Herbed Tofu Salad
By Heidi Allison
Tuna salad used to be the go-to for a quick, protein-packed lunch. With more and more research uncovering pollutants in fish, it’s good to have another, healthy protein-rich standby to egg or chicken salad for wraps, sandwiches or entrée salads. Nutrient-dense tofu provides more than just an alternative protein, it is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron and isoflavones, which have been linked to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. Tofu may even diminish the signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, by increasing skin elasticity. To get the maximum health benefits of this soybean product, look for non-GMO, sprouted organic tofu, which is linked to lower levels of anti-nutrients.
This vegetarian dish has so much flavor; it won’t feel like a compromise. The firm tofu is crumbled and marinated in lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon pepper spice blend, then seasoned with a hefty dose of fresh herbs – minced fresh dill and thinly-sliced green onions. Matchstick-cut carrots add a bit of textural crunch and pop of color, while a small amount of mayonnaise binds it all together. If you shy away from tofu because it tastes like watery cardboard, this recipe will surprise you. Since tofu acts like a sponge, it will absorb the flavors of lemon and the lemon pepper spice blend and fresh herbs, which transform the block of bland soybean curd into a citrusy, herb-flavored protein-rich spread with the smooth, creamy texture of egg salad. The caveat for this simple recipe is: squeeze out excess moisture from the tofu before you season it so it absorbs the flavors of the lemon and use a lemon pepper spice blend that includes dried onion and garlic for added flavor. This recipe is perfect for school lunches, lettuce wraps with avocado or salad mains…
1 (16.oz.) firm, non-GMO, organic tofu, rinsed (sprouted is preferred)
2 lemons, juice and zest
1 carrot, peeled and cut into ¼ inch matchstick slices
3 green onions, green part only; sliced into thin slivers
1 package fresh dill, leaves only, minced (about ¼ cup)
1 Tbsp. lemon pepper spice blend
¼ tsp. kosher flake salt
1½ Tbsp. good quality mayonnaise
Place the tofu on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels, and several layers of paper towels on top of tofu. Gently press down with your hand to squeeze out excess moisture from the tofu.
In a large bowl, crumble the tofu with your fingers into ¼ inch pieces.
Sprinkle with lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon pepper spice blend. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes to absorb the flavors.
Add dill, green onions, carrots and mayo and mix till combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for several hours; best overnight.