Hummus, Tofu & Quinoa Salad

A couple summers ago, a good friend told me that she had just applied to work at this cool new healthy fast food joint in town that she thought I would really like, and that I should apply too. Naturally I brushed off the idea, as I would prefer to sit on the couch all day over doing work. But the days passed, and the nagging in my mind got more annoying, and I decided I would give it a try. Having never had a “real” job that wasn’t nannying before, I was pleasantly surprised when I got hired.

That summer flew by so fast that when I try to remember it, what comes to me are fleeting images of stuffing my face with delicious food and hanging out with fun coworkers. That’s what all jobs are like, right? I hope I’m not disappointed later in life if this turns out to not be the case.

One particular face-stuffing episode stands out in my memory especially. It was the first bite that I had of my favorite salad there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some grass-eating, salad-crazy lettuce freak; I would pick a (veggie) burger and fries over romaine any day, but something about that crunchy, tangy, warm, chewy bowl kept me coming back for more. Like, every shift.

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Life has gotten busy since then, and as much as I would love to drive over and pick up one of these salads every time I’m craving one, it just isn’t practical. So I decided to make my own that would just have to do. Every time I make it, it takes me back to that relaxed, fun, deeeelicious summer I had. It’s got the comfort of the quinoa, the crunch of the veggies, the umami of the tofu, and the spice of my homemade hummus. In these crazy, freezing (I mean typical, mild) San Diego winter months, I hope you can be transported too!

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Hummus, Tofu & Quinoa Salad

A healthy, filling salad that will satisfy your crunchiest, craziest cravings.

Ingredients

•Spring mix lettuce

•Basic tofu strips (Use this recipe)

•Cooked quinoa*

•Batch of homemade hummus**

•Shredded carrots

•Shredded purple cabbage

•Apple, cubed

•Balsamic vinaigrette***

For quinoa:

•1 cup quinoa

•2 cups vegetable broth or water

Measure and rinse 1 cup of quinoa. Combine with 2 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

For hummus:

•4 garlic cloves

•2 cups drained chickpeas, liquid reserved

•1 1/2 tsp salt

•1/3 cup tahini

•6 tbsp (about 2 lemons) of fresh squeezed lemon juice

•2 tbsp water or liquid from the chickpeas

•8 dashes hot sauce or pinch of cumin

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

For dressing:

•3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

•1 tbsp dijon mustard

•1 garlic clove, minced

•1/2 cup olive oil

•Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.

Directions

  1. Assemble all ingredients and serve cold.

 

 

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