While requiring a bit of forethought, this refreshingly crunchy salad is more than worth it on a hot summer day. You can even skip cooking the tofu if you can’t bear to turn on the stove. In lieu of a traditional dressing, we drizzle it with an avocado-ginger aïoli. Have leftovers? Stuff them into spring roll wrappers or collard leaves.
Makes 4 main course salads
Time: 35 minutes to prepare, not including time to “pickle”
• 4 large carrots, grated
• 1 small daikon radish, peeled and grated
• 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup (60 ml) GF rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
• 2 avocados, halved and pitted
• 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, peeled and minced
• 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup (60 ml) water
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 garlic clove
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil (OF: omit)
• One 16-ounce (454 g) package sprouted or extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
• Black pepper
• 8 ounces (227 g) brown rice noodles
• 2 cups (210 g) mung bean sprouts
• ½ cup (30 g) chopped cilantro
• Unsalted peanuts
• Chili sauce, such as Sriracha sauce, optional
1. Combine the carrots, radish, cucumber, vinegar, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.
2. Pulse the avocados, ginger, 2 tablespoons of the water, lime juice, and garlic in a blender until combined. Continue to process until the sauce has the consistency of aïoli, adding more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary (we used it all). Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and set aside.
3. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan.
4. Place the tofu in a single layer in the skillet. Cook until brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
5. Prepare the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
6. Toss the “pickled” vegetables with the noodles, then divide into bowls. Top with the tofu, bean sprouts, and cilantro. Drizzle with the avocado sauce. Garnish with the peanuts and chili sauce, if using, and serve. (Leftover salad ingredients can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; the dressing should be consumed within 1 day.)
Recipe from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts and the Rest of Your Life © Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine, 2017. Photographs copyright © Ken Carlson, Waterbury Publications Inc. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com