Quick Asian (and Trader Joe’s) Inspired Salad

Today I began another research trip, but this one is going to take a few months. I’ll be in New Haven on weekends but spending my weeks in Boston. While I’m here, I’m incredibly lucky to have free and lovely housing. It’s day one though, and I didn’t feel totally comfortable making a mess of my wonderful hosts’ kitchen when preparing myself dinner tonight. So, when I found myself grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, I ended up looking for things I could make easily.

The project actually brought me back to some of my first forays into cooking dinners for one. When I lived in D.C. the closest grocery store was Trader Joe’s so I put together most of my meals based on what they had. Any frequent Trader Joe’s shopper knows that their selection is quirky, but I actually think it’s great for inspiring interesting combinations. In D.C. my roommates and I regular cooked their pre-cut sweet potato spears in the toaster oven to make the most delicious home fries. I liked mine doused in cumin and olive oil and tossed in salads with feta cheese. I also remember a delicious salad I regularly brought to work composed of fingerling potatoes (which Trader Joe’s used to sell ridiculously cheaply in a microwavable bag, but which I can’t find anymore), peppers, edamame and spinach.

My snack of choice at the moment is wasabi roasted seaweed, which you can get at a lot of grocery stores these days including Trader Joe’s. Tonight, I decided it would be good on top of a salad so I let it dictate what else I bought. I picked up a bag of arugula, a bag of snap peas, some cherry tomatoes, a sweet potato, and their teriyaki tofu. At home I microwaved the potato; chopped up all the ingredients; dressed it all with some olive oil, some rice vinegar, and a splash of soy sauce; and crumbled some of the wasabi seaweed sheets on top.

In my own kitchen, I might have cooked and marinated the tofu myself, but frankly this was delicious. More importantly, I only used one knife, one cutting board, a bowl and two forks. Perfect for easing myself into someone else’s kitchen.

(In my own kitchen I also would have taken a picture.)

Quick Asian Salad for One: 

– Arugula

– Sweet potato

– Chunk of firm seasoned tofu (I used Trader Joe’s Teriyaki tofu.)

– Cherry tomatoes

– Snap peas

– Sweet potato

– Roasted wasabi seaweed

– Rice vinegar

– Soy sauce

– Olive oil

* Microwave sweet potato for five minutes and then chop into small pieces. (Make sure to stab a few holes in the potato with a knife before you stick it in the microwave.)

* Halve cherry tomatoes and cut snap peas and tofu into chunks.

* Toss tomatoes, potato, peas, and tofu with arugula.

* Drizzle with olive oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar to taste.

* Crumble seaweed on top.

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