Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Chopped Salad

Challenge: To make lunch to take to work that won't be boring after the second day and won't be a hassle to make on those relaxing Sundays.
Take the chopped salad to the next level of laziness using your food processor! (I know you all remember how I adore this miracle machine.) There's no need to stand at the cutting board, mincing carrots, onions, and herbs until you develop tendonitis. Just give it a quick whirl and then go watch some trashy television!

Tempeh Salad Sandwich Filling (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites)
Yield: 4 servings

- 8-oz package tempeh (Garden Vegetable variety, if available)
- 2 carrots
- 1 small granny smith apple
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayo

- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- pepper and salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Cut the tempeh into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a steamer basket over boiling water, covered, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the carrots and onion into chunks and run through the food processor, separately, until minced to your liking. Cut the apple into 1/2-inch cubes. Mix together in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, and mustard.

When the tempeh is soft and thoroughly cooked, sprinkle with soy sauce and add to the onion, carrot, and apple. Stir the dressing into the salad, toss everything well, and chill before serving. Makes a great sandwich filling, or can be served with crackers as a hearty snack.

Multi-Grain Tabouleh
yield: about 4 cups

Note: I made this up on the spot, so measurements are not exact. Thankfully, making good tabouleh ain't exactly rocket science. Also, feel free to experiment with other whole grains, besides the traditional bulgur. After having gathered all the ingredients together, I realized I only had a small amount of bulgur left - no biggie! Millet, quinoa, cracked wheat, cous cous, etc. all work here.

- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 1
cup millet
- 2 bunches parsley (or 1 bunch parsley and 1 bunch cilantro - a very tasty variation!)
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 plum tomatoes
- juice of 2 lemons + zest
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste

Cook the millet and bulgur (or whatever grains you're using) separately, according to instructions.

Roughly cut the parsley, tomato, and onion and run through the food processor for a few seconds, each separately. Combine in a large bowl, and mix in lemon juice, zest, and vinegar.

When grains are cooked, add to the vegetables and mix well. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix until everything is well coated (adding a little more if necessary). Season with the spices and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning (vinegar, salt, lemon juice) as needed. Serve immediately at room temp, or refrigerate until cold.

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