Meatless Monday: The Joy of Tofu

I’m hooking up with Tina and Deborah for this holiday week edition of Meatless Monday!

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The Joy of Tofu

Tofu gets a bad rap. From complaints about its taste (or lack thereof) and texture, to the possibility of it being generically modified, to just the fact that it is made from soybeans, many people won’t even give tofu a chance. I hope to clear away some of the misconceptions about the lowly tofu, and maybe encourage you to try it out (I’ll link to a couple of my favorite tofu recipes) on this Meatless Monday.

Joy of Tofu

Yes, it is true that tofu doesn’t have much taste all on its own. That is also what makes it so perfect to use for almost any purpose. Tofu will absorb the flavor of any sauce or seasoning that you choose to use. The key is to drain and press the tofu first to extract as much water as possible, then marinate it in the sauce of your choice. Well-drained tofu will absorb all the moisture and flavors of that sauce.

Preparing Tofu

There are a couple ways to press tofu. The easiest, no-equipment-needed way is to simply drain the tofu, wrap it in a couple paper towels, and press it under a couple plates, books, or whatever you have handy. Pressing for at least a half hour will produce the best results. Another option of a tofu press. You can place your tofu in the press, screw it down, and it will remove even a greater amount of water. It can even be left in the refrigerator overnight for a firmer, meatier texture.

If you like your tofu with a heavier texture (especially for some recipes) try freezing it before cooking. This can be done either after pressing, or in its original packaging. Freezing might alter the color of the tofu, and will make it more absorbent and dense.

Tofu can be marinated in almost any type of sauce, from bottled marinades to your own favorite recipes. Here is a simple marinade that I frequently use when I’m going to make a tofu “steak” to serve with a salad or potato.

Simple Tofu Marinade

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid heat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper to taste
vegetable broth

In an eight ounce measuring cup, combine all the ingredients, adding the broth last and filling up the cup. Pour over the pressed tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. You can cook them like this, or dredge in flour, bread crumbs or corn meal. Cook over medium heat until browned on each side. Add the remaining marinade and cook until it is hot and slightly thickened.

GMO Concerns

It is true that soy is one of the most genetically modified plants produced. Much of this soy is used in feed for farm animals, and in processed (human) food. Tofu is much less processed and if you check the packaging for the Non-GMO label and purchase organic tofu, you will not have to worry that your tofu has been genetically engineered.

All Nasoya tofu is certified organic and non-GMO project verified. The company sent me some samples of their tofu products to try out. In addition to their regular organic tofu, Nasoya also has TofuPlus, which is fortified with vitamins, and the new TofuBaked, which has already been marinated and baked, so can be used hot or cold, and is perfect for salads, sandwiches, and stir-fry.

tofu-baked-sesame

Health Benefits of Soy

Soy is low in fat, cholesterol free, and has bone-healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Twenty five milligrams of soy protein per day is recognized as beneficial to heart health. The soybean has been described as a Super Food because of its nutrient rich properties, which have been found to be beneficial in fighting many diseases.

In spite of fears that soy isn’t safe for women concerned about breast cancer, study after study has indicated that soy most likely reduces the risk. As for men, soy is recognized as a prostate-friendly food.

Other health benefits of soy, as well as references to the studies mentioned above, can be found here and here.

Tofu Recipes

I love cooking with tofu. It is inexpensive, healthy, and if you cook it correctly, it tastes delicious. Over the years I have created many tofu recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Quiche4

Quiche Who needs eggs? I just made this the other night, substituting mushrooms for the vegan bacon. Delicious!
Pot Pie To me, pot pie is the ultimate comfort food.
Tofu Scramble I can eat a tofu scramble for breakfast, lunch, and or dinner.
Tofu Burrito I have many burrito recipes (they are one of my favorite food groups dishes), and this is one of the best.
Vegan Bruschetta Caprese I’ve also made this like a simple caprese salad, substituting the slices of tofu for the buffalo mozzarella.
Triple Protein Packed Salad I make a lot of salads, especially in the summer. Big Salads.
Easy Tofu Bake When you just don’t know what to make for dinner.
Cornmeal Crusted Tofu Like the example with my marinade recipe, this is an easy way to eat tofu on its own.
Vegan Buffalo “Wings” The playoffs are coming! I love “football food” as much as the next girl.
(Tofu) Steak and Potatoes The title of the post is “Sometimes a girl just needs a (tofu) steak and potatoes.”
Pumpkin Pie. Your guests (or you) won’t know it’s vegan!

