Okay, so I get in food ruts. Especially when it comes to lunches (I pack a lunch nearly every day, by the way, since there aren't many other options around where I work). I have a cute lunchbox that makes it much more enjoyable, but I still tend to bring the same things - yogurt with fruit, Laughing Cow wedges with Wasa crackers, hummus and veggies, etc., etc. So, determined to break out of my shell (and propelled by the need to use up a block of tofu before it went bad), I did something this week I never thought I'd do... I made 'chicken salad' for lunch.
Now, I really am not the kind of vegetarian who makes a lot of "mock" dishes. I gave up meat for a list of reasons - one of which is that I have never really liked it! But I needed something to do with tofu and wanted to make something different for lunches. The following recipe is my personal adaptation of a recipe from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures and I must admit was extremely yummy and definitely a new entry in my lunchbox repertoire.
Mock Chicken Salad
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1 T canola oil
1 T soy sauce
1 T diced garlic scape (yes, T, they do last forever!)
1 carrot, chopped
enough light mayonnaise to hold the mixture together
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the tofu in a clean cotton kitchen towel and gather up the sides of the towel to create a pouch. Twist the ball of tofu to extract as much liquid as possible. This creates a ball of mealy tofu - drop that on a cutting board and chop into small pea-sized pieces.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until very hot. Add the tofu and cook, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, for approximately ten minutes or until tofu is golden brown. Pour tofu into large bowl and drizzle immediately with soy sauce and stir to combine. Let cool ten minutes and then place bowl in refrigerator for at least an hour more.
3. Once cool, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. I used the mixture on toasted whole wheat bread with thin slices of heirloom tomatoes and romaine lettuce. Wrapped up in aluminum foil it was a yummy lunch that lasted pretty much all week.
I know many of you may not be tofu fans, but wanted to share in case you ever feel the urge!