Last night, I made a multi-facetedly awesome dinner. (I now declare multi-facetedly to be a real word.) Above is not a picture of the dinner. Because I am cameraless, it's a picture of someone else's strawberry and tofu salad... but mine looked way better.
Usually, I at least pretend to follow a recipe or two when cooking. It's easier to build off of something that already exists, and if you don't know what else to add, there are suggestions ripe for the picking. This meal was unusual in that it wasn't inspired by another recipe - it came into my brain matter from nowhere.
That means, like usual, I didn't measure anything that went into the salad. The liquids are most likely to be off - feel free to adjust numbers if you make that one. I worried that this meal wouldn't be filling enough. It was plenty filling.
Friend whose house we've invaded started a new job yesterday, and it was ridiculously hot and humid, just like it's supposed to be today. I only went outside to get groceries and it was intolerable. But a light, refreshing meal like this makes you even more glad to be in the AC. We had lemon poppyseed tofu salad with strawberries, ginger-garlic couscous, and rhubarb sauce over ice cream.
Lemon Poppyseed Tofu Salad with Strawberries (serves 3-4)
1/2 14-oz container firm tofu
1/2 bag fresh spinach
1 small head of another leafy green (I used some stuff in the co-op veggie bag that was purplish)
8 oz. strawberries, sliced, plus extra for nibbling
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
3 T olive oil
3 T rice vinegar
1 1/2 t balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice
2 T poppyseed
1 T grated ginger
Chopped walnuts (optional)
To prepare tofu: Drain water, slice into pieces 1/2 inch thick. Place in single layer on a dish towel. Put another dish towel over it, with a cutting board on top and a heavy pot (or the olive oil bottle) on that. This soaks out the water so that it will absorb the oil and spices. Cover the remaining tofu with water in a sealed container and refrigerate. Leave drying tofu in place while preparing strawberries and carrots.
Add oil, vinegars, lemon juice, and spices to large frying pan. Slice tofu into pieces about 1/2 inch thick and two inches long, so that you have small strips of it. Add to pan and cook on medium heat. Stir and flip as needed until browned.
Meanwhile, toss greens, carrot and strawberries together. When tofu is done, pour it and any remaining liquids on top of salad mixture. If there is not enough to wet the salad, mix an equal proportion of the cooking liquids together for a dressing. Serve with walnuts if desired and a whole strawberry on the side.
Ginger-Garlic Couscous (serves 3-4)
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t shredded ginger
1/2 c. couscous
1 c. water
Simmer first three ingredients in a small pot until garlic and ginger are lightly browned. Slowly pour in water. When it boils, remove pot from heat, stir in couscous, and cover for five minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
I didn't come up with this recipe on my own - I got it from here. You don't even need the nutmeg or lemon juice for this one to be amazing, but it was yummy. We ate it over vanilla ice cream last night, but I think this would be great over lemon sorbet or sherbert, too - especially on a hot day.