With less interest in writing on my blog, I wonder whether it has become boring. Have I reached a point where things are so similar they are not worth sharing? With a new set of colleagues since moving back to Toronto, I receive curious questions about what I eat, so even the most humble meals may still be blog-worthy. However, in this case, I dare you to tell me you’ve tried something like this. Sweet and tart pomegranate arils. Smoky onion tofu bits. Crisp and cooling cucumber on a bed of baby arugula drizzled with an apple-infused creamy dressing.
I was inspired by a sandwich in Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! but opted for a salad version instead. A winter salad which will propel us into the springtime salads. Those plants will be growing soon enough, right? They are covered by a foot of snow, but I hope it is only melting form here on out. In all honesty, Rob and I are winding down in the kitchen, working on last minute details before the wedding. Can you believe it was 2 weeks before my wedding before I thought to ask my Dad to walk me down the aisle? Oh dear, eh? (He said YES! hahaha)
What kind of unusual combinations have you cobbled together in a salad?
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tbsp tamari or Bragg’s
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke, divided
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour, then rinsed and drained
1/4 apple, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ume plum vinegar
water to thin to desired consistency (I used around 1/2 cup)
• 1 small cucumber, chopped
• 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
• 6-8 oz baby arugula (or leafy green of choice)
1. Prepare your tofu. I marinated mine overnight and it sopped up the entire marinade. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with a non-stick silpat or aluminum foil. Combine the tofu with the oil, tamari, 1 tsp liquid smoke, maple syrup, onion powder and salt and pepper (to taste). Stir to evenly coat. Bake for 20 minutes. Once browned, remove from oven, drizzle with the additional 1/2 tsp liquid smoke and allow to cool prior to using.
2. To prepare the dressing, combine the soaked and drained cashews with the apple, ume plum vinegar. Blend until smooth and add water until you reach your desired consistency. I used around 1/2 cup but start with a small amount and add in small amounts, 1-2 tbsp at a time.
3. When you want to make your salad, combine the arugula, cucumber and pomegranate seeds. Top with the tofu and drizzle with the dressing.