Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Asian Kale and Baked Tofu Salad

Inspired by my recent frittata recipe with kale and the fact that my friend had gotten kale at the grocery store - we found this recipe from Clean Eating Magazine and set out to cooking! I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but don't let it scare you off - it's just the sauce that takes lots of ingredients! If you've ever cooked Asian food in your kitchen, it's likely you have all of these things already.

Asian Kale and Baked Tofu Salad
Inspired by Clean Eating, we basically kept the recipe the same!

1 container of very firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 TB fresh lime juice
2 TB low-sodium soy sauce
1 TB honey
1 TB peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 bag of washed and chopped kale
1 small cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup of baby carrots, shredded
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded white cabbage (pre-bought bag works fine!)
1/2 cup shelled and cooked edamame
sesame seeds

1. The first step is to cut and dry off the tofu. I usually cut it into my pieces and then place it between a double layer of paper towels, trying to squeeze out some of the liquid naturally in it. Then spray a baking dish with pam or olive oil, add the tofu and set aside while you make your sauce.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. In a blender, blend together all of the ingredients on the list from the garlic down to the sesame oil. Take out about 1/4 cup of the mixture and pour over the top of the tofu. Try to flip the tofu over once or twice to get the sauce on all of the sides. Bake the tofu for about 30 minutes, making sure to turn the tofu over about 3 times during the baking process.
4. In a large bowl (you'll see I used a pot because I didn't have a big enough bowl), add all of the kale and pour the dressing over the top. Next you have to massage with your hands, making sure that the sauce gets all over all of the kale. This massaging process helps to wilt the kale. If you're not sure if it's massaged enough, try a bite and if it's still too tough for your liking, massage some more and hopefully it will wilt more.
5. I also sauteed the cabbage in a pan before adding it to the rest of the salad so that it wasn't as tough as it would be uncooked. The heat from the cabbage also can help to wilt the kale a bit.
5. Add the cucumbers, carrots, scallions, bell pepper, and edamame, along with the wilted cabbage to the kale. Toss to combine and add the baked tofu once you're ready to serve. The last step is sprinkling lots of sesame seeds on top!

I'd like to note that I didn't love this salad leftover, and the salad also wasn't quite wilted enough for me. I'm not sure if I needed more massaging, or if I'm just not that used to eating kale yet, but it was a little tough for me. My favorite parts were the tofu and the sauce - which I could easily make again with different sides instead of the salad.

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