Guys, I know what you’re thinking. That looks very vegan and healthy. Well you’re right. It does and it is. BUT it’s also one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in a while. The peanut sauce on this kale salad is seriously addictive and the marinade for the tofu is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. And all foods are better with grill marks, it’s a fact. This is the perfect summer meal and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow.
I’ve been trying this new thing where I’m almost completely vegan on weekdays (unless of course someone brings baked goods to work, then all deals are off), but eat whatever I want on the weekends. That way I’m lowering my animal product consumption a lot but not being that girl at restaurants who can’t eat anything…win win. I’ve been surprised how easy (and tasty) it has been to cut out meat and dairy during the week. You start to really appreciate other things like great produce, creating flavor with spices and sauces, and for me, peanut butter. I eat it every day. I was excited about this recipe because it used it in a savory dish, and I gotta say I would put this sauce on everything if I could.
Nutritional Highlights: If you’re wondering what’s the big deal with being vegan, watch this “meatless monday” video . It just give a little insight into the impact meat farming has on the world. Plus, chronic disease risk is lower for those who eat less animal products. Interesting huh? I’m not saying cut it out entirely, cuz I certainly would not want to live a life without cheese in it, but moderation and portion control with animal products is something we should all try. This recipe has tons of fresh veggies like kale (total super food), carrots, cucumber, onions, healthy fats like peanuts and sesame oil, and plenty of protein from the grilled tofu. This would be just as tasty without the tofu as well. This recipe is gluten free as well as long as you use tamari rather than soy sauce!
Spicy Peanut-Ginger Kale Salad
adapted from Happy.Healthy.Life
Makes about 3-4 servings
For the salad:
2 large bunches of kale (or 3 small)
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned cucumber
1/3 cup peanuts for garnish
Spicy Ginger Peanut Sauce:
2 Tbsp creamy salted peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled/chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsp tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp agave syrup
5 dashes cayenne
fine black pepper to taste
1. Place a large soup pot over med-high heat on your stove top. Add all the sauce ingredients and stir briskly until they melt and blend together. Reduce heat to medium and simmer/stir for about two minutes. Turn heat to low.
2. Pull the leaves in bits from the thick stalks of your kale. Wash if needed. Add the kale leaves (toss thick stems) – add kale to the pot until filled to the brim. Fold the kale into the hot sauce. Fold well. The hot sauce will wilt the kale.
3. Turn off heat and add the remaining amount of kale. Also add in the carrots, red onion, peanuts, and cucumber and combine. Eat warm or, my preference, chill and eat cold. Kale salads are great because they can last a few days without getting wilted like other greens.
4. Serve warm or place in fridge – covered – to chill and serve cold. Will keep well for up to a few days.
Spicy Grilled Tofu
adapted from Food.com
Makes 4 servings
- 1 lb extra firm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into 8 slices
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari or 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic
- 3 garlic cloves, minced ( about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Place the tofu slices on several layers of paper towels and cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing down occasionally with your hands to squeeze out the water.
- Place the tofu in a single layer in the bottom of a 13×9 glass baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, maple syrup, tamari, chile paste, garlic, and pepper.
- Pour mixture over the tofu, stirring to coat all the slices.
- Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When the tofu is marinated and ready to cook: Spray grill rack or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
- Place tofu slices on the grill. Reserve the marinade.
- Grill tofu 3 or 4 minutes on each side, or until the outside is browned and crisp.
- Return tofu to the baking dish and toss the slices with the reserved marinade.
- Serve immediately on it’s own or with the Spicy Peanut-Ginger Kale Salad!