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Well, there were even more than I expected! That should keep you busy for a while! Not on my recipe list, but soft or silken tofu is a perfect addition for smoothies, makes great, creamy sauces, and can be used as a thickener for many dessert recipes.

Do you cook with tofu? Why or why not? Do you have a favorite recipe?

I have five coupons for a free package of Nasoya TofuBaked to give away! If you’d like one, just tell me in the comments and I’ll pick randomly on December 29.

Meatless Monday: 3 Favorite Vegan Recipes

I joining in a Meatless Monday linkup with Tina Muir. After over five years of blogging and creating vegan recipes, this is the first time I’ve ever done a Meatless Monday post! Check out Tina’s post and all the others participating in the linkup.

But first, some deep thanks.

I just want to express my appreciation for the support that all of you gave me after I was fired last week. Your words were so kind and understanding that I immediately felt better. I have taken down the post for a few reasons, not the least of which that I probably wouldn’t want a future employer to read it.

I spent the last few days enjoying a little unplanned time off while I mentally prepare for the challenge ahead. An additional challenge faced by all of us who live in the desert is that it is so seasonal. While I’m confident that I can find a job as a trainer, the people who are potentially my clients won’t be back until November. So, in addition to looking for jobs in personal training, I have a few other ideas that I will let you know about as I begin to roll them out.

Shout Out to Pavement Runner

A quick shout out to Pavement Runner who did a back to back San Francisco Marathon on Sunday. Yup, that’s right. Starting at midnight (or some crazy hour), he ran the reverse SF course, finished, took a few minutes to refuel and change, then took off with the regular runners. And finished! I’m sure his full recap will be up as soon as he wakes up, so keep an eye out. The prize that I won in his contest to raise money and awareness for the SF SPCA (SF Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) arrived this weekend. It’s a beautiful Half-Zip Performance top from Tribesports. My only regret is that it will be a few months before it’s cool enough here to wear it.

Tribesports4

Meatless Monday: My 3 Favorite Vegan Recipes

First off, here is a new recipe. I tend to eat a lot of salads during the summer. It’s just too hot to eat cooked food, plus the air conditioner is working hard enough without having to outwork the oven. This Mexican Salad is colorful, and combined with the spicy avocado dressing has a great bite.

Mexican Salad 2

Mexican Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 cups mixed greens of choice, chopped medium
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 can (or one cup) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup yellow peppers, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Lime juice
  • Spicy Avocado Dressing (see below)
Instructions
  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the salad (about a tablespoon). Toss with the avocado dressing.

 Spicy Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

1 avocado
Juice of 1 lime
1 serrano chili, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instruction

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add a little more water.

Mexican Salad 3

I have made a lot of Tofu Scrambles in my time as a vegan. Even though I’ve written up the recipes each time, I rarely follow my own, preferring to use whatever veggies I have on hand. This one turned out especially good, so I thought I’d share it.

Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main/Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 small potato, chopped
  • ¼ cup red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ package vegan chorizo (Soyrizo)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black salt (Kala Namak - optional - see below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (if using the black salt reduce to ½ teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine tofu, turmeric, cumin, black salt if using, salt, and pepper. Use a fork to blend and to give a "scrambled egg" texture. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add potatoes, and cook until slightly browned.
  4. Add onions, peppers, and chiles and cook until the vegetables are soft, about five minutes. At this point the potatoes should be almost cooked, but not soft.
  5. Add the Soyrizo. Break it up as you stir the mixture. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the tofu mixture. Stir it in and cook for about 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve with tortillas, beans, rice, avocados, salsa, or whatever condiments you like.

A note about the black salt. Ever since I read this post by Cadry, I have been a little obsessed with her Eggy Tofu. I have started adding the Kala Namak to all my eggy tofu recipes, like this one or quiche. It is optional, so you can skip it or purchase it here (affiliate link).

Finally, I decided to share this Shawarma recipe again (I’m actually making it for dinner tonight). I recently had the best comment on the original post. It made me smile and laugh because I knew exactly how she felt:

Shawarma Quote 2

Shawarma2

Vegan Shawarma
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • One package (or one cup if homemade) seitan or chicken substitute, cut into strips
  • One Tablespoon lemon juice
  • One teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ cup soy yogurt
  • One Tablespoon Malt Vinegar
  • Two Cloves Garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the seitan with the garam masala, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and toss to mix. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, vinegar, and garlic. Add the “meat” mixture and stir together. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat Broiler. Spray broiler pan lightly with cooking spray. Spread seitan in a single layer on the pan. Broil until lightly browned, then turn over and repeat on the other side.
  3. Serve with warmed pita bread, hummus, or shawarma sauce. (Can also be served with vegan tzatziki or tahini sauce.) Top with tomato salad.

