Monday, July 21

Satisfying Super Salad: Asian Noodle Salad with Tofu and Mango

Asian noodle salad with tofu and mango

Sal ' ad [sal-uh d]: 1. A plate of wimpy greens, topped with a dry carrot stick, a cold cucumber slice, and tasteless non-fat dressing. Guaranteed to leave you hypoglycemic an hour later. 2. A plate of pure fat and carbs on lettuce, considerably worse for you than a burrito supremo.

This is why I hate trying to order a salad. Too often they are either bad for you or just plain bad. Check these out:

Panera Bread
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad:
560 calories, 34 grams of fat, 1,270 mg sodium

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad (a nice, light summer choice, no?):
890 calories, 47 grams of fat, 1,660 mg sodium

Corner Bakery
Harvest Salad (sounds natural enough) with Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1,100 calories, 81 gm of fat, 2,260 mg of sodium

How about this from the popular Baja Fresh here in SoCal:
Chipotle Glazed Charbroiled Chicken Salad:
590 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 1,110 mg of sodium

So what's a girl to do? Fear not, dear readers, FoodBlogga is actually a Hero: a normal girl with superhuman salad making abilities -- to save humanity (Notice: an NBC series featuring myself creating salads to save people's lives while living an otherwise normal life as a food writer is currently in development. All rights are reserved.)

Here are my secret weapons:
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and evil-fighting antioxidants.
  • Vitamin, calcium, and fiber-rich whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, keeping you satiated longer.
  • Lean protein helps build and maintain muscle. It's digested more slowly than carbs, keeping your blood sugar levels steady and your belly full.
  • Fat-fighting fiber is known to aid both digestion and weight loss.
  • "Good" fats in avocados, olive oil, and nuts are high in monounsaturated fat, which can lower your LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
Now for the salad. Asian Noodle Salad with Tofu and Mango is high in protein and fiber yet low in fat and sodium. With chewy noodles, crispy tofu, creamy mango, and a zesty lime, soy, and ginger vinaigrette, you'll be truly satisfied for approximately 450 calories per serving. Plus you'll get an impressive 20 grams of protein, and a mere 5 grams of fat and 500 mg of sodium.

Since a hero's work is never done, look for a weekly installment of these satisfying super salads. Currently, I have 8 episodes ready to air, then I'll have to see if NBC picks me up for a second season.

Asian noodle salad with tofu and mango

Asian Noodle Salad with Tofu and Mango
Makes 4 servings
Print recipe only here.

2 teaspoons sesame oil
12 ounces tofu, thinly sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and julienned**
4 celery stalks, julienned
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
4 green onions, thinly sliced into long strips
2 small mangoes, thinly sliced into strips

8 ounces rice or soba noodles
2 tablespoons dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 minced jalapeno chili, or to taste (the more the seeds, the hotter the flavor)

1-2 tablespoons fresh mint, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Once hot, add tofu and saute until browned and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place all other salad ingredients (except noodles and peanuts) in a medium bowl and toss gently. Set aside.

To make the dressing, in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together sugar, vinegar, and salt until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat, and whisk in remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, and add to the bowl of vegetables. Add cooked tofu and dressing, and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and sliced mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

**I use an OXO Julienne peeler which makes this a breeze. If you don't have one, then just slice all the ingredients very thinly or use a mandolin.

You might also like:

Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Cranberries, and Toasted Almonds

Warm Bulgur Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Oranges

String Beans and Tofu with Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

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Anonymous said...

Oh, doesn't that look like my latest craving! :-)

The trouble with this whole food blogging thing is that one can only imagine and drool. I want to TASTE it now!

Sig said...

Food writer by day, super human salad maker by night, huh? :) I am sure that is going to be a super hit.... If that doesn't work out, try a reality show "So You Think You Can Make Salads?" ;)

Anonymous said...

Sounds really great, Susan! The last time I made an asian-style noodle salad, I used whole wheat vermicelli and it was great. I might try your salad with that pasta again. I love the idea of using tofu and mango! My husband has actually been requesting that we eat more tofu and this is his favorite type of salad. I think the dinner question has been answered for tonight! Thanks :-)

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

I want this salad, so colourful, fresh, and light. Perfect for the weather we've been having.

Susan C said...

I adore soba noodles. They're delicious and nutritious. I will try the recipe, but will probably omit the celery.

Katie Zeller said...

I am always amazed at the calorie and fat content of seemingly healthy salads! It's not that hard to lighten them up (I make a Caesar salad with yogurt rather than all the oil)
I love Asian salads... Unfortunatly soba noodles and tofu are not easy (read impossible) for me to find here. Maybe in my new location....

Culinary Wannabe said...

This looks like the perfect summer salad - filling yet light. You had me at mango. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This looks lovely! And I have a bunch of fresh veggies delivered each week from my CSA, so I'll try this with quinoa noodles. Yum!

