The Tofu and Salad Days

Lots o’ wots at Blue Nile Cafe

For my husband’s 40th birthday, we enjoyed a long weekend in Kansas City.  After a luxurious massage, hitting the First Friday gallery walk in the Crossroads District, browsing vintage goods at Good Juju and handmade wares at Mash Handmade, and eating vegan fare that included raw, Ethiopian, and pub food, I have to say I had a great time celebrating my husband’s birthday!  Plus, I had no idea that his birthday would involve procuring so many adorable new things for the kitchen.  I approve!

Still, as much as I relish a weekend away and eating plant-based food around the city, it always feels good to be home, cooking in my own kitchen, making food the way that I prefer it.  Restaurant food can be delicious, but it’s also a lot saltier and richer than I make at home.  After a few days away, we were eager for salad and sautéed kale.  In my search for a new salad dressing recipe, I turned to the photos that have been piling up on my Pinterest page.  There are a lot of tantalizing recipes out there.  It’s easy to keep pinning and pinning.  I decided to pin one down and make it, and I landed on Creamy Red Pepper, Chickpea and Tahini Dressing from Choosing Raw.  The dressing is basically a thinner, smoky hummus with the enticing flavors of smoked paprika.  Plus, it’s oil-free.  I used my julienne peeler to slice broccoli stalks, carrots, and cucumbers and tossed it with the dressing and added a handful of curry-flavored sunflower seeds.

I served it with garlic sautéed kale and lemon rosemary tofu made from the Central Soyfoods Garlic Herb Tofu I picked up in Kansas City.  The tofu is made locally in Lawrence, Kansas.  They use organic soybeans and have several flavors.  (I also purchased their hickory smoked tofu, which I look forward to using sometime soon.)  It is softer and lighter than my regular brand and has a delightful slight sweetness to it.  With these fresh, vibrant flavors, it feels good to be home.

6 thoughts on “The Tofu and Salad Days

  1. What a fun getaway! I hear you on restaurant food. I prefer my food over going out usually–I especially don’t bloat out the way I do when I eat someone else’s food. Oh and that smoked hickory tofu! Where can I buy some??? Do they sell it online?

    • Yes, we had such a great time! It was only a long weekend, but it was refreshing as if it was a much longer vacation. Kansas City is a surprisingly vegan-friendly town. They also have a big farmer’s market that we visited, but it’s a lot more low key in the winter. I look forward to visiting in the summer when they have more organic, fresh produce available. Oh, and you’ll be interested to know that I also visited Anthropologie and picked up a couple of bowls I’d been admiring. :)

      I tried to find an online presence for the makers of the tofu, Central Soyfoods, but I couldn’t find a website or web store. If you wanted to give them a call, perhaps they could point you in the right direction! 785-312-8638

  2. Happy B-day to your hubby. I had no idea Kansas City was such a fun place for a getaway. The food looks great, but I know what you mean by wanting to get home to less salty, less rich fare. I wonder if a restaurant that prepared foods like we prefer, could succeed. Or are we really looking for something we wouldn’t cook at home, when we dine out?

    • Thanks, Andrea! I’ll pass on your well wishes to my husband. I didn’t realize that Kansas City was so fun either until we just happened to go through there a couple of times. For a smaller Midwestern city, they have a very cool vibe with a lot interesting things going on. After our last visit in the summer, we knew we wanted to go back and spend some more time. Plus, their partially raw and totally vegan restaurant, Fud, is amazing. They also have a vegan bakery and coffee shop, Mud Pie Bakery, that is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cinnamon roll.

      That’s an interesting question that you pose. When I eat out, it’s nice to have something that I couldn’t or wouldn’t make at home. If it’s simple or not arduous to create, I wonder why I paid more for it. Maybe it’s that expectations change when you’re eating out for several meals in a row instead of an occasional dinner or lunch.

  3. Happy belated birthday to your husband! I’m glad you enjoyed your weekend in KC. It sounds like you were able to pack a lot of fun, relaxing things into your weekend getaway. I totally hear ya on the eating out verses cooking at home. We made an effort a few years ago to eat in more. It started as a way to save money, but now we just prefer it. Eating from our kitchen seems lighter and fresher, and we always feel so much better after finishing a meal. Eating out is definitely a fun treat, but for us it’s best as an occasional indulgence.

    • Thanks for your Kansas City recommendations! It was a fun trip that felt like much longer than a long weekend. We visited Fud a couple of times, Mud Pie Bakery, Eden Alley, Blue Nile, and McCoy’s Public House. Of course, there are still plenty of places to visit the next time we’re there. You’re blessed with options!

      As much fun as it is to visit a city with a lot more vegan options than where I currently live, it’s a good reminder that my favorite place to eat is at home. It’s a nice occasional treat to have someone cook for you, but like you said, eating at home is so much lighter and fresher. Plus, it’s a good way to save money!

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