Thursday, July 25, 2013

Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad

Pasta, check. Super fresh veggies, check. Hearty protein, check. This salad has a little bit of everything, and is sure to be a summer crowd pleaser. Prefer smaller pasta shapes? Check out my post for Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil.

For the salad:
  • 1 (15-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 cups (2-inch) cut green beans
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill*
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegan sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
1. To make the salad, drain the tofu and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the tofu; saute for 5 minutes, making sure to brown on all sides.  Remove the tofu from the pan and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the penne in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again.

3. In a large bowl, combine the chilled tofu, penne, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and dill.

4. To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients listed under 'Dressing' in a jar.  Cover and shake to combine.  Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

*Use 1 teaspoon dried dill if you don't have fresh on hand.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 and 1/2 cups), Calories 187

Tasting Notes:
Certainly a nice summer salad, but I ought to have trusted my instinct to cook the tofu longer. I'd give it at least 10 minutes next time, for a very crisp, seared exterior, or better yet bake it in the oven for firmer texture. The dressing is light, so increase it if you want a better coating on the pasta, but the dill is a particularly nice touch. Make sure to use super fresh cherry tomatoes and green beans though, and you can't go wrong.


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