If you’ve been reading my site for any length of time, you already know I’m a huge fan of Alisa Fleming from Go Dairy Free. I first met Alisa over 10 years ago (hard to believe, now!), when I was just starting out on the blogging scene and Alisa was already a seasoned professional.
I reviewed the first edition of Go Dairy Free back in 2009 and my effusive description summed up then how I felt about it:
“It was pure pleasure sampling these items from the book, every one of which I’d make again. I’m looking forward to trying out many more of these reliable, interesting and tasty recipes. Go Dairy Free is that rare combination in a food-related tome: great food and great advice, all under one inviting cover. “
Well, not much has changed in my response to Alisa’s information and recipes since then, although the book itself has definitely changed! Now in an all-new, updated and expanded edition, Go Dairy Free truly is the only book you’ll need if you adopt a non-dairy diet and lifestyle.
The new updated edition of Go Dairy Free.
Inside this comprehensive tome, you’ll find chapters that address dairy and dairy-free from a health perspective; tips on eating away from home; grocery shopping and kitchen prep; virtually everything you ever wanted to know about dairy substitutes; and, of course, the recipes (more than 250 of them!).
There are recipes galore. From homemade plant-based milks, cream, cheeses and other beverages to breakfast recipes, baked goods, snacks, spreads/dips, soups, pizzas, pastas, other mains, sides, cookies, cakes, puddings, pies, ice creams and other sweet treats, you’ll quickly see that nothing is missing in a dairy-free diet.
Check out the Peanut Butter Cinnamon Popcorn (I’d use almond butter nowadays, of course) I included in the original review, as well as photos of the other dishes I tried back then (before I was even following the ACD!).
This time round, I’ve bookmarked the sliceable sandwich cheeze, dukkah avocado toast, fudge brownie cookies, snickerdoodle cashew ice cream and so many more that I can’t wait to try!
But the recipe I’m sharing today is also an incredible winner, both in taste, texture, and general appeal.
As usual, the hubs wasn’t keen on trying out something containing tofu. We had a typical exchange when I first received the book and was leafing through, attempting to find a recipe to try out.
The scene: Ricki and the HH sit in the living room, reading. Ricki is flipping through the new edition of Go Dairy Free, drooling over each and every recipe. Finally, she pauses and looks up at the HH.
Ricki: Mmm, this one looks great–Greek Pasta Salad. What do you think?
HH: It depends. What’s in it?
Ricki: Well there’s pasta–
HH: You mean your crazy non-pasta pasta? No way.
Ricki: You’ve had that pasta before. You love it! You must have just forgotten.
HH: [Looking skeptical.] Well, I dunno—
Ricki: And cubes of feta–
HH: [Raises eyebrows] Real feta?
Ricki: No, it’s marinated tofu, which tastes exactly like–
HH: No tofu.
Ricki: But it really does taste good! I’m sure you’ll–
HH: Nope, no way. No tofu.
Ricki: [internal wheels turning furiously]: Okay, fine, I won’t make this one. [Secretly aware that hubby’s memory of this discussion will remain intact for about 14.2 seconds].
The following week, on Wednesday evening, Ricki trots out to the table with a huge bowl of–Greek Pasta Salad!
HH: [eyeing the bowl suspiciously] What’s this?
Ricki: It’s a pasta salad, with a bunch of yummy Greek-inspired flavors and ingredients. Look, it has your favorite black olives and artichoke hearts! [She smiles sweetly.]
HH: Hmmmnnn. Well, I dunno. . . . .
Ricki: Just try a little bit. [She scoops a couple of tablespoons onto his plate].
HH: [looking around desperately for anything else to eat] Well, okayyyyy. . . . .
He takes a small nibble.
HH: [His face brightening] Hey, this isn’t bad. [Shoves a forkful into his mouth]. You know what, this is pretty good! Have I had this pasta before? It’s great. [Keeps eating until sample is gone]. Yeah, this was fabulous. Can I have some more of that? You should really make this again! Is that feta cheese in there–?
Ricki chuckles softly to herself.
Don’t worry, I did reveal that it was tofu in there. And as predicted, he was incredulous. It really does taste like feta cheese!
Since then, Hubby has invoked me to make it again–and again. He’s come to accept that tofu can actually taste good (yay!). Luckily for him, I loved the salad too, so we’ve been feasting on Greek Pasta Salad over the past 3 weeks quite regularly.
If you love feta cheese, you’ll no doubt adore the marinated tofu, which resembles the “real thing” so closely it might even be a bit eerie. Paired with toothsome pasta, crunchy fresh vegetables and pungent bits of olive and artichoke hearts, this truly is a meal in one, with the advantage that it can also be prepared in advance (in fact, I found it’s better that way–see my notes below the recipe).
I hope you enjoy the salad as much as we do here. And I’ll leave it up to you whether you mention that it’s actually tofu before–or after–your family or guests have already decided they love it.
Greek Pasta Salad
reprinted with permission from Go Dairy Free by Alisa Fleming, Benbella Books ©2018
Alisa says, “Tofu soaks up the flavors of the marinade for a mock feta cheese in this somewhat traditional recipe.” See my notes below the recipe.
1 pound (500 g) rotini or fusilli pasta (I used Chickapea)
6 Tbsp (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbsp (90 ml) red or white wine vinegar (see notes, below)
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp (30 ml) dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp/10 ml)
1/2 to 1 tsp (2.5 to 5 ml) fine sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces (275-375 g package) firm tofu, drained and crumbled or cut into 1/2-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1 (14-ounce or 400 ml) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 cup (240 ml) cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 cup (240 ml) chopped yellow onion (1 small to medium onion)
1 bell pepper, any color, cored and chopped
1/2 pound (225 g) tomatoes, halved if small or cut into 1/2-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
1 (2-1/4 ounce/70 g) can sliced olives, drained (I used oil-cured black olives)
Cook pasta according to package directins while preparing the tofu and vinaigrette.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, slat and pepper. Add the tofu and toss to coat it with the vinaigrette.
Rinse the cooked pasta in cool water. Add the pasta, artichoke hearts, beans, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and olives to the tofu and vinaigrette. Toss to evenly ocat the ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least one hour, but preferably overnight.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 8 servings. Not suitable for freezing.
Ricki’s notes: To accommodate candida-diet eaters, I used apple cider vinegar in place of the other vinegar. Because ACV is so acidic, I added 5 drops of plain liquid stevia to cut the acidic taste. It worked beautifully.
I also added some fresh basil from my garden, just because I had it and I knew that basil would work well with these flavors. I highly recommend it!
I didn’t add the chickpeas because my pasta is made from chickpeas, but I’m sure they would be delicious in this.
Finally, I marinated the tofu on its own in the vinaigrette overnight before tossing with remaining salad ingredients. I found that the tofu absorbed more of the flavors that way (and made it more hubby-friendly, as well).
Suitable for: ACD All stages; refined sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.
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