Salads get a bad rep for being the unsatisfying dinner choice of the guilty eater after a few too many cheat meals.  They are too often resentfully ordered or prepared in an attempt to maintain some sort of order or bodily cleanliness.  I am here to tell you that your salads can (and should) be satisfying, creamy, crunchy, garlic-y, piles of plant-based goodness.  My family uses the abbreviation B.A.S. when referring to a salad so fulfilling and indulgent that it rivals the creamiest, most gooey macaroni and cheese.  This abbreviation stands for “Big Ass Salad” and if there were ever a salad to reign supreme, this Buffalo Tofu salad with garlic-y chick pea croutons and creamy tahini dressing would most certainly take the metaphorical (vegan) cake.  Buffalo Tofu Salad 1    There are so many things that make this salad drool-worthy, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin.  First of all, the spicy buffalo tofu is the perfect compliment to the cool and luxurious tahini dressing with it’s complex palate of ginger, garlic, lemon, tahini, fresh parsley and miso paste.  The baked cheesy, garlic-y chick peas resemble a crouton if croutons could somehow be all-at-once crunchy, chewy, savory and loaded with flavor.  The thinly sliced veggie mix provides an appreciated break from the luxury of it all with a fresh and crunchy bite.  Top this baby with some chunky avocado slices and some delicate pea shoots and you’ve got yourself a B.A.S.Buffalo Tofu Salad 4 Buffalo Tofu Salad 1This salad is perfect for lunch or dinner and should serve 3-4 B.A.S portions.  Preparation time is about 45 minutes.

BUFFALO TOFU SALAD WITH CREAMY TAHINI DRESSING

Ingredients

  • 1 Block Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 Can (15 oz) Chick Peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp plus a little extra Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Cup Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Cucumber, chopped
  • 2 Red/Orange Peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Pea Shoots
  • 1 Cup Tahini
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • The Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Miso Paste
  • 1 tsp Minced Ginger
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Buffalo Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray)
  • Spring Mix
  • Sunflower Seeds to top

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line a flat baking sheet with parchment paper and grease lightly with coconut oil. Cut tofu into bite sized pieces, pressing out extra water between slices when necessary.
  3. Prepare the garlic chickpea croutons by rinsing and draining the chick peas and emptying them into a cooking pan. Then toss with the Tbsp of coconut oil, the garlic powder and the nutritional yeast until combined. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes and the chick peas for 25.
  4. While the tofu and chick peas are baking, prepare the veggies. Put aside.
  5. Make the tahini dressing by blending the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, parsley, miso paste and minced ginger on high until well-blended.
  6. When the tofu is done, toss with the buffalo sauce in a covered skillet over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, being careful not to burn it.
  7. Assemble the salad with the tofu, chick peas and veggies and top with sunflower seeds, avocados and pea shoots.
  8. Serve with the dressing on the side or generously drizzle it on top of each serving.
http://lovingpalate.com/buffalo-tofu-salad-with-creamy-tahini-dressing/

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Jamie Blum-Marciano

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