Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Asian Tofu Chopped Salad


I would like to start this post off by saying, "who the heck knew that a head of cabbage has so much cabbage in it?" I usually just buy a pre-made type of Asian salad with similar flavors, which requires no chopping of cabbage, but decided recently that I wanted to try to make it myself. After making a huge salad AND a cabbage based soup (not part of this post), I still have so much left over! If you have any cool cabbage recipes, send them my way, please.

Aside from my cabbage surplus problem, this salad is now one of my favorites. I'm always looking for easy and healthy recipes that can be made ahead of time for lunches during the week, and this one is perfect. Most salads get all limp and yucky while waiting for their turn, but this one has some really hearty ingredients that make it perfect for meal prep. Simply add your favorite Asian style dressing the morning of, let marinade for a couple of hours, and you're good to go for lunchtime!


Getting Started




This recipe is really easy to put together. All you have to do is cut up your veggies and tofu, toast your almonds over a medium heat, peel your oranges, and toss them all together! You can eat it right away or store it in the fridge for a couple of days. I keep mine in a heavy ziploc bag and pour it into a tupperware container the morning of with my dressing and toppings to eat later. I think it tastes even better after all the flavors have had time to sit and mingle a bit, so even if you plan to eat it the same day, I recommend making it ahead of time.

To toast the almonds, simply heat in a skillet over medium heat, moving them around and tossing them the whole time until just turning golden. Don't let them sit while you dance around for your 5 month old's entertainment and let them burn like I did. They also seemed to keep browning a bit and making popping noises even after I took them out of the pan, so don't let them get too brown before removing them. It took me a minute to figure out what was making the noise...

Need a helpful tip? To cut your tofu into perfect cubes, start by standing your tofu block up on it's end and cutting it right down the middle lengthwise (you can do this with the tofu laying down, but I can never cut things straight horizontally). This will give you two layers. Then simply cut into squares.

Also, one last suggestion, even though most of the ingredients are pretty hearty for meal prep, I recommend adding the toppings the day of so they don't get soggy.

I topped mine with toasted almonds, fresh mandarin oranges, and my favorite shiitake sesame dressing, but there are so many things you could add: peanuts, wonton strips, lime wedges. It's yours for the making! How would you dress yours up?


Ingredients


1/4 green cabbage, chopped into small pieces
1/4 napa cabbage, chopped into small pieces
3 green onions, diced (white and green parts)
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, thinly sliced then cut into pieces (I used a vegetable peeler)
2 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
2 handfuls baby kale (you could also use spinach)
12 oz extra firm tofu, cubed
4 oz container precooked quinoa (I used the microwavable kind)

Toppings:

Sliced almonds, toasted
Mandarin oranges
Your favorite Asian style dressing - mine is Annie's Shiitake & Sesame Vinaigrette

Servings: 6-8

Looking for other Asian inspired recipes? Check these out!

 Thai Spicy Hummus

 Vietnamese Tofu Lettuce Cups

 Thai Inspired Veggie Wrap

 Spicy Vegetable Stir-Fry



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