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1 pound thin asparagus
1 box (12.3 ounces) firm tofu
2 cups spinach, cut in strips
4 cups Napa cabbage, cut in strips
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 radish, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon black or white toasted sesame seeds
1 garlic clove
4 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 tablespoon peanut butter, tahini or cashew butter
6 mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, slivered
Salad: Snap the lower ends off the asparagus and discard. Leave tops whole or slice diagonally; wash in cold water.Bring a skillet of salted water to a boil; add asparagus and simmer until barely limp and tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and set on a clean towel. Slide tofu out of its container, blot off water and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Arrange vegetables and tofu on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and dressing. Toss at the table.
Dressing: Mash garlic in a mortar; gradually add remaining ingredients and work together to make a thick sauce.