Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kung Pao Brown Rice and Tofu Salad

Makes about 8 servings.
Recipe from A Muse Came to Dinner
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This is just one tasty Meatless Monday salad, my friends.  The best thing is that it tastes best after it has had a chance to chill in the fridge for a day.  (It also tastes great at room temperature.)  So, plan to make this on a weekend and then enjoy it for lunch throughout the workweek.  Pictured here is the Kung Pao Brown Rice and Tofu Salad served along with a sliced apple, non-fat plain Greek yogurt and some granola.  A most satisfying lunch indeed.

Salad Ingredients
1 batch of No-Fail Big Batch Brown Rice or about 4 ½ cups of cooked brown rice 

1 lb. extra firm tofu, pressed and diced into ½ inch cubes
Olive oil for sautéing  (You can also use vegetable oil or peanut oil.)

1 cup toasted unsalted peanuts* (cashews also work in this recipe)
2/3 cup sliced scallions or minced red onion
1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2/3 cup grated carrots

Dressing Ingredients
1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
¼ tamari or soy sauce
1/8 cup brown rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes

Place cooked rice in a large mixing bowl to cool.  Fluff rice with a fork to separate the grains.
Cover the bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat until hot.  Sauté the tofu until golden brown.  Toss the cubes frequently for even browning.  With a slotted spoon transfer the tofu into a strainer lined with a paper towel to absorb the oil.  Set aside to cool.
Add the tofu, peanuts, scallions, water chestnuts and carrots to the rice and toss.
Place the dressing ingredients into a Mason jar and cover with a lid.  Shake vigorously until the ingredients are well blended.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.

*Place peanuts (or cashews) onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Heat the oven to 325°F. Bake in the oven for about 6 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until the peanuts are a toasty brown.

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