Stephanie Stiavetti said...

Such a beautiful salad. I used your recipe and incorporate a little wakame... it was very good.

Anonymous said...

Alright, this is a GREAT series. Let's see, it's mid July so this will carry us into mid September. PERFECT.

Anonymous said...

now I see why you love your OXO julienne peeler - such great, consistent julienne for your salad. Nice picture, might have to revamp tonight's menu :-)


Kalyn Denny said...

This looks just wonderful! I've been very interested in that data about calories in restaurant foods, pretty shocking in some cases.

Alice Q. Foodie said...

That sounds really good Susan - keep em coming! Where did you get your fancy peeler??

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

That's a great all-purpose salad dressing for lots of Asian salads. I'm thinking about lemon cucumbers, fresh from the garden, thin sliced and tossed in this dressing...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so excited! I'm always looking for new salad ideas. I can't wait to see what you come up with, Food Blogga! -AMR

@the_whisk_affair said...

OMG, Susan, that pic is just out of the world!!! its beeeeeautiful! so the salad must have been tasty! :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

ann-Yay! I'll call you next time I'm making it, like next week. ;)

sig-You're good. :)

nicole-I've used pastas too. I adore tofu and mango. Now, how did you get your husband to request tofu?!

eatingclub-I hope you make it then. Enjoy!

susan-No problem. It's really versatile. Enjoy!

katiez-That's a great idea with the yogurt. Aw, I hadn't thought of that.

ashley-You're welcome!

gffg-Oh, I haven't seen quinoa noodles yet. Gotta hunt some down now. Thanks!

morphone-That's terrific!

alanna-I'm glad you're happy about it. Thanks!

kgg-I told you it's great!

kalyn-Isn't it? It's just awful.

aliceq-Hey Alice! I got it at Bed and Bath or Linen's N Things. They both carry them. I love it!

lydia-It really is. I use it all the time.

anonymous-Great! I'm excited too.

jz-Wow! Thanks so much. Can you see my smiling? :)

Proud Italian Cook said...

A harvest salad, 1100 calories, 81 fat grams? Oh my goodness!! It's so sad that we're all being fooled by thinking if we order a salad it would be a good choice. We need your salad in all these establishments, I going to give NBC a call!

Cynthia said...

Oh dear... I don't think that it is within my best interest to be gawking at this this late in the night...

Mishmash ! said...

What a brilliant picture?

Do u get good mangoes there...?

Anonymous said...

All those salads look great, and I agree with another poster: the pictures are phenomenal! I think I'll try the bulgar first, but this one is a definite second. :-) Thanks!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A gorgeous salad! Very colorful and appetizing! The kind of food I love when the weather's hot...



Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Such a summery, fresh and healthy salad Susan! looks delicious.

Manggy said...

Susa, even if you hadn't mentioned the great nutritional value of the salad, I'd still gobble it up in an instant. It's beautiful! (Of course, mangoes are always a draw for me.. :)

David Hall said...

Sensational salad Susan! Thanks for this. I'm thinking of making a noodle based salad tomorrow with some wild salmon I have just been given. This is the one! I'll let you know how it goes, might even put it on the Blog with a reference to you if thats okay!?

David x

Anonymous said...

I so completely agree with you about salads in restaurants. Thinly disguised gut bombs. No wonder our country is exploding out of their clothes.

I love the type of salad you show here. For us, a salad is fresh field greens and lots of veggies, sprayed with the juice of a lime, a thin drizzle of good olive oil and fresh pepper. I am so swiping this recipe!

Anonymous said...

Delicious salad! Your so right about salads in restaurant, they're either bad or too bad for you!

A_and_N said...

The salad looks gorgeous! I wish I could reach in with a fork and grab a few bites :)

NĂºria said...

He, he! You made it! A perfect super salad :D and on top it looks pretty!!!

Mandy said...

Love the color and flavor of your salad. More importantly, the minimal time required to stay in front of the stove.

bee said...

adding tofu to salad is such a neat idea!!! this is a beautiful salad.

Suzana said...

Too funny, Susan! And what a lovely salad that is. I often feel that tofu needs something to spice it up - this looks perfect!

Anonymous said...

When I was in Argentina, there was no such thing as a wimpy salad. They defined their salads more as a collection of veggies and various other ingredients than a bowl of lettuce with a few things mixed in.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

The combination of mango, tofu, and peanuts sounds delicious!

Ivy said...

Although I have never tried tofu I am sure this is a great salad as everything you prepare is so delicious. Look forward to seeing more of your salads.

ames said...

I love my OXO julienne peeler! And I have to say that Asian noodle salads are by *far* my favorite salads. You are definitely my Hero!

Annie said...

