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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recipe: Roasted Squash and Maple Tofu Spinach Salad {Vegan}

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Roasted Squash and Maple Tofu Spinach Salad

Salads get a bad rep during this time of year. I don't know about you, but when the cooler weather starts to set in, I'm all about chili, soups and stews — none of this cold salad mess!

But I've found a way to continue enjoying salads during the colder months. I just need to dress them up with seasonal produce and some warm toppings to take my salad aversions to salad cravings.

Yes, it is actually possible to have cravings for salads, especially when they're this yummy.

Spiced pumpkin seeds adds crunch!


ROASTED SQUASH AND MAPLE TOFU SPINACH SALAD (serves 4)
I really love serving cold salads with warm toppings. It's the best way to eat salads during the cooler months. Feel free to substitute the Delicata squash with your favorite winter squash such as butternut or acorn.

9 oz. baby spinach

TOFU MARINADE:

2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Wrap tofu in a kitchen towel, place in a medium sized mixing bowl and press it for at least 15 minutes with something heavy (like a cast iron skillet or a few heavy recipe books) to remove moisture. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade: all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil. Remove towel from tofu and slice into 1/2 cm thick pieces. Put tofu back into the bowl and pour marinade over the tofu. Stir tofu and turn over with a spoon so that every piece is coated with marinade. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a medium sized baking sheet with olive oil and place tofu on the pan (edges may touch, but should not overlap). Cook for 15 minutes. Use spatula to flip tofu and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until tofu has crispy edges and is golden brown.

SQUASH:

1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium delicata squash (or winter squash of your choice)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Slice delicata squash into rings about 1/2-3/4 cm thick and remove seeds.* Grease a large baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Place squash onto baking sheet (a little overlapping of edges is okay). Sprinkle salt over the squash. Cook for 15 minutes. Use spatula to flip squash and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until squash starts to brown on the edges.

*If using a different winter squash, you will want to cut in half, remove seeds, then cut into slices.

PUMPKIN SEEDS (PEPITAS):

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In small bowl, combine pumpkin seeds and oil. Add salt and cayenne pepper and stir well. Place on a small baking sheet and cook at 325 degrees for 5 minutes or until seeds begin to brown.

DIJON VINAIGRETTE:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients and stir well.

Divide spinach among four plates. On each plate of spinach, top with 1/4 of the tofu, 1/4 of the squash, 1/4 of the pumpkin seeds. Lightly dress each salad with the dressing (a little over 1 tablespoon each). Serve immediately.

COOKING HINT: If you have room in your oven, you can cook the tofu and squash at the same time. I've adjusted my original recipe to allow for these two items to be cooked simultaneously with the same tasty results.


Warm toppings on a cold salad is yummy during the cooler months.
  • Kelly Davis
  • Warm toppings on a cold salad is yummy during the cooler months.

This salad has it all and is perfect for fall. The Delicata squash (or squash of your choice) is a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fiber. The pumpkin seeds (called pepitas) lend a nice crunch and provide healthy fat. The tofu fills you up with its high protein content, although you can easily substitute with chicken, turkey, or pork, if tofu isn't your thing. And last but not least, no salad is complete with out a delicious dressing and this tangy Dijon vinaigrette compliments and highlights all the different flavors and making this salad even more delicious.


Do you continue to eat salads in the colder months?

What's your favorite winter squash?

Kelly Davis is a blogger, freelance writer, food enthusiast, and native North Carolinian. When she's not training for a race or cooking something delicious in the kitchen, she's writing, reading, snuggling her dachshund, or plotting her next project. You can keep up with Kelly's antics and recipes on her blog, Foodie Fresh.

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