Garden fresh cukes are perfect for this spicy cucumber salad with pan fried tofu. It’s light, super healthy and quick to make for #MeatlessMonday! Graeme’s mom has a garden, and every year around this time I’m blessed with an avalanche of cukes. This year I didn’t get as many as usual, but even so I’ve got spare cukes on hand.
If you have a garden, you probably have a ton of cukes right now.
If you know somebody who has a garden, you probably have a ton of cukes right now.
If you know somebody who knows somebody who has a garden…you probably have a ton of cukes right now.
So lets use those cukes up! How does a spicy cucumber salad with lots of flavorful veggies to keep the cukes company and some toasty pan fried tofu sound? You can even make it a #MeatlessMonday meal. Cucumbers are very rich in moisture, which is a great thing nutritionally. In terms of keeping dressing from getting watered down, it’s not so great. So to keep my cucumber salads from getting watery, I like to lightly salt the cukes and let them drain in a colander in the sink for about 5 minutes.
Here’s something about this cucumber salting business I’ve learned the hard way: Lightly salt them – like, really lightly – and rinse them well afterwards. I once used a recipe that told me to salt them liberally, so you can imagine how I went to town with that. The end result was ridiculously salty cukes. So don’t do that.
Cukes are pretty delicate, so I don’t want to overpower them with big, crunchy wads of carrot all over the place. I like to shave my carrots into ribbons for salads in general, cucumber salads especially. I use my handy dandy veggie peeler just like I’m peeling them…but then I keep going. And going. I often put way more carrots than I need in salads because I have so much fun ribboning them.
So let’s see what’s in this: cukes of course, and carrots. Green onion, bell pepper and a little kick of chili pepper. A fistful of cilantro for a pop of extra fresh flavor. Pan fried tofu and a handful of roasted nuts for protein and savory deliciousness. All tossed in a light sesame oil/ginger/garlic/soy sauce/hot pepper flaked dressing. Chop, toss and serve. How easy is that?!
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
Spicy Cucumber Salad with Pan Fried Tofu turns light, fresh cuke salad into a super healthy meatless meal.
15 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 14 oz. extra firm tofu, drained
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 2 large cucumbers, sliced thin
- a few dashes salt
- 3 large carrots, shaved into ribbons
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 c cilantro leaves and stems, loosely packed
- 1/2 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1/4 - 1/2 or more red or green chili pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
- 1/3 c plain roasted almond slices or crushed peanuts
- 1" ginger, peeled
- 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 Tbs sesame oil
- 2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs soy sauce, lower sodium/gluten free
- 1 tsp maple syrup or agave
- 3 Tbs sesame oil
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Place a nonstick saute pan on medium heat and add 1 Tbs of sesame oil. Cut the tofu into small cubes and add them to the pan. Brown the tofu for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Slice the cucumber into a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside in the sink to drain for about 10 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the slices and pay dry with a kitchen towel.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor. Process until completely smooth.
- Combine everything in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Top with extra nuts, cilantro or green onion tops if you like.
Late summer’s a wonderful time to eat. My #MeatlessMonday dish last week was another big ol’ tribute to late summer dining, this Cilantro and Sweet Corn Soup. August sweet corn, a little spice, fresh cilantro in a light, creamy soup.
Here’s another #MeatlessMonday creation I’d love you to try: All-American Quinoa Chili Fries! It gets me to that heavenly chili fry place, only healthy and meatless and with real damn-that’s-good-cooking flavor.
Oh hey before you forget, pin!
I’m off to see what else I can do with all these cukes! ~Gin