November 8, 2008

Spicy Black Bean & Tofu Salad

This salad is a full-fledged, satisfying meal - no need to think of salad as rabbit food set aside for sad dieters. By adding some serious substance, you not only reap the benefits of eating whole (mostly raw) food, but you're also getting plenty of protein and you feel truly energized afterward. This meal came about during a time when I was trying to include more greens in our meals, but found that we didn't have a lot of extra room on the I skipped the rice and put the beans and tofu right on top of the lettuce. We loved it. Of course, you may add whatever veggies you have on hand to this salad. This is delicious with toasted garlic bread or pitas.

Spicy food is said to contribute to high functioning metabolisms, which is great for weight maintenance. The nectarines offset the spiciness perfectly while adding beautiful color. If you are sensitive to spicy food, start with a little and build up your tolerance bit by bit. After years of spice issues, my sister began adding cayenne pepper and honey to her water and has been able to increase her spice intake substantially. Some people have digestive problems with spice, see a professional if you think you fall into this category.

Tofu and beans can be made in advance and served cold or room temperature; hot tofu and beans tends to wilt the lettuce. Salad should be made right before serving. This recipe serves two hungry people and provides leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (maybe more)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy red pepper paste, such as Tunisian Harrissa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • 1 large nectarine, sliced or diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups dark-leafy greens
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Slice your tofu through the center length wise, creating two sheets. Cube the sheets into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat peanut oil and red pepper paste in a skillet - add tofu when hot and saute until browned - about 5 - 8 minutes. You may need to adjust your heat and oil. You don't want the tofu to stick to the pan, but you do want to be a little crispy. Keep an eye on your tofu so it doesn't burn. When browned, flip and brown reverse side.
  3. Turn heat down to medium and add black beans. You may need to add a bit more oil to help coat the beans in pepper paste. Add honey. Saute until coated, set aside.
  4. Arrange greens, tomatoes, nectarines, and avocado on plates. Sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt. Top with tofu and beans and drizzle with plain yogurt.
  5. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

Brenna said...

Hi Mrs. R!
I finally got my hands on some tofu, and was able to make this yesterday. SO GOOD. I'll definitely be trying some of your other recipes soon.