This intellectual and emotional heavy stuff is starting to take a toll on me, so I've decided to break it up with a recipe. Tofu salad is perfect for cold summer lunches and is convenient for picnics and potlucks. This particular version is adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook, but it's very similar to a variety that my mother makes, which is always a winner, even among carnivores.
4 tbs sesame oil
5 tbs rice or cider vinegar
1 tbs sugar
3 tbs soy sauce
2-3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt (to taste - and really unnecessary, IMO)
crushed red pepper or chili oil, to taste
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. extra-firm tofu, well drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
8-10 medium mushrooms
1 small carrot, shredded or cut into small, thin pieces
1 small bell pepper (preferably red*), minced
finely shredded cabbage
1-2 minced scallions
a handful or two of fresh mung bean sprouts
minced fresh cilantro
diced fresh, ripe tomato
a sprinkling of sesame seeds
Combine marinade ingredients in a large, shallow bowl or pan. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently. Cover and let marinate for at least two hours, preferably overnight. Add toppings, if using, and serve cold or at room temperature.
*When I double the recipe, I like to use one red and one orange.