Mexi Cali Tofu Salad came along in an unplanned, natural way, just bumbling along in the kitchen, incorporating the flavors of Mexico with a healthy California twist. I like to shake things up, and break out from the old routine, so my week tends to be a bit of a mixtape: Old school favorites for Toby and Jake, and a few new tracks to keep it fresh. Yikes, have I just crossed over into Ali G writes a food blog? An interesting idea: Should Sasha Baron Cohen make a comedy about TV Chefs? Oooh, I’m really digging this idea…….
O.k., I’m back: Every week, I buy blocks of organic tofu as it’s so versatile. Silken tofu for puddings (If I can convince my husband, I can convince you), veggie mayo, and sauces. Firm tofu for scrambles, and extra firm tofu for deep frying and salads. Call me crazy, but I love the stuff. Full of protein, with half the fat, tofu reduces the risk of heart disease, and you can really turn it loose on any cooking style or flavor. My only suggestion is to buy organic tofu. Soy is a large industrial crop, and heavily treated with pesticides, so buying organic is a must when eating any type of soy products.
This salad puts to bed the idea that tofu can’t be tasty. The lime juice gives the marinade mouthwatering punch, and is paired perfectly with the sweetness of tomatoes and tangy buds of cilantro. If you are a meat eater, you wouldn’t think anything of sprinkling a little somethin’ somethin’ on before cooking it, right? Indeed, vegetarians are in agreement that great seasoning is key for rockin’ flavor. Keeping it simple is the way to go, and there’s nothing like fresh herbs and produce to give you the most delicious and nutritious results. I dare say, not too bad on the eyes either.
Mexi Cali Tofu Salad
1 block firm tofu
1 cup pitted black olives, sliced
5-6 medium heirloom or roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (save a handful to garnish)
half a red onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
half jalapeno pepper (whole for spicy), seeded and chopped
juice of a ripe lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of agave nectar or honey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to sea
1. Take the tofu out of the carton and pour out the soaking water. Drain the excess water from the tofu by gently squeezing it with 1-2 sheets of paper towel. Cut into cubes and set aside,
2. Using a high speed blender or a Magi mix fitted with an S blade, pulse all of the marinade ingredients for 1-2 minutes until you reach a chunky texture that is well combined. Taste and season with extra salt, pepper, and choice of sweetener.
3. Using a large mixing bowl, add the cubed tofu, then pour over the marinade. Add sliced olives and extra chopped cilantro. Gently stir the marinade over the tofu. Wrap the bowl cling film and refrigerate, For best flavor, marinate the salad over night. If you have less time, make the salad in the morning, then serve in the afternoon or evening.