I've been ready for Thanksgiving since the moment Halloween candy became the main component of clearance shelves. With some leftover Mesquite Tofu cubes and an arugula and sprout mixture patiently taking up shelving space in the fridge, I decided to combine the two, add some toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and sweet potato chunks, and create a segue for "that (wonderful) meal" at the end of the month. Don't wait for the turkey to go on sale, act fast with this dairy/gluten/meat-free autumn salad, topped with a Molasses-Balsamic Vinaigrette. —lifeatthecircle
Sweet Potato and Tofu Almost-Thanksgiving Salad
1 (large) handfuls
lettuce (I used an arugula and sprouts mixture that I had on hand)
Mesquite Tofu chunks (recipe follows)
small sweet potato, cut into 1" cubes (no need to peel, if you like extra fiber)
dried sweetened cranberries
sliced almonds, toasted
oil (I used a Mediterranean olive oil blend), divided
salt and pepper, to taste
distilled white vinegar
sugar (or other sweetener)
firm (or extra firm) tofu, drained and cut into 1? cubes (Note: I used a sprouted kind)
First, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (alternatively: coat with cooking spray or a thin layer of oil). In a small mixing bowl, combine 2 teaspoons oil, sweet potato chunks, and salt and pepper (to taste). Stir until combined. Transfer potato cubes to baking sheet and cook until fork tender and slightly browned. When tender and slightly browned, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Second, make Molasses-Balsamic Vinaigrette (this salad's dressing). In a small bowl, combine: remaining teaspoon of oil, water, molasses, vinegar, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well and set aside.
Make Mesquite Tofu (or, if you've already done so, continue to next step). Recipe is below.
Now, (hopefully) you're ready to plate. On a dinner plate or salad bowl, layer (in the following order): lettuce or salad mix, tofu, and cooled sweet potato cubes. Sprinkle with cranberries and almonds. Top with Molasses-Balsamic Vinaigrette. And enjoy! You've earned it.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, molasses, and liquid smoke. Add tofu cubes and stir until tofu is completely coated with the sauce. Allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes (or up to one hour), stirring occasionally.
To cook, place a small skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and tofu cubes. Cook until all sides of tofu are browned.
Note: Cooking all of the tofu cubes at once takes focus. Because mine has a tendency to fluctuate, I used a small skillet, so that I would have to cook it in small batches – just because I sometimes forget what I’m doing and overcook.
Makes: around 3-4 handfuls of mesquite tofu chunks, perfect for adding to salads (like the Sweet Potato and Tofu Almost-Thanksgiving Salad!), enjoying for snacks, in sandwiches or sautéed delights, and for your BBQ-ing pleasure.