Why hello there fellow aficionados, I hope this week has been treating you well. Mine has been fabulous because for the past month the weather has been pretty meh and this past week the heat has finally struck again and I’m going to bask in all its sweaty warmth while I can. Along with my house heating up like a bloody furnace, once again comes my favorite non-oven meal, salad! Two salad recipes in less then a month? Woo! Daaaamn, you’d think I was turning into one of those super-healthy vegans or something, ha ha ha, I kid, I still balance out my salads with a healthy portion of cookies, so no need to think that’s gonna happen. Anyhoo, yup, salad. Now before you click the exit screen thinking this is going to be one of those boring salads hear me out, because there’s rum…yeah that’s right, and mint, ooohhh, fancy, and tofu, because I love the shit out of tofu and you should too.
I got this idea after stumbling upon a mojito chicken recipe on Food Network during one of my “looking for tasty ideas” moments, does anyone else do that? I love scouring the fancy food websites for ideas on things to veganize, it’s a great way to get some inspiration, as long as you don’t mind all the meatiness….cause god damn there’s a lot of meaty cheesiness up on those sites! My brain seems to replace all meat images with seitan at this point, it’s weird but that seems to be how my brain works so there ya have it. I love recipes that turn boozy drinks into inspiration for edible stuff, but I’m obviously not alone in that sentiment otherwise we wouldn’t have white Russian cupcakes or chocolate stout brownies. For any of you who are wondering, the marinade for this isn’t crazy boozy. My goal was to get in a bit of that rum flavor, not get ya all smashed off of tofu. A word of advice for all my fellow tofu lovers out there, press it really good to get out as much liquid as you can, because the more you get rid of, the more of the tasty marinade you can squeeze back into it.
Along with the strawberries and mandarins, this is a citrusy, tofuy, nutty, minty salad for all your non-oven using needs.
Total side note, I got a new camera! Yay for buying new things you don’t really need! Wait, did I just say that? Ok, yeah, I didn’t really NEED to get a new one but my interest in photography has grown a lot, as in I finally switched from program mode to manual mode, and I was a little tired of using Philip’s hand me down, so I got my own and I’m totally in love with it! Although I’ve still got a hell-of-a-lot to learn when it comes to taking photos. So if you don’t notice an improvement in my photos in the next few months I give you every right to mock me for buying something totally unnecessary. Although I already think these ones are a bit of an improvement. You hear that Foodgawker? Try to decline my photos now! Muahahahahah! Ok, maybe I’m taking my photo rejections a little too personal….I’ve apparently got issues 😉 But enough about that, on to the recipe!
MOJITO TOFU SALAD
- 1 350g pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed well
- Marinade, recipe follows
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Mojito dressing, recipe follows
- 2 mandarins, peeled and sectioned
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1/3 cup reserved marinade
- 2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves, minced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced (use one of the cloves leftover from the marinade)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE SALAD
- For the marinade: Mix all ingredients together until combined. Set aside.
- For the salad: Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. In an 8×8 inch pan, add the marinade, then add the tofu. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, the longer the better, leaving it overnight is best. Flip tofu about halfway through marinating to coat the other side.
- Mix all the spices together in a bowl. Drain the tofu, reserving the marinade and toss the tofu in the spice mixture, until well coated.
- In a large non-stick pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil is hot, add the tofu to the pan. Sear tofu for a couple minutes on all sides, until nicely browned. If you find the spices are burning quickly, turn down the heat. Set aside.
- For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, season with salt and pepper and set aside until needed.
- To serve: Toss greens with strawberries, mandarins, onion, walnuts and tofu. Drizzle with Mojito Dressing.