiness is getting to me, which is probably I’ve really been in the mood for fake meat. Enter, tofu. Even though tofu isn’t raw (I buy mine from a regular grocery store), I didn’t want to cook it. (Yes, I’m aware it’s highly processed, and it’s affects on the body are questionable.)  So…I pressed the crap out of a block and made it into two salads. Ha ha ha!

First, I should mention how I press my tofu. I don’t own a tofu press; although, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Instead, I wrap my tofu block (I tend to use extra firm plus or extra firm regular – always organic and non-GMO) in a double layer of paper towel; then I wrap the paper-towel covered block in a dish towel and place it under our Britta water pitcher in the fridge. Make sure the pitcher is full of water for the extra weight. I leave the tofu block under the water pitcher for a couple of days or longer. (I think it would be OK for a few days because it’s chilled, and it’s wet-ish). Most of the time I rotate the block, so it doesn’t press into a weird shape. But it usually does anyway – ha!

I’ve seen numerous recipes for tofu “feta,” but I think it tastes more like fresh mozzarella – or what I remember it tasting like – so that’s how I treated it for these salads.

To prepare the tofu for both salads, cut the block into three slabs. Then, cut the slabs into tiny blocks. I left mine a little larger because I really wanted to taste the tofu pieces, but I’m certain you could “fool” an omni eater with tiny pieces of tofu into thinking they were eating mozzarella.

Summer Tofu Salad

1/2 block tofu, pressed and cubed into small pieces

1-2 T lemon juice (juice of one lemon)

1 T EVOO (I use cold-pressed)

1/4  – 1/2 c olives (mix of your favorite – include some that are briny)

1-2 small scallions (whites and greens), diced

1 small tomato, seeded and cut into small pieces

Mix tofu, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Eat immediately or refrigerate for later. Keeps 1-2 days (at least). 

Serves two.

Asian Tofu Salad

1/2 block tofu, pressed and cubed into small pieces

1 T sesame oil (roasted is best flavor wise)

1-2 T soy sauce (or tamari or Braggs or…your choice – I use low sodium tamari)

1 lg scallion (or 1-3 smaller ones), white and green parts, diced

2 T carrot shreds, diced (I buy the matchstick carrots and cut those to size)

1 T (scant) sesame seeds

Optional: 1-2 c cold rice noodles (or kelp noodles might be a nice flavor combo!)

Mix tofu, oil, and soy sauce. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate. Add remaining ingratiates and eat immediately or refrigerate for later. Keeps for 1-2 days (at least).

Serves two

I loved both of these salads equally. Seriously delicious. I can’t wait to make each of them again. I’m thinking of taking them on a road trip to Chicago this coming weekend. We’re going to the Self Workout in the Park. Anybody else going to be there?!

My First Spring Rolls

I’ve had a lot of firsts lately: my first kale salad; my first raw cupcakes (recipe coming very soon!); and my first spring rolls.

I picked up some rice papers during a recent trip to Whole Foods (it’s an event since the nearest one is about an hour and a half away in either direction), but I hadn’t had a chance to use any of them yet. Until tonight.

School started again, so I’ve been swamped with work and pressed for time.  (Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days.) In preparation for my lack of cooking time, I picked up some broccoli slaw last weekend in hopes of making spring rolls. And I’m so glad I did! Combined with some avocado I needed to use up, my first time rolling was deliciously simple.

Spring Rolls

4 spring roll wrappers

1/2 c broccoli slaw mix

1 small/medium avocado, sliced thinly

Sprinkle of salt, chili pepper, and granulated garlic

Bring spring rolls to life by soaking in warm water for a few seconds. (Follow package directions.) Lay pliable wrapper on a wet towel and blot excess moisture. Lay two slices of avocado end-to-end in the middle of the wrapper. Top with 1/8th of the broccoli slaw mixture and sprinkle with seasonings. Fold one side of the spring roll wrapper over the veggies and pull back towards them, forming a tight roll. Fold ends over and roll the spring roll towards the open flap. Place on plate seam side down. Slice in two on the bias. Serve with your favorite sauce. (I like a tiny bit of soy sauce.)

The rice papers are surprisingly high in calories. Adding avocado to them increases the fat and calories, so this seemingly light meal is actually pretty heavy. That’s the ONLY thing I don’t like about these. Otherwise, they’re delicious! And I love being able to make them at home so the rice papers are fresh and soft and chewy instead of tough and gummy.

Avocado Spring Rolls

I’m Having an Affair

That’s right. I’m having an affair…with the treadmill. And I’m cheating on it with vegetable sushi. I just can’t help myself. Both are so darn good that they’ve coaxed me into a love triangle.

Mr. M introduced me to the treadmill about a year ago. I was reluctant to even be friends with it at first, but we run in the same circle, so we kept running into each other. Eventually, I gave in and started spending time along with it, and, well, it was all up-hill from there.

Our relationship has developed into a torrid affair. I think about it at night before I go to bed, and it’s the first thing I think about in the morning. I bought special clothes just for our time together, even though by the end of our trysts, I’m barely clothed.
Mr. M completely understands and supports my relationship with the treadmill. He doesn’t question my hesitation to join him for early breakfasts or community service projects. He doesn’t wonder why I have an expensive wardrobe of brightly colored bras and skirts, fancy socks, or a seemingly endless accumulation of spandex. And he doesn’t open the door to the room when we’re together, even if he hears loud music and heavy breathing.

J'aime mon tapis roulant ❤

 Years before I was introduced to the treadmill, I stumbled upon vegetable sushi. I was on yet another go-nowhere-date when we met at what quickly became “Our Place.” At first, I was resistant to its flirting – the sweet smell of its pickled vegetables, sticky rice, and seaweed wrap, the creaminess of its avocado goodness, and the saltines of its friend and confidante – soy sauce. But eventually, I gave in. And once I put that first bite in my mouth, it was all over. I gobbled up my first plate and waited for more; I couldn’t get enough! I begged my friends and family to join me, driving the 30+ miles to meet my new love. Each trip was punctuated by the thrill of anticipation. Giggling ensued and smiles were abundant. Careful planning allowed for the most of our time together. 

Mr. M hates everything I love about the tasty rolls, so my desire for vegetable sushi has gone underground. Because of the distance between us, I have to sneak visits, giving up what every amount of time I can between trips to other, more legitimate locations. Anticipation is still involved, and I still catch myself giggling and smiling uncontrollably  as my car gets close to the exit that leads to my old friend, but the pleasure derived from my indulgence is tarnished with the knowledge that I’m cheating…on all the sweaty mornings the treadmill and I have spent together. To alleviate my guilt, I spend extra time with the treadmill when I get home, but not before I brush my teeth and take a shower.

Giddy with Anticipation