State of things: I feel brain-dead. State of mind: I can no longer read, making writing this post extremely challenging. My eyes just don’t seem to be connecting the letters to their meaning in my brain. State of heart: I am anxious, nervous, giddy, jumpy, but, most of all, exhausted.
What better time to finally prepare myself the March Salad that I’ve been planning to make all week?
The thing with the “year of salads” category is that, while being pretty awesome in concept, it means I actually have to come up with a new salad every month. And this can’t just be any salad – it has to be amazing and innovative enough to make the “year of salads” category. Which, after 5 salads in said category (for example my January Salad or February Salad), and countless other salads, is becoming harder and harder.
But today, I finally came up with quite an interesting salad. Earlier this week, I felt compelled to buy some smoked tofu…but it’s been sitting in the fridge ever since. The thing is, I’m not the biggest fan of tofu. I don’t mind it, but I feel like it’s always just a substitute for the real thing, no matter how you prepare it. I wouldn’t dare say that this is completely different in this recipe, but I marinated the tofu for about 8 hours today, and I dare say it turned out quite yummy.
The upside of using tofu in this salad is that it’s completely vegan, and still oh-so-satisfying and filling. I had some cooked millet left over from making this ginger mint wok, and decided I’d toast it with some olive oil and herbs, making it crunchy, crisp (some of the millet even popped like popcorn) and similar to croutons, minus the gluten. Sounds pretty good, right?
The base of the salad is quite simple, I used romaine lettuce, carrots and cucumbers, and cress, as well as some toasted sesame seeds for even more crunch (I guess I was all about crunchiness this evening…). Maybe I was hoping that if I munched on enough crunchy things, my brain function would somehow return after studying all day. I tried reading some more after dinner, but failed miserably, finally deciding to just give up. Who cares if I am taking the hardest exams of my life in two days? (Me, I care, but I’m pretending to be nonchalant about it.)
This salad is perfect if you’re not craving a “healthy” salad, eventhough there’s nothing unhealthy about it. The savory, crusted tofu cubes, along with the crouton-like crunchy millet cover up any “meager-salad-feeling” in a heartbeat.
This one’s definitely a main dish, and not a side dish. Tofu is extremely filling, at least to me. For a low carb version, leave out the millet!
The March Salad With Marinated Tofu Cubes And Crunchy Millet Croutons
for the tofu cubes:
- 1 pack of smoked tofu (I think mine was 200g)
- 1 Tbs. ginger lemongrass infused oil (or olive oil)
- freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. celery salt
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1-2 tsp. freshly ground ginger
for the salad:
- 1 carrot, sliced
- cucumber (a 2cm piece)
- romaine lettuce (1 1/2 cups)
- 1-2 tsp. cress
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tbs. lemon infused olive oil (or olive oil)
- 2 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs. natural soy yogurt
for the crunchy millet croutons:
- 3 Tbs. precooked millet
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried lovage
1. Cut the tofu into 1 cm cubes and mix together the ginger lemon grass oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, salt, sugar and celery salt. Marinate the tofu for at least 2 hours, longer is preferable.
2. In a salad bowl, mix together the lemon-infused oil and vinegar (not the soy yogurt), then chop up the romaine lettuce, slice the carrot and cucumber, and add to the bowl with the dressing along with the sesame seeds. Mix thoroughly, and then sprinkle some of the cress on top (saving some for garnishing the soy yogurt at the end).
3. In a pan, toast the marinated tofu cubes until they are nicely browned outside, and have a sort of “crust”.
4. In the same pan, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil, the millet and spices/herbs for about 1 minute. Then take out of the pan, sprinkle on top of the salad, and add a dollop of soy yogurt (natural, non-sweetened).
And for everybody who is as tired from reading as I am, how about just taking a look at the steps in pictures? Yeah, I thought that would be easier, too:
Step 1: Marinating the tofu.
Step 2: Mixing together the salad:
Step 3: Sprinkling some cut up cress with beautiful red nailpolish on nails:
Step 4: Toasting your tofu cubes:
Step 5: Arranging your tofu cubes and salad on a huge platter:
Step 6: Crunching up some millet:
Step 7: Adding a dollop of natural soy yoghurt:
Enjoy while the tofu and millet are still warm, and grin to yourself as you crunch and munch away.
I’m off to watching an episode of grey’s anatomy, and perhaps making myself some nana-icecream to soothe my soul. These exams are really kicking my butt…but after this coming week, you’ll finally be free from posts about studying and exams! Yeah…what’ll that be like? 🙂