Brace yourselves for one of the most dietitian-y things I've ever said...
There's nothing like a good salad.
Of course, it goes without saying that only goes when I'm actually in the mood for a salad. But when I am, y'all, there's nothing like a big bowl of crisp greens piled high with lots of flavorful goodies.
I love salads that have a fun mix of different flavors and textures. This recipe for spinach salad with crispy tofu, apples and avocado definitely fits that description.
For a base, I used baby spinach and a few leaves of collards from our garden. Sidenote: when I say garden, please don't get the image of me in my big, beautiful backyard garden, lush with herbs and organic vegetables. We have a falling apart wood garden box, smack dab in the middle of our backyard. We tried to grow collards and other vegetables last summer, but pretty much everything died. Then in the spring, when we went out back to do yardwork, we noticed one giant collard plant flourishing among the weeds.
To top the salad, I added snow peas, because I just love their watery crunch, chopped tart green apples, crispy baked tofu and creamy avocado. I'm obsessed with this Asian dressing too, which has a great depth of flavor. Don't forget the toasted peanuts! Which speaking of, this salad would also be great topped with a creamy peanut dressing as well.
Spinach Salad with Snow Peas and Apples
Serves: About 4
Heavily adapted from Fresh, Fast, and Green (one of my favorite vegetable cookbooks)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon chinese hot mustard or dijon mustard
- 1-lb block of tofu, drained and pressed dry
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 6-ounce bag of baby spinach
- 4 large collard greens leaves, thick stems removed, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 small granny smith apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup peanuts, toasted
- 2 chopped scallions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut tofu into evenly sized cubes. Toss with sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange evenly spread apart on a baking sheet. Season with salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes until crispy.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss spinach, collards and snow peas together in a large serving bowl. Top with apple, avocado and tofu. Toss peanuts and scallions over the top. Serve drizzled with dressing.