The recipes for the hummus, shawarma sauce, and tomato salad can also be found in the original post.

Participating in Meatless Monday is a great way to reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. For me, it is all about the animals, so here’s this, from the Humane Society, “By making Meatless Monday a part of your weekly routine, we can help to create a more humane society. In fact, if all Americans participated in Meatless Monday, more than a billion animals would be spared from factory farms each year.”

Check out my Recipe Page for more meatless options.

#Vegan Recipe: BBQ Tofu Salad (Perfect leftover use!)

It all starts with Cross Country. It is upon us.

Starting tomorrow and continuing for the next two months, I will be traveling on an un-air conditioned yellow school bus to various invitational cross country meets in Southern California. Let me change that slightly to make you feel even sorrier for me. I will be traveling on that bus with 31 teenagers.

Actually I jest. I love my team and actually enjoy the bus ride (pillows are key!). This week our meet is at Cal Poly in Pomona, so we’re looking at a two hour drive. Add the actual races and the lunch stop in there, you’re saying goodbye to Saturday. Not to mention the bus leaves from the school at 5:00 am. Yes, you read that right.

That brings me, finally, to my point. I love coaching cross country but it is very time consuming. We have practice daily (except Sunday, thank goodness), the meet on Saturday, plus I have rosters to type, results to compile, etc. Of course, I have a full time job, and this whole blogging thing. Plus, you know, I like to exercise a bit here and there. I am fortunate that my husband is my co-coach, so at least we get to see each other during cross country season.

I am time challenged! There are not enough hours in the day. Something’s got to give!

What seems to give first is food preparation. Generally, I cook at home almost all the time. I do that for many reasons. I love to cook, it is obviously much healthier, restaurant food is expensive, plus the lack of vegan restaurants in my area discourages eating out.

Just because I’m busy, I don’t want to give up healthy eating. I am not and never will be organized enough to prepare a full week’s worth of dinners on Sunday. Plus, I’d be spending my only real day off in the kitchen. Instead, I think BIG. Instead of using my small bit of leftovers for lunch, I prepare enough food for at least two meals. Alan’s happy as long as there is one day in between the same dish. And I’m happy to have an easy meal to prepare (can you say “reheat?”)

The other way to think BIG is to use the leftovers to create an entirely different dish. Think of the variations on leftover Thanksgiving turkey. That is what I did for this BBQ Tofu Salad. The other night, I prepared the barbecued tofu (I should say BBQ-style because I cooked it in the oven), and served it with corn. I made an extra portion knowing that I would do something with it later on in the week. This salad is the result.

Before we get to the recipe, check out my video of my Cross Country team rockin’ a gym workout!

Cross Country

 

BBQ Tofu Salad with Arugula and Smoky & Spicy Ranch Dressing

The BBQ tofu was leftovers, but I originally prepared it by slicing a drained block of tofu into three slices, marinating in a mixture of 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce), 1 teaspoon liquid smoke. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for about a half hour. We had two of the slices for dinner and I refrigerated the third slice.

Since the leftover tofu is cold, you might want to warm it up a bit before putting it in the salad. Cut it into small cubes. Combine arugula (or other favorite greens), tomato, yellow pepper, green onions, kidney beans (or other beans of choice), radishes, avocado, and tofu. Toss together with Smoky and Spicy Ranch Dressing (I used the dressing from this recipe and added 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke). Feel free to switch up veggies, add some nuts or seeds, etc. It’s your salad. Enjoy.

One nice thing about those long bus rides. If I bring my computer, they’re perfect for getting some writing done!

Idyllwild

Enjoy my last free weekend for a while last week in Idyllwild.

How do you manage eating healthy in spite of your busy schedule? Any tips to share?

Tofu Scramble: It’s What’s For Dinner (and Breakfast)

I love me a good tofu scramble.

The problem is, when I want it, like after a long run or bike ride, or a tough yoga class, I want it. I do not want to cook it. I want it NOW!

Since I live in an area that does not have a vegan/vegetarian restaurant and no other restaurants that are progressive enough to think that offering a vegan option for breakfast would be a great idea, I have no one to cook it for me.

So what’s a girl to do?

My solution: Make up a big batch of tofu scramble for dinner. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers, then enjoy later for my favorite meal of the week: Post Workout Breakfast!

I can’t believe I never thought of this before. I am the original pizza for breakfast girl (yes, I am). I always keep leftovers in mind when I’m preparing dinner, usually to take to work for lunch.

So anyway, the lightbulb finally when off in my head this week after my hankering for a tofu scramble breakfast went unrequited once again, and I decided to make it for dinner instead. I thought, what if I double it up?

