Here’s a quick, refreshing summer meal that provides a high ROI for your time. Remember to marinade the tofu for a while—it’s particularly yummy if marinaded overnight or during the work day (depending on when you like to get your work done—morning people, how do you do it!?).
The red quinoa salad is pretty forgiving, too. Throw in whatever you have around, but make it a mix—crunchy things, filling things, spicy things, sweet things.
And you even get to make your own dressing! Rock! Why anyone ever buys dressing, I’ll never know. How hard is it to whisk oil into vinegar? You even get to pretend like you’re doing something impressive by throwing emulsify around every now and again.
In a medium bowl, whisk all marinade ingredients except tofu. Pour a quarter of the marinade in the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Layer the tofu across the bottom; all 16 slices should just fit. Pour the rest of the marinade evenly over the top.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinade 2-4 hours—or overnight—flipping once. Obviously, the longer you marinade, the more intense and lovely the tofu flavour will be.
For the quinoa salad, in a medium saucepan, combine 1 c quinoa and 2 c water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until quinoa is soft and all water is absorbed—about 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, radish, red onion, cucumber, black beans, and capers.
To make the vinaigrette, in a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and salt. While whisking constantly, pour in the olive oil to emulsify the vinaigrette. (Alternatively, throw the mix into a jar and shake it up!)
Pour over the salad and give a bit of a stir to mix.
Cut each avocado in half and remove the seed. To do this, I give it a good whack with a knife, then twist it to pop it out. Do this only if you’re certain that you won’t accidentally miss and cut your hand off.
Remove the skin and place each half flat-side-down on a cutting board. Slice each half into 8 slices.
Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a medium non-stick over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add as many avocado slices as will fit. Fry until golden brown, then flip and fry the other side. Repeat for remaining slices.
To assemble the sandwiches, cut each baguette into quarters. Slice across each quarter to form two halves; it’s up to you whether to keep them attached or separate them.
Spread a little Veganaise on each half. Place two slices of tofu at a bit of a diagonal on the bottom half. Stick two avocado slices across the tofu. Layer some baby spinach on top of all this and close the other half of the baguette over it all.
Serve with a healthy scoop of salad.
Garnishes: for the sandwiches, nothing, but for the salad, a handful of fresh parsley, slices of grilled avocado, and thin slices of red onion would look lovely
Goes well with: hefeweizen, white beer, summer seasonals, or even lambic; kabobs; and grilled avocado (if only we had a grill…grilled avocado is even better than fried avocado!)