Classic American Macaroni Salad
One of the best things about growing up in Southern California was, of course, the wonderful summers. Summer days seemed to last forever while we swam in the ocean, played in the sand on the beach, and ran through the sprinklers in the backyard. Family get-togethers and backyard BBQ’s also made summer a fun and magical time. I used to love BBQ food even though I have never liked hamburgers (I was destined to go vegan, sooner or later). I loved all the side dishes and salads that accompanied our family parties like my mom’s famous baked beans and my grandma’s macaroni salad. I loved that macaroni salad so much that I would always help myself to 2-3 servings!
With summer upon us and the 4th of July almost here, I’ve really been missing my family and the summers of my youth. I’ve also been missing my grandma’s macaroni salad! So, I decided to set to work and veganize her delicious recipe. Her recipe was full of mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs, defiantly not vegan friendly! But with a package of tofu and a few simple alterations, I think I have found a winning macaroni salad that is simple and quick to throw together. This salad is perfect for a BBQ, picnic, or 4th of July party. This also goes great with BBQ Tempeh Sliders. Your friends and family will never be able to guess it’s dairy-free, it’s that good!
2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
1 300g (about 10 ounce) package of soft tofu
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup yellow or red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup diced green onion
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions, then rinse and drain, and set aside.
While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender, blend tofu, mustard, sugar, and the lemon juice until well mixed and the dressing becomes thin.
In a large mixing bowl, combine macaroni, vegetables, salt, pepper, and tofu dressing. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve.
*This salad can be prepared ahead of time and chilled in the refrigerator: simply keep the macaroni and veggies separate from the dressing and combine just prior to service. If left combined for more than a few hours, the macaroni will absorb the dressing making the salad very dry.