Rob and I went to New York City (and Brooklyn) last week. When we left Toronto, it was snowing and cold (definitely felt like winter). We were happy to drive a bit further south for even a minor relief. After a week of walking all over Manhattan, we returned to even warmer temperatures in Toronto! Our friend’s toddler was playing in a kiddie pool, it was that warm and summer-like.
While it was nice outside, I am not sure whether local gardeners have ventured to actually plant outdoors yet. I am thinking I might chance planting some direct-sow seeds this weekend, although historically, mid-May is a better time to plant to avoid all chance of frost.
In the meantime, while you are yearning for fresh salads but limited to grocery store staples, this salad fit the bill. Greenhouse grown tomatoes and cucumbers with some spinach for greenery. Quinoa bulked this up along with accents of tofu feta. I’ve made tofu feta before but I really liked the simplicity of this recipe and how it really tasted like feta cheese! I found the flavours mellowed out as leftovers, so for more feta-punch, eat sooner rather than later. The original recipe comes from Dreena’s awesome Plant-Powered Families and was one of Nicole’s favourite recipes from the book, too (you can find my original review of the cookbook here).
Greek Quinoa Salad with Tofu Feta
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
scant 1 cup vegetable broth
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
4 handfuls baby spinach
1 recipe tofu feta (see below)
1. Start making your tofu if you haven’t already. (see below)
2. Next, cook your quinoa. Bring vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.
3. Assemble your salad by combining the cooked quinoa, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and spinach. Top with tofu feta.
1 package (12 oz) extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1.5 cups water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp white miso
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp lemon juice
1.5–2 tbsp red wine vinegar (2 tablespoons for extra tang)
1/2 tsp maple syrup
To make the boiling mixture:
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, place the tofu, water, red wine vinegar, salt and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15–20 minutes, uncovered. If some of the tofu is not covered in the brine, gently stir through occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or baking dish, combine the miso, oregano, lemon juice, vinegar and maple syrup. Stir until completely combined.
3. After cooking the tofu, strain the tofu discarding the liquid (you can still keep the garlic). While still warm, transfer the tofu to the bowl with the marinade. Stir and mix to coat the tofu. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least an hour. The tofu will keep for 5-6 days but I found it better sooner rather than later.
Makes 12 oz.