- Food and Cooking
Zesty Tofu Salad with Turmeric Dressing
Rate this Vegan Tofu Salad Meal
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
- 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
- Blend all ingredients together except for the oleic oil.
- In a well heated pan place the oleic oil, let it warm up and sauté the tomato sauce.
- 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!
- 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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Finely chop the red onion, dice the orange bell pepper, slice the cabbage and cut the cilantro (coriander) leaves.
- 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.
- Mix all the wholesome raw veggies in a bowl; add the turmeric dressing and mix.
- 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.
- Use the same skillet to sauté the marinated tofu dices until they get nice and brown on both sides.
- 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
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.