Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some recipes for the New Year: Tofu and Rice Noodle Salad and Raspberry-Banana 'Ice Cream'

I don't know about you, but sometimes even my sweet tooth has had enough of sweet food. The aftermath of Christmas and 4 days away from home is, I think it may be safe to say, one of those times.

It will probably only take a day or so for my tastes and eating to even out to their usual levels, but right now, vegetables are looking pretty good and fruit is about as sweet as I want to go.

Fortunately, this can translate to some highly enjoyable dishes. So enjoyable, in fact, that it can be hard to believe that they have short ingredient lists and minimal preparation time.

Tofu and Rice Noodle Salad and Raspberry-Banana 'Ice Cream' are the first two dishes to come out of my kitchen this year, and they have proved fitting matches for my January taste preferences. Both are very easy to put together, and could easily be modified to match the ingredients you have on hand (and/or to your own tastes).

The details of each are below, but as noted, the recipes would be easily modifiable. In fact, I hesitate to even call them recipes - they are that simple to make.

Tofu and rice noodle salad

Serves 3
Adapted from
Print recipe

125g rice (vermicelli) noodles, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
1 cup green beans, chopped, steamed or stir fried until just cooked
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
200g tofu, marinated and cooked 
(either marinate firm tofu in a mix of soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce, and then stir fry slightly until firm, or buy a pre-marinated variety, such as Soyco)

1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
Basil leaves, to serve

Cook the green beans and prepare the tofu
Combine all ingredients except the basil in a large mixing bowl, and toss to combine
Serve with the basil leaves

The salad has subtle Asian flavours, with a slight zing from the lime. It is filling enough to be a meal, but still light enough to suit the Australian summer weather. I imagine it would work well hot as well as cold, and I suspect I'll be making it again before summer is out.

Another dish I'll definitely be making again this summer is the following twist on frozen banana soft serve...

Raspberry-Banana 'Ice Cream'

Serves 1

1 medium - large frozen banana, peeled and cut in half
~1/2 cup frozen raspberries
~1 tbsp plain or vanilla yoghurt (I used homemade natural non-fat yoghurt, but you could use any variety, including soy, or sub in 1 tsp milk / non-dairy milk)
1 - 2 tsp desiccated coconut, optional (I used 1 tsp)

Process all ingredients in a food processor

(I did the banana and raspberry first and then added the yoghurt and coconut)

This managed to taste exactly like the homemade berry ice cream I remember eating on a Berry Farm as a child. In other words, very good! I was surprised at how creamy it was, given that raspberries are a rather icey fruit when frozen, but the banana worked well to keep the consistency like ice cream.

I only wish I'd made a double batch.

Do you have any favourite Summer or January recipes? Or any favourite versions of frozen banana soft serve?


  1. That's exactly the kind of food I feel like. Having just got back home, all I feel like eating is loads of veges and fruit!
    Happy New Year Kari.

  2. looks excellent - I am not so keen on just banana in ice cream but I love raspberries esp when they are cheap over summer - and esp when it is 40 C Happy new year Kari - have really enjoyed reading your blog over the last year and look forward to more of it in 2012

  3. Oooh, I've never added yoghurt to my banana ice creams! Wonderful idea. And slightly healthier than the time I added chopped Reese's peanut butter cups :P

  4. They both look awesome - OK, I'm going to go and try the tofu one and report back!

  5. There's something about being away that makes it very difficult to get enough of either category, I find!

    I hope you're settling back into home routines - Happy New Year to you too :-)

  6. Can we swap? I've decided I'm out of my sugar coma. I want banana ice cream with peanut butter cups!

  7. Oh, I hope you liked it! Please do let me know :)

  8. That tofu-noodle salad looks like the perfect meal for the hot, dry weather we've been having. And we have all of the ingredients! Dinner some night this week, for sure.

  9. Having all the ingredients on hand was definitely instrumental in it being created! So simple.

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