crispy tofu, chickpea & quinoa salad

I notice that when a couple spend a lot of time together, their taste for food would come to mergence. I say this because I notice my drastic change in food preference throughout the years.  This goes for my boyfriend as well.  I still remember those early days of our relationship, we were both quite deterred from the taste of coriander (but not cumin) and tofu.  And now, it seems like we can't get enough of it.  Whenever we stay in for dinner, he would suggest Asian meals over Italian.  So that's how this quinoa salad came to light.  Notice that I am still using a lot of accessible ingredients because I want to be sure that I can get them when I'm in Italy/New York.  

This is a fairly easy recipe and only require a few extra steps.  I guess that's the great thing about cooking, a few mere tweaks can surely elevate a dish's taste.  One other change I noticed is that I am adding a lot of citrus taste to my food these days.  Maybe one day I will snap a photo to show you what's in my fridge and you'll see that lemons and limes are definitely my must-have items.  Hey, those little sour bombs are awesome.  I can't get enough of them.  I consume at least 2-3 each day.  Maybe that's also why I noticed them getting more expensive lately...  Hmmm..

this is definitely a tasty and healthy protein rich dish for this HOT summer..  

tofu, quinoa, and chickpea -- this is definitely a protein boost salad

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

salad: 

150g extra-firm tofu, squared or triangled 

1 cup cooked quinoa, seasoned

1/2 can chickpea, drained and rinsed

1-2 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic, finely chopped

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

1 egg, whisked

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 bowl fresh mixed greens

1 handful chopped spring onions

1 bunch fresh coriander

dressing: 

1 lime zest

1/2 lime juice

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

2 tbsp soysauce

2 tbsp mirn

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp honey

1-2 tbsp olive oil 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1) Mix breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, 1/2 chili, and sesame seeds in a medium size bowl. Season.  Mix well.  

2) Whisk an egg in another bowl, coat the tofu with egg first then follow by coating with breadcrumbs.  Set aside. 

3) Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium heat, cook the tofu for 1-2 minutes then turn to the other side and cook for 1 minute.  (Make sure you don’t burn the tofu.  If your oil is too hot, then reduce your heat) 

4) For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a small dish.  

5) Get a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, mixed greens, shallots, sesame seeds, and chickpea.  Mix well. 

7) Place your crispy tofu on top of the salad and garnish with some chopped spring onions and coriander.

8) Serve with a twist of lime juice and the spicy lime dressing on the side.