October 25, 2010

Protein Salad with Tofu Mayonnaise

I've bought a few interesting and extremely inspiring cookbooks lately. To name a few: Earth to Table (by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schorman), Ross Dobson's Wholefood Kitchen and Mayumi Nishimura's Mayumi's Kitchen. All of these books are full of healthy, delicious recipes and inspire and encourage the reader to "dig a little deeper" into the world of food. What I mean by this is that these books encourage to question where the food is coming from, what does it do to our bodies and how you should eat.

When it comes to cooking, I don't usually lack inspiration. More often it's quite the opposite that I feel, and these books are adding onto the already overflowing bowl of inspiration. It's a good feeling though! :-)

This protein salad is my version of the Organic Produce Cafe's salad I love so much. I didn't ask for their recipe, so I had to try and guess what was in it and compose the rest of it as I was cooking. I really love the outcome, and this is such a wholesome dish it will definitely make a proper meal on its own. I do urge you to use raw chickpeas, mung beans and lentils. They have so much more flavour and superior texture compared to the tinned ones! So even if it may seem a bit more effort, just plan ahead and I promise you it'll be worth it.

I must mention the tofu mayonnaise as well. This was not part of the salad at the cafe as they used organic mayonnaise. The tofu mayonnaise, however, reminded me of the avocado pesto I made some time ago because it challenges the traditional option with a healthier version. "Thinking outside the box" applies in the kitchen as well ;-) There's always an alternative!

Protein Salad with Tofu Mayonnaise

1 cup black quinoa, rinsed
1 cup raw chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 cup raw mung beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup French style lentils
2 tbs sunflower seeds (soaking is optional)
2 tbs raw pumpkin seeds
2 carrots, coarsely grated
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 big handfuls baby spinach, washed
small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 lemon, juiced
ground black pepper, to taste

*Tofu Mayonnaise*

300g silken tofu
1 tbs shiro miso
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
ground black pepper, to taste

In separate saucepans, cook the chickpeas, mung beans, lentils and quinoa in boiling water until tender. Let cool slightly and combine in one large bowl. Add the seeds, carrot, shallots, parsley and baby spinach. Season with lemon juice and black pepper and toss well until combined.

For the tofu mayonnaise, steam the tofu for 5 minutes and let cool slightly. Place the tofu in a bowl of a food processor, add the other ingredients and process until creamy. Add the mayonnaise into the salad and mix well to combine.


  1. Yummo, I love chickpeas. The mayo sounds very tasty!

  2. mmmm that sounds nice. The tofu mayo is a great idea!

  3. I hate regular mayo so I know I would love this salad! So much healthier than chicken or tuna salad. And with my favorite legume of all time - the chickpea!

  4. What! I don't have a single one of those cookbooks. And I call myself a green foodie! I just have to go out and buy at least one of them..

    (just making up excuses for my ever expanding cookbook shelf ;))

  5. PROTEIN. SALAD. That's so healthy i think i just lost 2 kgs reading it. You have downright the most original and inspiring recipes I've ever seen. Can't wait to try them in real life ;)

  6. I've been seeing a lot of tofu mayonnaise lately and I'm dying to try it! Looks like a really delicious salad!

  7. I must make this tofu mayo! Thanks for another great healthy recipe :)


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