It’s starting to get warmer, and warm weather means avoiding the oven at all costs (unless of course, you’re baking cupcakes – that’s always allowed no matter what the temperature). We’ve been lucky so far and haven’t had to deal with a whole lot of humidity or temperatures much higher than 83, but still, warm weather is warm weather.
And it’s about this time of the year when a meal like this becomes so perfect. No oven required.
It’s healthy. It’s cheap. It’s quick. It’s meatless. It’s delicious to boot. What more could you want in a dinner? I think we’re going to start keeping a block of baked tofu on hand for ’emergencies’, you know, when the thought of spending more than 15 minutes before you can eat is preposterous (yes, believe it or not, we have those days). Simply cook some rice noodles, chop up the tofu and whatever veggies happen to be in the fridge, whip up the dressing, and voila. Dinner.
Taylor was very impressed with the dressing – it’s a versatile sauce that could be used for just about anything asian, I’m thinking dipping potstickers or spring rolls. The agave gives it a nice sweetness without the overwhelming taste of honey or brown sugar. I’m sure you could use honey or sugar if you can’t find agave nectar (hint: look in the ‘hippie’ section of your local megamart), but it’s divine if you can.
We found this recipe on the Whole Foods website, though the meal was made entirely with ingredients from Trader Joe’s. Shh. Don’t tell.
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons hot chile sesame oil
Salt to taste
1/2 pound dried pad thai-style rice noodles
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 (6-ounce) package baked tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
In a large bowl, whisk together tamari, sesame seeds, agave nectar, garlic and oil to make a dressing; set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, soak noodles in a large bowl of cold water until pliable, about 15 minutes; drain well. Add noodles to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 6 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, drain and transfer to bowl with reserved dressing; toss well.
Add green onions, carrots, cucumbers, peppers and tofu and toss gently to combine. Transfer to bowls, top with cilantro and serve.