Hi! It’s Rob again. I know that I haven’t posted here in a while. A few months ago I was worried about Janet’s blog when she was going through a really busy time at work. I’ve realized, however, that Janet has many dozens of recipes on deck waiting to be posted and she always had things well in hand. I knew that The Taste Space would forge on boldly without my extra help.
I’m back, though. A couple days ago I made a salad which both Janet and I agreed was the best salad we’d ever had in our lives. It was simply amazing. There was a cacophony of bold flavours bursting with every bite. There were so many things going on. Every portion was enhanced for extra action and pleasure. I knew that I had to share it here.
The salad is the Uptown Salad, adapted from Radiance 4 Life by Tess Challis. Janet suggested it to me as something that was up my alley. It only took me a few seconds of looking at the recipe for me to decide that I had to make it. It hit many of my ingredient buttons: mangoes, coconut, tofu, cilantro, citrus, and chilies. And that’s the just the beginning.
The recipe suggested that it would take 30 minutes (or less!) to prepare the recipe. No way. It took me an hour and a half of chopping, shredding, soaking, slicing, and frying. I was getting cranky by the end. This salad was more work than advertised. The verdict was going to come when we finally got to try it.
Janet occasionally uses some swear words. She’s generally a good girl, though, and restrains herself. However, when she tried the Uptown Salad there was a foul concoction of some four swear words in a row. These words were not uttered in anger. They were the stunned response of a girl eating the best salad she’d ever had in her life. These words were an emotional response of extreme awesomeness. This is a salad with the power to move you.
Roasted Garlic Tofu Salad with Cilantro Rice, Black Beans and a Mango Salsa
aka The New Best Salad Ever
7 oz. extra-firm tofu
4 teaspoons tamari
2 teaspoons non-virgin coconut oil, divided
8 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 1/4 cups cooked brown rice (though I used white sushi rice and this salad still turned out)
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 medium cloves garlic
5/8 teaspoons sea salt
Spicy Mango Salsa:
2 mangoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (I used Ataulfo mangoes)
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar or maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon Aleppo chili pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups cooked black beans, (if using a 19 oz can, rinsed and drained)
2 cups baby spinach or baby greens
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
This recipe also called for one small avocado, but I didn’t use one. Trust me, this salad didn’t need it.
1. Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick slabs and press with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Sprinkle evenly with the tamari and set aside. Toss a few times, to make sure it is evenly coated.
2. Prepare the rice by stirring together all the “Cilantro Rice” ingredients and set aside.
3. Prepare the salsa by stirring together all the “Spicy Mango Salsa” ingredients and set aside.
4. Prepare the beans and veggies so that everything is ready when the tofu is done.
5. In a skillet or wok, heat 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until lightly golden brown. Remove onto a place and set aside.
6. In the same skillet or wok, add the other 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil and add the tofu cubes. Stir-fry gently until golden brown. Remove from the heat and toss with the garlic.
7. Place some of the baby greens (or spinach) in bowls. Top with the beans, rice, carrots, and cabbage. Add the garlic tofu. Top with the mango salsa. Serve immediately. Swoon. Cry. Swear. Emote.
Serves 3. Prepare to fight for that last serving!