Super Easy Tofu Salad

I want to share this super easy vegetarian dish I brought to a gathering three weekends ago.  It was a very light, refreshing, and flavorful salad and everyone liked it.  This salad is also great with spinach or Romaine lettuce, dried cherries and cheese.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 oz.) firm tofu, cubed in bite pieces
  • yellow and red cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to incorporate.    I told you it’s super easy.  Enjoy. 🙂

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2014-2015)   Other than personal use, unauthorized duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fry

I had a wonderful memory about a salad that my friend and I made when I was still living in Hawaii over two decades ago. We went to explore the island and made a stop at China town in downtown Honolulu for lunch.  Hawaii, known as a melting pot, you get introduced to different foods including tofu.  I didn’t like it at first, but when we made this Asian salad and tofu soup as well as learned of its nutritional value, I changed my mind.  Tofu became one of my favorites.  Like the Mediterranean salad, this too was also a favorite at parties I catered.  It wasn’t just because of the watercress, tofu, and tuna, but also because of the dressing.  When you take a bite, the  raw garlic in the dressing and the watercress have that spiciness and bitterness taste to them that balances out when you bite into the tuna and tofu. The dressing brought all the flavors together.  You can also use the dressing as a stir-fry sauce which I did with the dish I created.

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Sauce Ingredients:

  •  1 tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic.

Mix all ingredients in a dressing shaker and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside

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Eggplant and Tofu Stir-fry with Pineapple Fried Rice
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Stir-fry Ingredients:

  • 1 Chinese long eggplant, cut crosswise about half inch each
  • a handful of  fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 mini red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
  • 6 oz. tofu, cubed in bite pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of medium onions, sliced
  • oil for frying

Instructions:

  • First, prepare the sauce.  It’s a must.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of oil.  Fry the eggplant until brown or soft.
  • Place cooked eggplant on a plate lined with paper towel so it will absorb any excess oil.
  • In a different skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until translucent.
  • Add the tofu.  Stir-fry until tofu is heated through.
  • Add the sauce and toss to incorporate.  Cook until sauce is heated through.

Here’s a picture of the salad I was talking about.  I had this about a week ago.  The recipe is available below.  You can use the stir-fry sauce ingredients I provided above to dress this salad.

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Watercress Salad ingredients:

  • A handful of watercress
  • 1/2 cup tuna flakes in oil
  • 1/4 of small red onions, sliced
  • 6 oz. tofu; cubed
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Place all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.  Enjoy!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Note:  If this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

I was thinking about a pasta salad I created a long time ago when I used to cater. It was one of the best sellers and a hit at parties.  I called it Mediterranean Pasta Salad.  It was healthy and refreshing.  Everyone wanted the recipe, but I only gave it to one of my friends.  After a while,  I’ve seen a similar dish sold by a large merchant in the area.  However, my friend told me that she preferred my recipe because it was refreshing and well seasoned.  The original Italian dressing I used before was not available, so I picked whatever they have on the shelf.  It’s made with extra virgin olive oil.  You can make a homemade dressing and add cucumbers or other raw vegetables of your choice if you prefer.  If some people find the process of making this salad a bit complicated, I suggest you gather all the ingredients before making it to prevent overcooked ingredients.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this refreshing salad.

DSC_0232Ingredients:

  • 10 cups water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 cups uncooked Penne Rigate pasta noodles
  • 1/2 of roasted chicken breast, sliced in bite pieces or 1 dozen of medium shrimps
  • 10 stalks of asparagus, cut slanted about an inch
  • 1/4 of large onion, cut lengthwise
  •  12 pieces fresh Mozarella Ciliegine (fresh mini Mozarella balls)
  • 1 medium red bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 medium orange bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow bell peppers, cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 pieces pepperoncini
  • Goya (or a brand of your choice) quartered and marinated artichoke hearts; drained (6 oz.)
  • Pitted Kalamata olives
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 bottle of your favorite Italian dressing (9-14 oz.)

Directions:

  • Bring 6 cups of water in a pot to a boil.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.  Drain completely and place in a large bowl.
  • In a separate pot, bring two cups of water with juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil.  Add the shrimp and cook until opaque about 2 minutes.  Drain immediately and completely.  Add in the bowl with pasta.
  • In a separate pot, bring water and 1/4 salt to a boil.  Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute.  Remove immediately and add in the bowl with the shrimp and pasta.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt).

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Toss to coat or use two ladles and mix until well combined. Cover with Saran wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least  two hours.

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Mix again to make sure the dressing is well incorporated before serving.  Serve in a large salad bowl.

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or individual size salad plate.  Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.DSC_0261

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.