Tofu-Avocado Salad + GF Day 1

>> Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One of the most popular recipes on this blog is Avocado-Egg Salad. And for good reason -- that sandwich is dynamite. Now, as I look back on the most recent recipes I've been giving you guys, almost all of them are for cookies, scones, breads, or some other flour-heavy concoction. One-track mind, I guess.

So, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, here's something GREEN!

vegan alternative to Avocado-Egg Salad

What you'll need . . . 

  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, drained and ripped into chunks 
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced out of skin in chunks
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon dill, fresh or dry
  • Juice of 1/2 to a whole lime, depending on your preference
  • Salt + pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Vegenaise (you can also try Tahini!)

Method . . .

  1. Put all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. 
  2. Note: You can play around with the seasonings to fit your specific preferences. We never make it the same way twice.
  3. Then just blend all ingredients together using a knife. More about this technique, check out my Easy Guacamole recipe. I learned it from one of my writing professors in college. 
  4. Then eat on its own or use it to top crackers, toasted bread or inside wraps, etc.

I didn't get a great photo of the finished product, but it really just looks a mess like in that last process picture. Makes two gigantic servings or four "normal" ones. We ate ours in Mission Wraps, which I've said goodbye to in this gluten-free adventure.


Tofu's gluten-free, right? I mean, I know it is -- I think? -- but I feel like everywhere I look, gluten is lurking. In oats of all places (though we have a package of Bob's Red Mill GF), soy sauce (really???), malt vinegar, some dairy products, etc. Crazy. Just crazy.

I'm going to do the best I can for the next 28 days, but I would like to note that I do not think I have a gluten sensitivity. I got a couple emails urging me not to "self-diagnose" -- which I'm certainly not doing. This period away from gluten is purely to get myself off eating TOO much of a good thing.

Overindulging in chocolate or alcohol or carrots or anything, for that matter, wouldn't be a good thing either . . .

I would say almost all our meals revolve around bread in some capacity. If you go back a few pages in the archives, you'll see what I mean. Naan buns for veggie burgers, pizzas, dinner rolls, scones + waffles for breakfast, the list goes on. Truth is, I got lazy with my cooking. It's easier to grab a slab of crusty bread than it is to take time stir-frying up some veggies.

I will not be going totally gluten-free at the end of the short experiment, I'm just hoping to gain some fresh perspective and start thinking OUTSIDE the bread box.

I'm also seeking . . .

  • Better digestion. My stomach is upset a lot of the time and I feel bloated constantly. Maybe from the inflammatory properties in gluten, maybe not. I think this might also have to do with too much salt intake. 
  • Beer, too. I have a beer a day -- but I'd like to swap that for wine or cut out alcohol entirely more nights of the week and see if my stomach feels better. (However, any suggestions on good GF beers? I hear Dog Fish makes one.)
  • Brighter skin + aura of health. Yes. I just wrote that. I feel dull inside and out. Like the bread soaked the life-juice out of me. 
  • Alternative carbohydrate sources to fuel running. I don't need to eat half a large pizza the night before a race, eh? There's got to be other, high-quality foods that can help my running performance.
  • More variety in the foods my family eats. I still want to eat pizza every week, but I think we could mix it up a bit and try cauliflower crust and other swaps every now and again. More veggies = more nutrients = healthier family with or without bread.
  • Energy. I guess this is an overarching thing -- but my energy levels aren't, well, level at all. I go through lots of peaks and valleys, and I think sugar consumption is also to blame. Of course I can still eat sugar without the gluten, but I think it will be at least slightly more difficult, thereby making me think twice before baking a huge chocolate cake.
  • Fewer cravings. Apparently "Eating grains makes you crave grains and sugar since grains break down into sugar, they create a rise in insulin levels when those levels fall you crave more grains and, thus, the vicious cycle continues" (Source).

A lot of how I'll be "measuring" the results of this experiment is by feel. I won't necessarily do measurements or weight because that's not my primary goal. Also, I've started weight training and have been simultaneously getting fitter and heavier with the added muscle, so I don't think it'd be an accurate gauge anyway.

I suppose I'll update you guys a little bit after most of my posts. I hope you enjoyed the Tofu + Avocado Salad recipe. It's a sign of more vibrant, healthy foods to come this month and beyond.

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