Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Super Protein Salad

Today I was craving something I hadn't had a hankering for in a long time. The summer before the wedding I was eating really lean, light foods, not necessariliy for weight loss but because it was what my body wanted. I had also scared myself into not eating sugar for fear of succumbing to the ailments of my ancestors. Clearly, marriage changed that a little bit. I needed to learn the basics of cooking good family meals and I was also craving comfort food, what with being in a foreign place. The thing about Seattle is, it isn't really that different from Toronto. It's just different enough to make you feel like you've entered the Twilight Zone. With my husband gone for a week (skiing up in Canada), it sort of felt like my old single life again, just me and the bunnies, which is probably why I was missing one of my favourite restaurants back home: Fresh. They had this one salad on the menu called the Super Protein Salad that was the most delicious thing in the world! I ate it three times a week, sometimes four. I tried to recreate that salad today, but it just wasn't the same. The neighborhood Safeway didn't have half the ingredients I needed so I had to improvise most of it. What I created was definitely nutritious and tasy, but sadly, not the same way my beloved Fresh made it. Where does one get goji berries, tempeh and puffed quinoa in Seattle? My beautiful sister-in-law gave me a Fresh recipe book the night of the rehearsal dinner (thank you so much!), so I was able to at least substitute real Fresh tofu steak for my tempeh.

The Super Protein Salad has:

your greens of choice
chick peas (check)
grape tomatoes (check)
cucumbers (check)
grilled tempeh (fail) I used tofu instead
puffed quinoa (fail)
goji berries (fail)
slivered pistachios (fail)
currants (fail) I used Craisins instead
slivered almonds (check)
sea salt (check)
hazelnuts (fail)
I like to top my salad off with tahini dressing, which Safeway miraculously had (check)

Since I was substituting tofu for tempeh, I decided I would try Fresh's Marinated Tofu Steak Recipe, which is as follows:

1 block of firm tofu
2 tsp ground coriander (I used parsley)
4 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 cup of tamari
2 cups of filtered water

Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut the slices diagonally into triangles. Place them in a bowl and pour the rest of the ingredients over the tofu triangles. Marinate for 1 hour. Then I took 7 triangles and browned them over medium-high heat in my frying pan, and added them to my salad.

Lilibeth Protein Salad

All in all, it was a very nutritious dinner for one but I really need to find a place that sells tempeh. That aside: Happy Birthday Clementine! I made you cupcakes! The catch is, you must come to Seattle to eat them.

The real Super Protein Salad, so delicious.

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