Spring is here, the nights are warmer and longer, and I’m in full-on SALAD MODE. Look out, world.
This Crunchy Chopped Thai Peanut Tofu Salad is somewhat similar to one of my older recipes, Creamy Cashew Quinoa Cole Slaw, but this one is new & improved. (Also the photos on this one are far superior, what can I say, I have a better camera now and the lighting in our backyard is way better!) I throw together slaws and salads like this a lot, but the one I made tonight turned out especially well if I do say so myself. (I’m not alone, Rob also thought it was a step above my usual big salads.)
What’s different? There’s no quinoa or grains here, just ALL CRUNCH because after my crazy two weeks of SX I’m needing as many fresh vegetables as possible. I’ve added tofu for some more protein and texture, and incorporated yet more delicious, fiber-filled vegetables. Plus the addition of curry paste to my dressing really amped things up.
Another reason to load up on giant salads? We’re heading to the Caribbean for a MUCH needed vacation next month! Meaning it’s time for the time-honored pre-vacay panic diet. Minimal booze, minimal sugar/carbs, maximum vegetables and lean proteins. This recipe is something I would be craving regardless, though. It’s seriously that good.
Crunchy Thai Peanut Tofu Salad
1 block tofu – I used Trader Joe’s organic teriyaki tofu but you could also marinate a block of firm tofu in your favorite teriyaki or soy sauce for about 30 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Throw your marinated tofu onto a baking sheet and bake while you assemble the rest of the salad. After the salad is ready and you’re about ready to serve, take the tofu out and let it cool for a few minutes. It should be browned and firm on the outside and still warm and soft, yet firm, on the inside. Chop into small cubes or rectangles.
1 bag (4 cups) organic broccoli slaw
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts and/or cashews (I used both!) roughly crushed
Handful of cilantro sprigs (optional/garnish)
Combine everything together in a big ol’ bowl. You can roughly chop the cilantro and incorporate it into the salad if you’re serving a bunch of cilantro lovers, but since I’m kind of picky about my cilantro levels (aka too much makes it taste like rotten soap) I like to use it sparingly as a garnish at the very end.
3 tablespoons almond, peanut, or cashew butter
1/2 tablespoon curry paste – I used Thai Kitchen’s green but you could also use red!
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 healthy squeeze of sriracha
Shake everything together in a glass jar! Give it a taste and choose your own adventure from there… add more lime or rice vinegar if you need more acid, more fish sauce if you need more salt, or more sriracha if you need more spice.
So right before serving, just toss the tofu, salad ingredients, and dressing all together. Serve in bowls garnished with cilantro, more crushed peanuts, and/or extra sriracha. You can definitely let this sit for a minute for the flavors to mingle, or you can dig right in. I usually can’t hold back very long.