Having a restricted diet, whether it is for moral or health reasons, can make you feel very lonely and alienated. Even though you always arrive at a BBQ with a fantastic vegetarian/gluten-free/kosher/raw food dish that you prepared with a lot of time, money and love; you probably don’t feel the same kind of warm, open-armed acceptance as the guests who show up with a package of 99-cent-mystery-meat-hot-dogs and a case of domestic beer. Sometimes, you just want to eat something that looks familiar and won’t spark tired old conversations of “You’re a vegetarian? Do you still eat chicken and fish? How do you get your protein?” May I present you with two tasty, inconspicuous salads that should not attract glares of incredulity AND will give you tons of energy to fuel your sanctimonious food crusade! (One batch of “mayonnaise” makes enough for both recipes).
12 oz firm silken tofu
5 Tbs sesame oil
2-3 Tbs lemon juice
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp onion powder
Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth and mayonnaise-y. (Makes approximately 1 ½ cups mayo)
Split Pea Salad
a Mean, Green, Protein Machine!
3 cups dried split peas (rinsed)
3 Tbs soy miso paste
3 Tbs fresh dill (chopped)
12oz extra firm tofu
½ cup Mayo-Says-Me (see recipe above) Water
In a medium saucepan, bring miso paste and 1 cup water to a simmer, stirring until fully incorporated. Slice tofu block into 4-5 large sections and place them in the pan (don’t splash yourself!). Add enough water to cover the tofu and bring to a boil for 10 min. Remove pan from heat and drain the tofu, reserving the liquid. When tofu is cool enough to handle, carefully dice it into ¼” cubes and either spread out the cubes on multiple layers of towels/paper towels, or place on dehydrator screens and dehydrate on 90-115 degrees for 1-2 hours (this step insures the cubes are firm and retain their egg-like consistency, rather than crumbling all over the place.) Place split-peas and the reserved miso liquid back into the medium sauce pan. Add water (if needed) to cover peas by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil and remove from heat. I like my peas to be quite al-dente… bordering on under cooked. If you want your peas mushier, cover them after removing from heat. Allow to cool completely and drain off any remaining liquid. Gently combine all ingredients and allow to chill 1-2 hours or overnight. *you could save time and cook the peas and tofu simultaneously, but this totally changes the texture of the tofu and makes a crumbly mess.
Faux Tuna Salad
So believable, you would think it was made from real Mermaids!
2 cans garbanzo beans (drained)
1 cup Mayo-Says-Me (see recipe above)
1 ½ cups diced celery
1 cup diced lotus root (fresh or in brine)
2/3 cup chopped sweet pickles
2/3 cup chopped dill pickles
1 full sheet toasted nori (crumbled into small flakes)
Salt and Pepper
In a food processor, blender, or by hand: chop garbanzo beans to a crumbly consistency. Stir all dry ingredients together, adding Mayo-Says-Me last. Salt and pepper to taste. Can be enjoyed on a sandwich, as a dip, inside celery ribs and more!
*jicama is a nice alternative for lotus root if you have difficulty finding it.
**Nutrition data was compiled from various online sources and my high-school math skills!