Thursday, 11 April 2013

vegan greek salad - feta free!

For a lot of people considering veganism (including myself when I went back to it), CHEESE was the thing that you worry you can't live without. 

I can happily and enthusiastically say I don't care about cheese anymore. When I was changing my diet I did have a few slips, but it's just like they say - cheese is addictive, and once you get over that, it doesn't matter!

So with this in mind, and spring on the way (finally), I thought my first recipe should be one of my favourites for a sunny day - greek salad!

In this, I've used marinated firm tofu, but feel free to be adventurous with vegan cheese! Munch this with lovely crusty or dense bread - the loaf pictured is a sourdough which was great.

This serves 2 hungry - but if you're on your own it's perfect for lunch the next day!

You will need:

1 block firm tofu, drained
Half a cucumber
Half a small jar of black olives, pitted
A small punnet of cherry tomatoes 

Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Balsamic vinegar, if you like it (I think it's the devil's dressing)

1. Press the tofu. I do this using the plates and heavy object method, it's awfully scientific. Place a clean tea towel over a plate, and place the tofu on top. Add another plate on top of the tofu, and then find something heavy to rest on the plate. Leave for as long as you can manage, I am far too impatient and only last about 5 minutes. Once pressed, chop into squares.

2. Place the tofu cubes in a bowl. Add a glug of olive oil, and some dried oregano as well as a little salt and pepper too. 

3. While that's marinading, chop the cherry tomatoes in half, the olives in half and the cucumber into chunks. Technically you're supposed to peel the cucumber but I like the added goodness the skin has.

4. Transfer the salad into a bowl and add another hearty glug of olive oil, some more oregano, pepper and a sprinking of lemon juice. I cheat, and have bottled lemon juice because squeezing lemons is too much faff for me. Mix it all up until evenly covered.

5. Dry-fry the tofu cubes, as they've already marinaded in the oil. Use a non stick pan, or you may get into issues! When they're done, the tofu should have a nice golden colour to it. 

6. Serve on a plate with some crusty bread! If you want to, you can wait for the tofu to cool for a truly chilly and satisfying salad, but I am far too greedy so scoff the tofu warm. If you like balsamic, drizzle on as liberally as you like.. just don't put it anywhere near me!

What sort of food do you like to eat on a sunny day? Is there anything better than a fresh, crunchy salad?

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