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Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing

Updated on August 22, 2013
Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing, a vegan salad meal.
Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing, a vegan salad meal. | Source

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Inspiration Background for the Development of this Recipe

The inspiration for this salad (good for vegans, vegetarians and meatless meals) was to create an oriental-type salad meal with elements of Indian cuisine that was light and summery at the same time. In itself, a paradoxical idea that could be achieved with some creative twists here and there.

The base for the salad is a health conscious assortment of raw veggies that provide all the dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and other fitoelements our body needs to stay healthy. Besides being the base of a constructive and nourishing diet, the hodgepodge of veggies brings amazing color to the dish, making it even more artful and appealing.

As a source of protein, I added extra firm sautéed tofu which is flavored with a tomato sauce marinade, making it an ideal, and very nutritious, vegan potion. Finally, I added two zesty staple condiments of Indian cuisine: mustard seeds and turmeric. This final touch gives the salad a whole new depth that you´ll experience when you try the dish.

The result is an invigorating salad meal that has an oriental taste to it, highlighted with Indian accents and yet remaining fresh, 80% raw and light on our digestive system.

_________________________________________________________________


Tomato Sauce for Marinade

Ingredients:

  • 6 large egg tomatoes
  • ¼ white medium onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 Tbsp oleic oil

Preparation:

  1. Blend all ingredients together except for the oleic oil.
  2. In a well heated pan place the oleic oil, let it warm up and sauté the tomato sauce.
  3. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Note: this sauce gets more flavorful with time, if you can make it ahead of time and have it ready for one day to the other it will pay off.

Tip: have a jar of this sauce in the fridge, it can serve many purposes!

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 7 min
Ready in: 37 min
Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup orange bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • ¾ cup cabbage, sliced with mandolin
  • 6 oz (175g) extra firm tofu diced, previously pressed
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce for marinade
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 pinches turmeric powder
  • salt & pepper

Mustard Seeds Before and After Toasting

Mustard seeds before (left) and after (right) toasting them.
Mustard seeds before (left) and after (right) toasting them. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Prepare the red onion, cabbage, orange bell pepper and cilantro (coriander) leaves as indicated and mix them together in a bowl. Turmeric DressingCover the mixed veggies with the turmeric salad dressing.Sautéed dices of tofu previously marinated in a rich tomato sauce. Finished Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing.
Prepare the red onion, cabbage, orange bell pepper and cilantro (coriander) leaves as indicated and mix them together in a bowl.
Prepare the red onion, cabbage, orange bell pepper and cilantro (coriander) leaves as indicated and mix them together in a bowl. | Source
Turmeric Dressing
Turmeric Dressing | Source
Cover the mixed veggies with the turmeric salad dressing.
Cover the mixed veggies with the turmeric salad dressing. | Source
Sautéed dices of tofu previously marinated in a rich tomato sauce.
Sautéed dices of tofu previously marinated in a rich tomato sauce. | Source
Finished Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing.
Finished Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing. | Source

How to Press Tofu

On a chopping board, place two kitchen paper towels folded in half, put the tofu slices on top, cover with two more folded paper towels and place a heavy chopping board on top so that the weight of it presses the water content out of the tofu.

This process is particularly useful when sautéing or frying tofu as it increases its density and makes it easier to handle.

Step by Step Instructions for the Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing

  1. Slice the bloc of tofu in 2, lengthwise, and press it for at least half an hour. It´s a good idea to get it ready to press while you´re having breakfast and leave it pressing all morning, that way it will be ready to be use by lunch time.
  2. Cut the tofu squares in big dices and marinade them in a flavorful tomato sauce of your choice (or use hearty tomato sauce recipe annexed in the blue box above) while you get everything else ready.
  3. Finely chop the red onion, dice the orange bell pepper, slice the cabbage and cut the cilantro (coriander) leaves.
  4. Make a basic vinaigrette with the peanut oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper. Zest it up with 2 pinches of turmeric powder. Mix till emulsified.
  5. Mix all the wholesome raw veggies in a bowl; add the turmeric dressing and mix.
  6. Toast the mustard seeds in a hot nonstick skillet until they pop; be careful not to burn them, this is a quick step (around 2 minutes), stay attentive! Once they have popped, add them to the veggies.
  7. Use the same skillet to sauté the marinated tofu dices until they get nice and brown on both sides.
  8. Toss the browned marinated tofu dices into the raw veggie salad dressed with turmeric vinaigrette and enjoy.

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Useful Tofu Related Kitchen Tool

Simple Tofu Press - 2 Spring Model
Simple Tofu Press - 2 Spring Model

If you want to be practical and you eat tofu regularly, it is handy to have a tofu press like this one at home. If you don´t you can press the tofu with between two chopping boards, the one on top needs to be heavy so that it really squeezes the water out of the tofu.

 
Finished Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing.
Finished Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing. | Source

Comments on "Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing"

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    • Claudia Tello profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Tello 

      4 years ago from Mexico

      DDE, thanks for your kind comment, I like to think of food both as a great source of colorful pleasure and as nourishment and a way of honoring ourselves by consuming the delicious, beautiful and healthy gifts of nature. I am glad you find this vegan salad with veggies and tofu appealing.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing looks so tasty you certainly know a great idea for food.

    • Claudia Tello profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Tello 

      4 years ago from Mexico

      vespawoolf, marinating the otherwise insipid tofu with a good tomato sauce brings it to a whole new level in what flavor is concerned, but also makes it look much more appetizing. I am with you, nobody gets hurt by a vegan meal once in a while. Hope you enjoy this salad and thanks for your comments.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Your photos are beautiful! I love that you marinate the tofu. Although I'm not vegan, I want healthier options and easier-to-digest vegetarian options. This sounds so flavorful. I hope to try it soon. Thanks!

    • Claudia Tello profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Tello 

      4 years ago from Mexico

      carol7777, I am glad you liked the recipe, it really is tasty, even I was surprised when I tested it! Also a very good way to bring tofu to the next level because it really absorbs the tomato marinade and gives a fantastic creamy texture to the dish. Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to write your positive impressions.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      4 years ago from Arizona

      Sounds delish..great vegan dish and so tasty...

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