I realize that at one week before Christmas when people are making holiday feasts and desserts aplenty, it seems like a weird time to share a cold tofu salad. But hear me out! When the frenzy of end of year preparations is taking hold, it’s nice to have something quick, easy, and at the ready for lunch or dinner before you dash out the door. This curried tofu salad comes together in 10 minutes, and if you make it ahead of time, you can have lunch ready for several days.
Somehow whenever I have an appointment, I’m left at the last second scrambling for something to eat that won’t take long to prepare. Even when I think I’ve allowed plenty of time, it never fails that with ten minutes to spare I’m looking at a bin of produce and wondering how I’m going to turn that into something I can have in a flash.
At times like those, salad sandwiches are perfect. They’re filling and easy. They’re made with pantry staples, and for the most part, anything goes. Like the chickpea salad I posted this summer, I tend to use Vegenaise at the base. Then it can include additions like celery, onion, carrot, nuts or seeds, dried fruit, sliced grapes, diced pickles, stone-ground mustard, and/or spices. Depending on the amount of time I have, I can add a little or a lot. (Get the full recipe for a classic vegan egg salad sandwich here.)
Tofu salad fits easily into a sandwich, tortilla, spread onto crackers, stuffed into a tomato, eaten in a lettuce leaf, or just plain right out of the bowl alongside of a green salad.
Even better are the times when I’ve made a tofu salad ahead of time, like this curried tofu salad. The flavors meld and deepen with time as it sinks into the blocks of tofu. Every day it sits in the refrigerator, it just gets better. (I think this one tastes best on day two!) When it’s already waiting and ready in the fridge, I can just add a couple of dollops into a tortilla, roll it up, and hit the door.
This curried tofu salad is based on one of my favorite prepared salads at my local Co-op. With carrots, onions, and raisins, it has a wonderful mixture of sweet and savory flavors. For spices, this one uses a simple curry powder. If you have a curry powder you like, by all means use it. I have two favorite curry powders from Penzey’s – sweet and hot. For this lunch offering, I use the sweet one, and then I add cayenne to taste for a bit of added kick.