I love, love, love this time of year! There’s nothing like heading out to my backyard and snipping some fresh herbs for my favorite dishes. The basil is particularly happy this year. We’ve had a cooler, wetter summer and basil seems to like lots of water.
Hubby and I had my parents over for Father’s Day. The years of throwing down some meat on the BBQ are over, due not just to our Vegan lifestyle, but also because my dad has to really watch his sodium and eat very carefully after his heart surgery and my mom also has some dietary issues. My mom used to think I would die of malnutrition when I was a vegetarian, but now she’s cool and supportive with both hubby’s and my vegan eating. In fact, she took home the empty Daiya cheese package since it’s heart-healthy and both she and my dad really liked it in the Vegan Spinach Lasagna. (Hubby’s special request for Father’s Day eats.)
So to create complete this sumptuous Italian meal, I made a salad bar, complete with mixed greens, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, celery, toasted walnuts, black olives, green onions, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers and cucumbers.
I also steamed some brocoli and asparagus and made something new I’d been rolling around in my head, Vegan Caprese Salad. Since my basil is growing like crazy, I picked up some fresh organic Roma tomatoes and extra firm tofu. The tofu, with all the goodies added, is almost indistinguishable from buffalo mozzarella. And tofu has zero sodium too. It’s really quick and easy to fix.
Vegan Caprese Salad
8.5 oz extra firm tofu (half a package of the type I purchase)
2 Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Basil Springs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Slice tofu into 2 x 2 x 1/4″ or so size pieces and layer on a serving plate. (If you wanted to get fancy, you could use a round cookie cutter to make them look just like the cheese. I had a lot of cooking, so the ones pictured are square.) Slice Roma tomatoes in full circles, discard the stem ends and place on top of the tofu pieces. Coarsely chop the fresh basil and sprinkle on top of tomato/tofu pieces. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a side dish and 1 as a meal.