I'm a bit under the weather. While most people usually lose their appetite when they're sick, I can always seem to find mine. I fought through the desire for cookies alone, and decided something with a more impressive nutritional profile would make a better lunch for my wellness. I am also impressed that Hugh will eat tofu without hesitation. You can't say that about too many 6'5 men. Reason #987,543,222 why I adore him.
Curdled beans. Coagulated soymilk. Tofu is not exactly the beauty queen of vegetarian protien sources, but her possibilities are endless. It's skin deep, my friends. I've eaten my fair share of tofu, but have never crusted it as follows, so this was a learning experience. If you cover a bland bean cake with all of these flavors and give it a crunchy crust, this fall-ish salad will suprise you. Farmers markets are brimming with greens, so shop well and even the lettuce will contribute to the flavor here.
PISTACHIO CRUSTED TOFU SALAD // Serves 2 (with tofu leftovers)
If you don't use bread crumbs often, you can toss a piece of toast in a blender and wa-la. Single serving of bread crumbs.
4 Cups Baby Greens
1 Large Asian Pear
3/4 Cup Green Onions, sliced thin on a bias
1 14 oz. Package Organic Firm Tofu, drained and pressed*
1 Cup Toasted Pistachio Nuts
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
3 Egg Whites
1/2 Cup Whole Grain Bread Crumbs
2 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1 Tsp. Mustard Powder
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper
1/2 Cup Cilantro (big handful)
1/2 Cup Parsley (big handful)
2 tbsp. Capers
1 tbsp. Agave/Honey
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or nut oil if you have some)
2 tbsp. Yogurt/Sour Cream
A pinch of Salt and Pepper
*Press out as much water possible. Set it on a plate with a paper towel and under something heavy to press out remaining moisture.
1. For the dressing, add the first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend. Add the yogurt/sour cream and give it a pulse. While running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk up the egg whites until they are lightly frothy. Add the cornstarch and continue to whisk another minute to combine.
3. Grind the pistachios and bread crumbs and put that mixture in a medium bowl. Add the salt, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and mustard powder to the nut mixture.
4. Slice the tofu in half width wise, and then diagonally to form triangles. Working with one piece at a time: Pat the tofu dry, dip in the egg mixture, then the nut mixture, and place on a baking tray. Repeat with each slice of tofu. * At this point, if you prefer the tofu cold, you can chill them in the fridge. Or, continue with directions for warm tofu.
5. Set oven to 350’. Coat the bottom of a saucepan with oil and warm over medium heat. Fit in tofu pieces without touching, you will probably need to do two sets. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crispy, return to baking tray. Repeat with all tofu chunks and pop the tray in the oven to warm through.
6. In the meantime, Slice the asian pear into matchsticks. Toss the greens, green onion with desired amount of dressing. Plate with asian pear slices and tofu chunk on top.