Thursday, November 29, 2012

Homemade Tahini Dressing & A Crunchy + Sweet Chipotle Tofu Salad

Here it is, a salad that even a vegan who hates salads loves. That's right, when I first decided to change over to a vegan lifestyle almost ten months ago the number one reaction I got was "So what do you eat? Just salad?" and I would respond "I actually hate salad, so no." Truth is, such as with most foods out there that anyone says they hate, I just had never eaten a salad prepared in a way I would enjoy it, yet. But now I have, and I owe it to the glorious tahini dressing! It opened up a whole new world of flavor that suddenly made salads bearable. 

With all its healthy fats and omegas, tossed with vitamin rich baby romaineantioxidant rich pomegranate seeds, vitamin and mineral rich pepitas, and protein packed tofu - thats one tall order of salad! I love the vibrant bursts of sweet flavor from the pomegranate seeds paired with the crunch of the pepitas and savory chipotle tofu. My dressing recipe below makes either 2 well-dressed salads, or 3 lightly dressed salads. I like to make double batches and just keep it in my refrigerator for quick salads during the week. As for the salad ingredients, use as much of each as you would like. I typically use quite a bit of romaine, 1 tablespoon pepitas, 1-2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, half a batch of dressing, and 7 ounces of firm tofu.

Tahini Dressing 
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Organic baby romaine
Pomegranate seeds
Raw pepitas

Chipotle Tofu
Cubed firm tofu (I used 1/2 of a 15 ounce package for a single serving salad)
Sea salt
Chipotle powder

For the tahini dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator. For the tofu, cut into cubes and press out as much water as you can between several layers of paper towels. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan on the stove set to medium heat. Place the tofu cubes in the pan, sprinkle one side with sea salt and chipotle powder, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until nice and crispy. Toss all the salad ingredients, chipotle tofu, and dressing together and enjoy a healthy, detoxifying meal that will help balance out all the holiday treats you know you want to give into (or at least I do!).