Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ying yang salad with peanut-sesame dressing

We had a real "spring-type" day here in Edmonton, Canada today—don't get excited, no portion of my back yard or garden is yet not still covered with snow, but I could sit in the sheltered area of my patio and enjoy the rays (against a black background to attract radiant heat) for the first time since September. Woo hoo! Also, it's been such a carb-fest around here lately, for no reason other than that carbs taste so good; I made up the rest of the Mexican parathas from yesterday for lunch today—and you haven't even seen this yet, which is the spinach-noodle kugel from Veganomicon, delicious and now dearly departed:

…that I thought I'd try a salad. This is the Ying yang salad with peanut-sesame dressing from the Real Food Daily Cookbook. I'm going to provide a link over to 101 Cookbooks for the recipe, since Heidi Swanson reprinted it with permission, which I don't have.

Anyway, yum! The dressing is fantastic if you're a cilantro-lover. I obtained my cilantro from my aunt Katee, who bought it thinking it was parsley. Tragic for her, 'cause she had to wash her hands three times to get the smell off, and my gain. Funny how Katee and my mom both hate cilantro to the point where my mom, for instance, doesn't even like walking around my garden because I've got some growing there, and yet my sister Diane and I adore the stuff. They say it's genetic…but who knows? Yes, cilantro smells like soap. So it tastes like dirt…but in a good way, you know?

However, I do have something original to contribute to this post, which is a technique for cooking tofu on short notice. If you read the recipe for this dish, you'll see it calls for marinating the tofu in a little sauce for some hours and then baking it. But when you're cooking for supper and it's already five o'clock, you may not have time for all that fuss. I am here to tell you that, most of the time, you don't have to marinate tofu. On short notice, what you can do is put together the marinade ingredients, and braise the tofu pieces on the stovetop. So in this case (I was halving the recipe) you see a pound of tofu in the marinade recommended minus about 1/3 of the tamari—because you don't want the tofu too salty—and plus 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar—because you do want it to caramelize.

Tofu in:

Tofu out:

Altogether a really nice meal. Heidi mentions in her post the "backlash" she got from another Real Food Daily recipe she posted, for Spelt macaroni with cashew cheese. That's the cashew cheese recipe that's my current absolute wonderful favourite. Not cheese, but dang good, and I applaud Heidi's open-mindedness in trying it despite the fact that she is vegetarian, not vegan—and not celiac either for that matter!


  1. Hmmmm, I am smelling the soap!
    But the tofu looks delish!

  2. This looks great...I think it's so true about the cilantro thing...I love it...interesting idea that the preference is genetic.

    Great idea about the braising in place of marinading. I must try that kugel too, it looks really yummy!