Tofu Scramble Dinner/Breakfast – (makes enough for dinner for two and either one big or two small breakfasts)
16 ounce package of firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
2-4 small red potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 Serrano chili, minced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
Olive oil (for cooking)

Instructions
Blend your spices, including the nutritional yeast, together. In a small bowl, break up your tofu into small pieces. Sprinkle in the spice blend. You may add a tablespoon of water to help with the blending.

Preheat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for a couple minutes. Add the potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes start to brown. Add the chile and cook one minute more. Add the mushrooms and a little water to the pan, the reduce the heat to medium, cover and let cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

Remove the lid and add the tomatoes and the tofu. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for five minutes. Tofu might brown a little, but don’t let it stick to the pan.

Serve with toast or tortillas

Other Optional Additions:
1/2 package Soyrizo
Red, yellow, orange, or green peppers – I am not a big fan, so I don’t use them too much, but if you like them, go for it.
Really, any vegetable that you like, spinach, broccoli, etc.
vegan cheese

I happened to have a can of cajun style beans that I had bought by accident (don’t ask me how because I’m such a label reader. I must have looked at the picture, which looked like red beans). I heated those up, adding about a half of a serrano pepper (yes, I love them), and served the beans on the side, with tortillas.

Then, two days later, I enjoyed my work-free, post-workout, tofu scramble breakfast. Better than going out to eat!

What is your favorite post workout and/or weekend meal?

Do you like dinner for breakfast or breakfast for dinner?

Note: I am definitely getting old. After writing this post, I did a search on my own blog to link to a post I wrote a few months ago when we were in Encinitas and I had a tofu scramble. I found this, which is very similar in content to this post. The recipe is different, though, so I’m going to publish this anyway. I apologize for my memory loss (but at least you get two tofu scramble recipes out of it!).

Easiest Tofu Bake Ever! Vegan Recipe

I love to cook. Even though I work full time, run a few days a week, take a yoga class once or twice, and try to keep up with my writing (plus cross country starts next week, meaning coaching practice 4-5 days per week), I try to prepare a homemade dinner most nights of the week. I enjoy the time in the kitchen, finding it relaxing to be creative with food (the glass of wine in nice, too!).

While I like following recipes from my favorite cookbooks (current faves include Viva Vegan!, by Terry Hope Romero, Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the Indian Vegan Kitchen, by Madhu Gadia, and my all time, the Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook, by Tanya Petrovna), I really love making up recipes myself. I have a talent for being able to throw ingredients together, and somehow they taste good. I’m definitely not a trained chef, and my recipes are simple and basic, which is one of the reasons they are very doable for someone with a busy schedule.

With all that being said, I’m like anybody else who works hard. Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. Restaurants are an occasional option, but Alan and I really like eating at home. So it was last night when I walked into the kitchen to prepare dinner, I didn’t have a clue as to what I was going to make.

My first thought was to use up the potato salad from the 4th and grill up some bbq tofu. But when I started to think up a marinade for the tofu, I saw some salsa in the fridge and my mind turned in a different direction. The tofu was already pressed, so I put two slices in a dish and poured the salsa on top.

Now, though, the potato salad didn’t seem to fit. It looked like I was going in a Mexican-like direction, so I pulled out a can of pinto beans, and suddenly had a plan.

Easiest Tofu Bake Ever

Ingredients
8 ounces tofu, pressed and cut into slices or wedges
1 cup salsa
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
2 tablespoons vegan shredded cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400

Place the tofu slices in a small baking dish. Pour the salsa over the top, reserving about 2 tablespoons. Lift the tofu to allow some salsa underneath, making sure to spoon it back over the top of the tofu. Pour the beans around the tofu.  Spoon the cream cheese on top, then spoon on the rest of the salsa. Cover and bake for a half hour or until the beans and salsa are hot and bubbly. Sprinkle on the cheese and return to the oven, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Makes two servings

That’s all there is to it. Excluding pressing and baking time, only about 5 minutes of hands on prep work. The tofu absorbs the spicy salsa flavor, the cream cheese makes the sauce, well, creamy, and the beans add a fiber packed punch.

This morning I was well fueled for a four mile run. Last week, my schedule was a little wacky because of the holiday, and I only had time for one short mid-week run. It felt good to get out, even though the temperatures were in the mid eighties by 6:00 this morning. Planning for a little longer run tomorrow, I’m afraid we’re going to have start getting out even earlier in the morning. I’m thinking not only of myself, but my running partner Penny, my Dalmatian. She’s stuck wearing a coat, after all.

