Extra Healthy Spinach Salad
- Ready In:
- 4 ounces extra-firm herb tofu
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 3 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
Salad Dressing (use 3 tablespoons reserved mandarin orange juice)
- 3 tablespoons mandarin orange juice (reserved from can of Mandarin oranges used in salad)
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil
- 1⁄2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 3 ounces Baby Spinach, rinsed
- 3 ounces mesclun, rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch slices
- 1 (7 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 1 cup feta cheese
To make Tofu Croutons:
- Preheat oven to 350F and bake tofu 20 minutes.
- When the tofu is dry, cut it into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch cubes (about the size of a crouton).
- Beat egg in small bowl.
- In another bowl, combine flour, garlic salt, onion powder and black pepper.
- Dip tofu cubes in egg, and dust with flour mixture.
- Heat oil in nonstick pan or, for extra iron, in a well seasoned iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry tofu cubes until golden and crispy on all sides (takes about 10 minutes) and cool (if you're using an iron pan, watch very carefully so tofu doesn't burn).
To make Salad Dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in nonreactive pot (such as stainless steel, enameled aluminum or anodized aluminum - don't use a regular aluminum pan as it will react with the acid.).
- Cook over medium heat 2 until sugar dissolves (takes about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Pour dressing into a cruet or other small container and cool.
To make Spinach Salad:
- Place all ingredients in large serving bowl.
- Pour in half of dressing, toss until coated, garnish with croutons and enjoy.
Questions & Replies
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This is really a great recipe; I'm always looking for vegetarian main-dish salads that are different from what I already make. I thought the taste of the dressing was perfect, but note that you can halve the dressing ingredients unless you want leftover dressing. The tofu croutons were spot-on for traditional crouton flavor, but not actually crispy. I will make this recipe regularly.
Granted this is a lovely salad but with all that sugar in the dressing I could not call it extra healthy - at least for me. Anyway, reducing the sugar by half works fine and then I feel as tho we are eating something a little more healty. Other ingredients are great. We just try to avoid a lot of sugar.
A fabulously delicious salad and rather more than just a spinach salad - and I say that as a spinach lover! So many delicious ingredients, and a great blend of flavours and textures. This recipe did take me rather longer to put together than I'd anticipated, but it was SO worth the effort. The setting out in the ingredients list of the ingredients in the SALAD DRESSING would, I think, be clearer if the "3 tablespoons reserved mandarin orange juice" was actually listed as an ingredient. I had to read it twice before I registered that the sub-heading included this as an ingredient. I'll certainly be making this again, Dreamer, but NOT when time is of the essence; probably when wanting to serve 6-8 guests. On this occasion, I made it scaled back for just four, who all loved it. We particularly loved the tofu croutons: just SO yummy. I've no idea who VT is, but nonetheless really loved this recipe, so thank you for sharing it. Made for Newest Zaar Tag.