As I mentioned in my last post, my husband is a finalist in the Salad’tude contest being held right now at Happy Healthy Life for a Napa Valley Culinary Adventure. The fit really couldn’t be better, because while many people think of pizzas and burgers as the male domain, David is a salad lover through and through. (Although he’s also happy for a veggie burger & sweet potato fries or a cheeseless tomato & pineapple pizza any day of the week.)
Several times a week we opt for salad for lunch or dinner. It’s an easy go-to option, because we can use whatever we have on hand – kale, spinach, or green leaf lettuce, any kind of beans, seitan, baked tofu, roasted or raw vegetables of any variety, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds… And then there’s the dressing! Even if we had salad every night of the week, it could be different every time.
I like to start the week by making one huge salad that can be pulled from for lunches, dinners, as a side, or as a filling for wraps or burritos. A plus for having a huge salad around all the time is that it makes healthy eating convenient. Let’s face it, people like convenience. (I think that’s why so many people eat fast food. Sure, some people like the taste, but even more than that, I think they like that it’s easy.) If we make salad what’s easy, then that’s what we’ll eat. When we’re too tired, too hungry, too hurried, or too lazy to cook, and a salad is what is ready and waiting, that’s what we’ll have. (If it’s already in its own separated containers, even easier!) I love setting myself up for healthy eating by just having a salad on hand for when things are rushed.
The salad David used for his Salad’tude entry involves many classics from our kitchen. The base is massaged kale. (Just remove washed kale from its center rib, cut into bite-sized pieces, and massage until softened. For more details, check out this video & post.) Then it’s topped with carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and cucumbers. It’s then tossed in creamy cashew dressing.
The two things that make this salad so completely craveable are the additions of roasted chickpeas & easy lemon baked tofu that’s been roasted in squares. Outside of salads, the chickpeas are great with asparagus or broccoli on polenta or even by themselves as an alternative to popcorn for snacking. The tofu is fabulous in slices on sandwiches, in a tofu Benedict, or cubed in pasta salad, stir-fries, or wraps.
Ready to get inspired? Check out all of the luscious looking salads on Happy, Healthy Life. If you haven’t already voted, it would mean so much if you’d consider voting for David, #6! Thanks a bunch!
Easily enough for four salads
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
- 1 10 oz. block Wildwood extra-firm tofu in an aseptic package or 1 14 oz. package of extra firm water-packed tofu, pressed
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sliced the tofu into 4 slices width-wise. With all of the slices on top of each other, cut into it like a checkerboard or Rubik’s cube, making a bunch of rectangular squares.
Combine extra virgin olive oil and tamari in an 8×8 glass baking dish or pie plate. Toss the squares in the tamari mixture and bake for twenty minutes. Remove from oven and flip the tofu squares. Add lemon juice to the baking dish. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. (Check at 15 minutes to see if all of the lemon juice has been absorbed and the tofu is fully brown. If so, it’s done. If not, put it back in for five more minutes.) Remove from oven and serve.
Makes 1 cup
- ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss chickpeas, nutritional yeast, and ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil on baking sheet. Put baking sheet in the oven and roast chickpeas for 20 minutes, stopping once to shake the pans so that they roast evenly.