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Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Make a Delicious and Easy Vegan Tofu Pasta Salad

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

Making a delicious vegan tofu pasta salad is so simple.
Start with any pasta. I prefer whole wheat in a curly cue shape, but you can make this dish with pretty much any pasta noodles you like.
1. Boil the pasta following the instruction on the package. Be sure to use enough water and stir the pasta occasionally as it boils.
2. When the pasta has boiled for long enough, strain out the water with a colander in the sink.
3. Now put the strained pasta in a big bowl, toss in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can add more to the dressing, such as red wine or balsamic vinegar.
4. Refrigerate the pasta. When it is cool toss in some of the great ingredients listed below for a nutritious dish.
Baked tofu. Cut the tofu into small cubes. Baked tofu comes in a wide variety of brands and flavors. I don't think I have ever tried one that I didn't like. My current favorite is the Teriyaki baked tofu form the San Diego Soy Dairy. Tofu is excellent for adding protein to this salad.
Tomatoes. This really only works with cherry tomatoes, as regular tomatoes fall apart when you cut them up and mix them in.
Broccoli. Little florets add a lot of vitamins and flavor to the salad. A bit tough to pick out, and some don't like this, so keep on the side if you might serve this to those who don't appreciate broccoli.
Parsley. Dice up a little and add it to the salad, parsley gives everything a fresh green flavor.
Olives. When possible I prefer pitted Kalamata olives, but all olives are good. I'll even use diced black olives from a can if I don't have anything in a jar or fresh from an "olive bar".
Pickles. Cut into little pieces. I used to be a huge fan of the pickles sold chilled in jars, but lately I've been slumming it with jars of "pickle chips" (not sold chilled) like you would put on a veggie burger. Either would work just fine. You could even add both types of pickles.
Frozen peas. Is it just me, or do the frozen peas totally make a noodle salad? Sure, you could eat it without the peas, but why?
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Adds a nice texture along with a good dose of protein.
Three bean salad. Just delicious when added to this dish. I probably wouldn't do this and also the chickpeas, as three bean salad usually has chickpeas in it.
Chow mein noodles. This adds such a wonderful crunch. These must be served on the side, because if you mix them right into the salad the chow mein noodles will get soggy and loose all their crunch.
Jalapeno or pepperoncini peppers. Just to state the obvious, only add these spicy little guys if you want things hot. These are something else you might want to keep on the side.
More noodles. Sounds weird, but try adding even more pasta with a different shape and flavor. For example, if you are using a bag of whole wheat curly cue shaped pasta for the base, why not try a half bag of rice wagon wheels to add a contrasting noodle.
...and anything else you like. Almost any fresh or cooked vegetable or fruit (celery, peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, blueberries, sun dried tomatoes, etc) could be added to this salad!
So there you have it, easy as pasta! This is a nice dish to make for a potluck, picnic, or to have for lunch all week long if you make a big batch on a Sunday evening.
Please check out more great resources for Vegans I have at my website, http://www.VeganUSofA.com.

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