My search for Meatless Monday recipes often leads to tofu. Made from soybeans, tofu is a great source of plant-based protein. In fact, soybeans generate ten times the protein per acre that chickens or cattle do and require less water to produce, reducing its environmental impact significantly.
This recipe was adapted from one created by Nasoya.com, which produces organic, non-GMO tofu (FYI, this is NOT a paid post.) In other words, Nasoya’s tofu is produced without the use of toxic chemicals or genetically modified organisms. You can buy tofu in several textures, including extra firm (which I used in this recipe – it’s what you need for grilling); firm, soft, silken, and lite. Use it in everything from smoothies, salad dressings and dip to casseroles and stir fries.
The key to this Grilled Tofu Salad recipe is marinating the tofu before you grill it so that it is infused with flavor through and through. Made as is, the recipe serves 4.
Marinade & Dressing:
- 2 tablespoon (TBS) light soy sauce
- 6 TBS fresh cilantro
- 1 inch of grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove of minced fresh garlic
- 2 TBS rice vinegar
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 4 teaspoons (tsp) sesame oil
- a dash of red pepper flakes if you want a little more zing
- 1 pkg Nasoya firm or extra firm tofu, sliced into slabs about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 big bunch fresh baby spinach (you can also use a spring mix, but I prefer the taste of fresh spinach)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
Mix the marinade & dressing ingredients together. I usually toss everything into a jar with a tight-fitting lid (like a washed-out jam jar) and shake vigorously for a couple of minutes until the ingredients have blended nicely. Taste and add additional soy sauce or ginger if you want some stronger flavors). You can add a dash of red pepper flakes to the marinade if you want to give the tofu a little extra zing.
Pour half of the marinade mixture over the tofu and let sit at least 15 minutes on the counter or for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Reserve the rest of the marinade to use as the salad dressing.
Heat up a barbecue, outdoor gas grill, or indoor grill pan (I use a cast-iron grill pan). Oil the pan or grill well – you don’t want the tofu sitting in oil, but you don’t want it to stick to the pan, either. Test one slab of tofu to make sure it will sear without getting stuck to the pan or grill grates.
Use tongs or a spatula to ease the tofu out of its marinade pan and onto the grill. Flip once so that the tofu sears on each side. This will improve the texture and flavor of the tofu. Don’t overcook! The tofu should be seared on the outside but soft and moist on the inside Once the tofu is seared on both sides, remove it to a plate and let it cool slightly. Cut the slabs into strips and the strips into chunks.
While the tofu is cooling, wash the spinach and shake dry in a colander or spin dry in a salad spinner. Seed and core the pepper, then slice into thin strips. Peel the red onion and slice into thin strips. I prefer red onion slivers so the onion gives flavor but doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
Toss the spinach, onions, peppers, and cranberries into a salad bowl. Add the tofu chunks and reserved dressing. Toss lightly.
Heat a clean skillet on medium high heat and toss in the walnuts. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but I always toast more because toasted walnuts are so yummy!
Shake the pan back and forth so the walnuts don’t burn. Turn off the heat after just a few minutes and let the walnuts continue to toast. Turn the walnuts onto a plate to cool for a minute, then toss on top of the salad and voila!
What’s your favorite tofu recipe? Please share!
See more at Nasoya.com .