I am just as disgusted with these so called "salads". It's really a sin that people are tricked into thinking that they are eating healthy.
But thanks to you our super salad hero we can enjoy a healthy and delicious salad.
One question: what does you super hero outfit look like??? LOL

Heather said...

mmmmmmmm ginger lime and soy. my favorite things!!! this looks delicious! i think it would even motivate me to eat tofu!

Prudy said...

Isn't it a shame that the healthy salads are so wicked? I don't mind when it's dessert, but if you look healthy, you should at least try to be healthy. Besides I need a good salad before I devour dessert.:)

Anonymous said...

The salad world needed a kick in the pants. Great recipe Susan, thanks.

-- Marc..from San Diego:)

Johanna GGG said...

lovely recipe and wise comments on salad - the other sort of salad that depresses me in cafes is the one stuffed with meat and not so many vegetables - but what is great about your salad ideas is showing just how good and healthy they can be

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Looks lovely, Susan.I like pasta salad so noodle salad has to be good.
Heard of Superwoman and Bionic Woman, but SuperSalad Woman?
Thanks for saving our lives.:)
When I say salad she insists she's not a cow!
But if there's pasta/ noodles in it, she doesn't seem to think its salad any longer.

Anonymous said...

You are my hero! Just last night I added blueberries to a normal salad to which my adoring, broad-minded husband gasped in horror. Me being the good wife, rolled my eyes & told him to just try it. I now don't remember if I saw blueberries on one of your salads, but I told my DH that I did. For whatever reason, he found comfort in that. This Asian salad looks wonderful. Thank you for such a beautiful, healthy post.

xoxox Amy

averygoodyear said...

Ohhh, that looks absolutely delish! I am looking forward to seeing more installments of this series from you :]

Anonymous said...

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Suganya said...

Its true that salad can be the costliest in a menu, calorie wise. Not that I order salad when eating out. Whats the point of eating out then? :D

Unknown said...

sounds perfect for summer! i should try using mango in my dishes...but i'll probably end up eating them hehe ^_^

Shreya said...

beautiful salad... love the ingredients.. especially tofu and mango

Michelle said...

Nice post. I got a chuckle out of your definition of restaurant Salad. Unfortunately, it is true. This Asian noodle salad looks yummy, just what I've been craving.

Jeanne said...

Not only good for you, also perfectly lovely! The colours are so lovely together and now you have me drooling for the flavours...

Lori Lynn said...

This is one of the freshest dishes I've seen. So balanced. Perfect summer lunch!

Elle said...

Makes me want to dig in right now--lots of good flavors in there. I love this, and the dressing sounds delicious!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

marie-Ooh,let me know what they say!

cynthia-It's alright. It's good for you!

shn-Yes, they're wonderful. They are usually from Mexico--sweet and creamy.

rich-Thanks so much! You'll love the bulgur.

rosa-It's happy food.


mangg-I can't resist mangoes either.

david-Yeah, that sounds great!

kate-"Gut bombs." You so crack me up. Swipe and enjoy!


a and n-I'm happy to share.;)

nuria-You think? Glad you like it.

mandy-It's really quick.

bee-I really love it.

suzana-It definitely gets perked up here.

hillary-That's interesting. There is such diversity in salads nowadays.

lisa-It really is!

ivy-Looking forward to sharing them too.

ames-They're my favorite too. I'm your hero? Aw, shucks. Thanks.

annie-It's green and leafy and I carry a spray bottle of extra virgin olive oil. ;)

heather-I think it would too! Thanks.


chefectomy-Glad to be of service then. :)

johanna-We have the same thing here. It's depressing.

aparna-Oh, yeah, salads come in so many forms nowadays.

amy-I love blueberries in salads, but you must have gotten it from someone else since I haven't posted on one yet. :)

fyreflixie-Stay tuned!

haley-I'll come check it out. Thanks.

suganya-Well said.

rita-Add a slice to the salad, eat a slice....


michelle-Oh good!

jeanne-I love the colors too.

lori lynn-Thanks, I appreciate that.

elle-The dressing is so versatile too.

Anonymous said...

This looks great - just the job for a summer packed lunch

I love adding a few chopped nuts or seeds to this kind of dish like you've done with the peanuts - it makes such a difference to the texture. Looking forward to the later installments

LyB said...

Lol! Funny post, fabulous looking salad, I'm bookmarking this for sure! :)

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious - but I'm having too much fun imagining the costume of a salad-making superhero - lettuce cape, tomato-slice weapons...
Thank you for starting my quest for truth, justice, and the salad-eating way.

Deborah said...

Thanks for sharing this with me Susan! I never thought to add mint sliced as a garnish - it sounds so refreshing!

Anonymous said...

Peanuts have been found to be a very important and beneficial diet in a weight loss program. Peanut intake has the ability to curb hunger whereby a person feels filled and less hungry. The lesser consumption of food can go a long way in tackling weight gain and peanut being a nutritious food it also goes a long way in providing the body with the necessary nutrients also.