Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beat the Heat: Raw Veggie Salad with Tofu Feta

Ahhh, it looks like our recent Michigan heatwave is finally over!  Earlier in the week we had a few 90+ degree days with a blazing hot sun.  It was the kind of heat that you expect in July or August, not early June, so it really came as a shock.  And wouldn't you know it, our central air went out!  That threw a wrench in my dinner plans for the week since I didn't want to make anything that would heat up the house any more.  Brian grilled a couple nights but midway through the week we just wanted something cool and refreshing that didn't require much prep work.  

I had some raw veggies in the fridge and had just seen a recipe for tofu feta that sounded intriguing and I thought the two would make a perfect combination.  I didn't have exactly what I needed for it, though.  Then I remembered that there's also a recipe in The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak.  I didn't have the exact ingredients for that either, nor the suggested 2-7 days for marinating the tofu.  I had my heart and taste buds set on eating it for dinner the next day so I sort of combined the two recipes.  

I really was wary of how it would turn out, both in terms of taste and texture, but the result was quite feta-esque and surprisingly delicious.  Granted, it's been about 3.5 years since I've eaten feta but I think I've eaten enough of it in my lifetime to be able to say this comes close.  There would be no mistaking it for real feta but it has a nice tang and crumbles well.

The miso marinade made a great dressing for the raw veggies.  I tossed them in a little of that and then topped it with the tofu feta.  So yummy!!  There is a lot of marinade left so I saved it to use as dressing on salads.  It's a little reminiscent of Greek dressing so I definitely see a Greek salad in my future with fresh roasted beets.  I marinated it for less than 24 hours but would do longer if I had the time.  Be sure to press the tofu again or drain it well after marinating or else it will be too soggy.

Brian ended up firing up the grill after all to make a delicious loaf of whole-grain garlic bread.  Combined with the veggie salad and a tall glass of wine, this was a simple yet satisfying meal.

Raw veggies -  cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots and green beans; canned chick peas

Tofu Feta 

1 pound extra-firm tofu
Juice of 1 lemon plus enough water to equal 1 ½ cups
½ cup mellow brown miso (could also use white or chickpea)
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. salt
Dried oregano, to taste
1. Drain and press tofu well.  I used my TofuXpress.  Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes.
2. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a shallow dish with a lid.  Place tofu cubes in liquid, making sure that they are all covered.
3. Marinate tofu in refrigerator for 24 hours, longer for a stronger flavor.
4. Remove tofu from marinade.  Gently squeeze or re-press tofu to remove excess marinade, or drain well.
5. To serve, crumble over salad, pasta, or veggies.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.  


1 comment:

  1. A true food artist does not limit themselves to the recipe at hand but uses it as a starting point for creation. Remain courageous and creative!