When temperatures insist on dipping below zero for months on end, winter begins to lose its charm. Cooking up lots of warm, heavy meals to fortify us for the cold is often the only defense. Today, though, I found myself fantasizing about the bright, fresh, tangy flavors of summer. Inspired by the ingredients I happened to have in my fridge (It’s too chilly to venture out to the grocery store!), this colorful Vietnamese-style salad is a great way to trick yourself into believing summer isn’t actually so far away.

Summery Tofu Salad With Fresh Herbs, and Sesame Dressing [Vegan]

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Serves

4

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (If you don’t have this on hand, you can use an equal amount of mayonnaise or non dairy yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce (use less if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more to garnish
  • 1 6.5 ounce package of the firmest tofu you can find, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 ½ cup cooked green beans, cut into bite sized pieces (frozen work well)
  • ½ cup basil, mint, and/or cilantro, chopped
  • Generous squeeze of Sriracha (optional)
  • Additional sesame seeds to garnish
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Preparation

  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork until smooth and creamy.
  2. Combine tofu, beans, and fresh herbs in a larger bowl and add dressing from Step 1. Stir well.
  3. Allow tofu and beans to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours.
  4. Before serving, garnish with a generous squeeze of Sriracha and additional toasted sesame seeds.

Notes

This recipe is great to bring to work or even a picnic: just prepare in the morning, and it’ll get better and better the longer it sits.

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