Monday, April 9, 2012

Tofu and Zucchini Fusion Salad

What did you do during Earth Hour?

I, for one, sat in the 'dark' with some candles and ate this great fusion salad. All the lights were off but the TV just may have been on (shh!). 

I love taking part in Earth Hour although I constantly wonder how much of a long-term impact it has. I'd like to statistically analyze how much it increases awareness, sparks environmental concern, and reduces consumption levels. But that isn't something to do on this blog. You're here to read recipes and check out photographs of course. 


The environment is something that get me very gloomy very quickly. Reading any statistics or case studies leaves me feeling so bleak. Moreover, in my Public International Law class today we discussed how there is very little accountability when it comes to the environment. Oil companies can empty out their tankers in the middle of the ocean killing thousands of fish but no one will ever know. This leads to marine life obviously being contaminated but even if someone does manage to find out, how easy is it to bring a company to justice?

We treat the Earth- who gives us everything we need to survive on- like trash. And we're slowly going to turn it into that. How can a person not feel a sense of responsibility? Just because the air in the atmosphere, or the ozone layer, or the seaside doesn't officially "belong" to you doesn't entitle you to deal with it in any manner you please. But would you go wreck somebody else's couch just because it's not yours? No. 

People fail to grasp that the Earth IS theirs. We are all from this Earth. Maybe this sounds a bit hippie but I wish people saw each other not in terms of religion, ethnicity, race, or nationality, but as people just like them- belonging to the same earth, breathing the same air, drinking from the same water, and eating from the same soil's bounty. 

But enough of my rant. Keeping in spirit with the hippieness- here is a fusion recipe. I find fusion cuisine to be the hippie of the culinary world- it's all about coexistence and harmony between two or more diversely different ingredients. And fusion is something that, in my opinion, you must get right. It's not like normal cooking where changing just one or two ingredients still makes the dish work (sometimes exponentially so). If you put just one wrong ingredient into a fusion dish- you've had it. 

Maybe my analysis is totally off the mark but it's what I think based on the fusion food I've tried making and the ones that I've eaten. Getting it right requires a special level of talent and skill- an ability to instinctively know what to pair together. 

I did no sort of that instinctive analysis when making this salad- The sauces that went into the tofu were a totally last minute thing that I used just because I happened to see them lying on the kitchen counter. 


250g tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp sweet and sour sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large green zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 tbsp vegetable oil
200g rucola leaves
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp pitted green olives
1 tbsp basil pesto

20g crumbled feta cheese

Mix the tofu cubes with the combined sauces and set aside. 
Heat half the olive oil on a grill plate. Grill the zucchini slices for 1-2 minutes on each side until softened and lightly browned. 
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and add the tofu cubes with the sauce. Stirfry for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. 
In a large salad bowl, mix together the rucola leaves, grilled zucchini slices, tofu, pine nuts, and green olives. 
Mix together the remaining olive oil with the basil pesto and drizzle over the salad- mixing together thoroughly. 
Garnish with feta leaves. 
This salad can be covered with a plastic wrap and refrigerated. 

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