I’d planned for yoga class today, but felt tired and unmotivated. Instead, I took a little nap and woke up feeling much better.   I’ll definitely make it tomorrow.

As I was writing this post, my cable internet suddenly went out (television and telephone, too), and I lost the last few paragraphs that I was writing, plus I’ll have to go back and reinsert the last few photos. I try to save my work frequently, but I got caught this time. It never seems the same when you have to go back and rewrite from memory. It loses something. I even have Live Writer, which protects you from this sort of thing, but was I using it? No, I was not.

Hopefully I’ll be up and running before too long (before I have to go back and change the ‘todays’ to ‘yesterdays’ ).

Note: The internet came back on and, wonder of wonders, I was able to get my work back! Hurray! Still, I should use Live Writer.

Note #2: The Internet went down again before I could post, but at least everything was saved. Now I am proofing and finishing up on my phone, so please pardon any typos.

Questions:
If you blog, do you do it online or use an offline program? Which one?
Did you (run, bike, walk, yoga, lift, swim) today? How’d it go?
Do you like to cook? If so, what’s your favorite dish? If not, what’s your favorite restaurant?

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate, and if you click on any of the cookbook links and purchase, I receive a small, and I mean very small, percentage.

Triple Protein Packed Salad. Recipe. Vegan.

As any vegetarian or vegan knows, the most frequent question that we are asked is, “Where do you get your protein?”

And the vegan standard answer is, “everywhere. Most food has protein and if you are eating enough calories, you are probably getting enough protein.”

The need for protein is seriously over-exaggerated in the minds of most Americans. If you ask a random person off the street why humans need meat, chances are he will say, “for the protein.” In actuality, we need less than we think. Even for body builders, serious weight lifters, boxers, and endurance athletes, it is not difficult to get plenty of protein on a vegan diet. Check out Robert Cheeke, Ryan Wilson, Tim Bradley, and Scott Jurek.

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:

Basically, depending on your activity level, you need .36-.81 grams of protein per pound of body weight (source). Suggested numbers can vary, though. In this article, vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke discusses his diet and uses the suggested amount of 1.0-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight for athletes and bodybuilders. For myself, when I do the calculations I need about 78 grams of protein per day.

Just because I can easily get enough protein doesn’t mean I should just take it for granted. Because plant proteins are absorbed differently than animal sources, I must make sure that I get my protein from a variety of foods and possibly aim for a slightly higher ratio of protein grams to body weight (source) .

This salad is triple packed with protein. In addition to the greens and vegetables, which contain from 1-5 grams of protein per serving, plus an avocado which has about 7 grams, it also contains some super vegan protein sources: Tofu = 8 grams protein/3 ounces (I actually used Trader Joes High Protein tofu with 14 grams protein per 3 ounces), kidney beans = 7 grams per 1/2 cup and Quinoa = 5 grams per 1/2 cup.

You can compare the above to beef which has about 7 grams of protein per ounce.

Now, if you’re a vegan who has felt somewhat stumped by the “where do you get your protein” question, or an omnivore who has always wondered, I hope that you have a better understanding of our protein requirements and resources.

Triple Protein Packed Salad

Ingredients
8 ounces tofu, drained and pressed
2 Tablespoons tamari
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions and chilled
1 can kidney beans (or beans of your choice), drained and rinsed
3 cups mixed greens
1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup jicama, chopped
1/2 cup snow peas
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 avocado, cut into medium chunks
Vinaigrette Dressing of your choice – I used Mango Lime Vinaigrette from this recipe.

After pressing the tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Combine the tamari, broth, and Sriracha and marinate the tofu for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the tofu on all sides (reserving the marinade). When the tofu is brown, add the marinade, stir, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the tofu from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Combine the greens, quinoa, beans, carrots, tomatoes, jicama, peas, and onions and toss lightly. Add the tofu and toss gently. You can serve now or chill. Add the avocado and dressing to taste right before serving.

Makes 2-3 “big salad” servings.

Protein-Packed-Salad-Vegan Recipe

Approximate Nutrition Data (based on 3 servings):

This chart does not include the extra protein that is in the high protein tofu. That would increase the amount to about 25 grams of protein per serving. If you are reducing calories in your diet, you can use a lower calorie dressing (or just use a little lemon–there is a lot of flavor in the salad already). You can also skip or reduce the amount of avocado. While avocados are delicious and very good for you, they do contain a lot of fat, albeit a good fat, so take that into consideration.

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions about protein needs and a vegetarian or vegan diet. If you have more questions, please ask in the comments. I will be happy to answer (or find the answer if I don’t know).