Sesame and Cilantro Noodle Salad with Tofu

This recipe is adapted from the very similar one on Simply Recipes. I didn’t make it up, I just changed it a bit, but it is very tasty! It was just right for a summer evening– cool and can be prepped far ahead of time. I changed the recipe on Simply Recipes by adding sauteed tofu and decreasing the amount of oil. I think that it would also be good with a bit of lime juice and some bias cut snow peas or perhaps grated carrots.

What You Need:

Honey Soy Dressing
1/8 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper (I used Aleppo, and probably a full 1/2 Tablespoon)
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Salad
1 package baked tofu (I used the “Thai” flavor)
8 ounces of vermicelli (i.e. angel hair pasta)
Salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (more is fine)
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 bunch thinly sliced green onions
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

What you do:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain.
  2. Prepare the dressing by combining (in a large microwave safe bowl) the oils and red pepper and nuking for 2 minutes. After the oil is heated, and the chili has been infused (yum!), add the honey and soy sauce. Mix well.
  3. Add the pasta to the oil mixture and chill for several hours.
  4. After you’ve mixed the pasta, prep the rest of the ingredients for easy assembly later. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Warm a pan on the stove on medium high heat. Add some vegetable oil (about 2 Tbsp) and wait for the oil to get hot. Carefully add the tofu (the oil will spit at you.) Brown the tofu on all sides (about 2 minutes, per) and place in a Tupperware. Add to the Tupperware the chopped cilantro, onions and red pepper.
  5. When ready to eat, combine the noodles with the Tupperware contents and top each serving with peanuts and sesame seeds.

We got about 4 very hefty servings out of this. Best of all, it sits well in the fridge for quick healthy lunches too.

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Three Bean Salad


I just love Three Bean Salad, and I thumb my nose at Mark Bittman who said recently, “the three-bean salad was usually a staple of the bad salad bar.” I do agree, however, that most Three Bean Salads, particularly those served on salad bars are quite gross. Generally they’re sickeningly sweet and the dressing is oddly thick. And usually the green beans have come from a can. A can! Now, everyone knows a can is no place for green beans!

This recipe is my own based on an amalgum of other recipes I found as I looked around. It features fresh steamed grean beans and I used some left over garbanzos which I cooked up the other day, though I’m sure a 15 oz. can would work just as well. I also reduced the amount of sugar and oil in the dressing to make it a little healthier. Here is what I came up with…
What you need:

Salad:

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

Dressing:

  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 t. fresh pepper
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 T. German mustard

What to do:
1. Wash and cut the green beans to 1-inch pieces.
2. Place 1 inch of water in a sauce pan fitted with a veggie steamer on a burner set to high.
3. When the water boils, fill steamer with the green beans and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, chop the onion and red pepper and drain and wash the canned beans.
5. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the dressing and toss everything to cover.
7. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors marinate.
8. Enjoy!