Normally when I get a craving for something, very rarely is there lettuce involved. Maybe it’s because of all the crappy half assed salads I’ve had to endure at restaurants over the years. You know, those places who think that vegans actually eat nothing but rabbit food and get super full from eating a small side salad consisting of ice burg lettuce and 2 cherry tomatoes. It’s left a bitter taste in my mouth and salad just happens to be the innocent bystander. Maybe it’s all the bread I’ve been eating lately, but I randomly got a major craving for a big green salad today, it kind of weirded me out. Fresh lettuce? But there’s a brownie like two feet away that would taste so much better! Nope, my belly wasn’t having any of it, it wanted fresh crisp greens and ain’t nothing else was gonna cut it.Salad it was! But not one of those sad restaurant salads that cause your friends to look at you with pitying eyes as they dig into a burger. Nope, this had to be a real salad, that was filled with all kinds of hefty ingredients, the kind of salad that deserved to be called lunch, or hell, even dinner! To come up with an idea, I started thinking about all those typical salads they serve at restaurants and my mind flashed back to the last time I went out to lunch with co-workers. One of the ladies had ordered a cobb salad, which is virtually one of the least vegan friendly salads out there, it’s basically a pile of meat, cheese and egg with some ice burg lettuce throw in for good measure….so of course I had to veganize it 😉For those of you who have never heard of a cobb salad, according to the all-knowing wiki, it’s a garden salad that consists of bacon, chicken, hard-boiled egg, cheese, tomato and avocado, with some other stuff thrown in from time to time. If salads were boxers, this one would be a heavyweight, and I was about to smack that mofo down. Using some of the leftovers I had from some of the other lunches I’ve made (hooray for using leftovers!), I subbed in some of the smoky chickeny soy curls, coconut bacon and Daiya jalapeno Havarti cheese. I was debating about getting all fancy with the egg, but then I remembered that I wanted to keep this as quick and easy as I could and if you’ve already had to make the soy curls and bacon, why throw something complicated into the mix? So instead, I cubed some smoked tofu and tossed it in a scramble-inspired spice mix for a beyond easy egg sub. I also added some other tasty ingredients like onion, avocado, tomatoes and olives (kalamatas only people! Using black olives would be sacrilege), then to make it all pretty I made a bed of romaine, then lined everything up into neat and colourful rows.
Now this people, this right here is what you call a salad! Hearty, protein packed and full of tastiness, it totally hit the spot with my salad craving belly….now where’s that brownie?Lunch Lady Tips:
- Most of the ingredients can be prepped in advance, make a big batch of the smoky chickeny soy curls and coconut bacon during a free night and when you’ve had your salad, use the leftovers in some other lunch options.
- Don’t cut the avocado too far in advance, I usually wait until the night before to prevent the colour from getting too brown.
- Pack your salad dressing in a separate container and apply only when you’re ready to eat.
A super hearty and filling vegan spin on a traditionally meaty salad.
- 3 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup Smoky Chickeny Soy Curls
- 1 avocado, pitted and chopped in to 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- Tofu egg
- 1/4 cup Coconut Bacon
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 1/4 cup olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup your favourite vegan cheese, chopped
- Red wine dressing
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 125g smoked tofu, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt
- pinch of onion powder
- pinch of garlic powder
- black pepper & salt, to taste
RED WINE DRESSING
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the turmeric, nutritional yeast, black salt, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss the tofu in the spice mixture until well coated.
- To assemble, place the romaine lettuce evenly over 1 large serving plate. Add the remaining ingredients in rows and top with the Red Wine Dressing. Alternatively you can toss all the ingredients together in one large bowl.