Friday was date night for us again (yay!), so we stopped by Chipotle on our way home from grocery shopping. Wait, what?! Date night and grocery shopping in the same sentence…? Um, yeah…I told you we’re old. That’s just how we roll. All jokes aside, though—this whole eating out thing it new to us again after not really having done so in what feels like an eternity, but in reality, was about 4 years. Nope, not a typo, friends. As some of you may know, we crawled our way out of a heap of debt over the last few years, and in doing so we had to put eating out and so many other things on hold. Good thing it was only temporary!
We literally hadn’t eaten Chipotle in over 4 years, which is just nuts, isn’t it? We couldn’t wait to try their new tofu option, which I think they rolled out about a year ago. It was fabulous! Quite spicy and full of flavor. I was a little surprised that it was more of a tofu scramble (I think they call it sofritas?), instead of cubes, but nonetheless, it was the perfect addition to my burrito bowl! Definitely need to re-create this goodness at home.
Until then though, let me show you how we do tofu ‘round these parts. Basically, we love using tofu cubes as a salad topper. Tofu is a great source of protein, it’s easy to make, and it stores well in the refrigerator for several days. It’s also kind of a blank canvas, so you can flavor it however you’d like. I kept it simple with some salt and pepper for this salad, but you can certainly add some chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, etc.
Whenever I make salad, I make a large batch because it’s always a plus to have healthy food options on-hand. I prepped everything and then just stored it all in the fridge. Doing so makes it incredibly easy to toss together a quick salad for lunch, or even dinner, for those nights when you’re short on time.
In addition to the tofu, this healthful salad is topped with mushrooms, veggies, dried cranberries, and of course, some nuts and seeds. I tossed my salad with a “dressing” made with classic hummus + salsa that I thinned out with a bit of water. It’s the perfect pairing for this salad, and it certainly helps keep it all low-fat and low-calorie. Win-win!
Tofu & Mushroom Veggie Salad with Walnuts & Dried Cranberries
Yields about 4 servings, as a main dish
- 1 (12 oz.) container extra-firm tofu
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. oil
- 1 (8 oz.) package white mushrooms—sliced thin
- 1 (16 oz.) bag of kale (or other lettuce)—destemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- ½ head of cabbage—chopped
- 1 cup carrots rounds (I used baby carrots)
- 1 bell pepper—seeded and diced
- 1 cucumber—peeled, seeded, and diced
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. flax seeds
- Salad dressing, for serving (I used classic hummus + salsa thinned out with a little bit of water.)
For the tofu & mushrooms
Cut each block of tofu evenly in half lengthwise. Wrap each thinner block in a paper towel or two. Lay them next to one another and place a cutting board on top of them. Place several plates (or canned goods) on top of the cutting board to press the tofu. Keep the tofu pressed for about 20 minutes.
Note: Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the tofu is being pressed.
After 20 minutes, unwrap the tofu and cut each block into cubes. Note: I cut each block 5 x 6 to make 30 cubes per block.
Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir to flip the cubes and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat 1-2 more times, or until the tofu is golden on most sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and transfer the cubes to a plate lined with a few paper towels.
Add the remaining oil and the mushrooms to the skillet. The mushrooms will release some liquid as they cook, so just sauté them until the liquid cooks off, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the salad
Add the kale and cabbage to a large bowl and toss to mix. Add several handfuls of the salad mixture to a few separate bowls. Top each bowl with some carrot rounds, diced bell pepper, diced cucumber, cooked tofu, and cooked mushrooms. Add on about 2 tbsp. each of walnuts and cranberries, and then sprinkle each bowl with some chia and flax seeds.
Serve with your favorite dressing, or with the hummus + salsa combo.