Warm Orzo with Avocado-Tofu Sauce- A Salad with a Story

This recipe is a dish I made when I was in pastry school in 2010. One of the chefs came in announcing a contest for Vegetarian Times. I believe I had 2 days to enter and excited I went home that afternoon and started brainstorming. Below is the dish I came up with, edited and organized by the fine folks at Vegetarian Times, that made me one of the finalists!

Ingredients
Serves 8

6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 16-oz. pkg. orzo

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling, optional

16 oz. button mushrooms, sliced

1 12-oz. pkg. soft silken tofu, drained

2 Hass avocados, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 1/2 Tbs. lime juice

2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbs. dried oregano

1 Tbs. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

Instructions

1. Bring broth to a boil in large pot over medium heat. Add orzo, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and transfer to large bowl.

2. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and saute 5 minutes, or until browned. Add mushrooms and pan juices to orzo.

3. Blend tofu and avocado cubes with remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in blender until smooth and creamy. Transfer to small saucepan, and add basil, cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, oregano, cumin, and coriander. Warm over low heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until hot, but not boiling. Stir avocado sauce into orzo mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

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