Fresh Green Salad with Avo Herbed Dressing and Cripsy Tofu
Hello from Sarah at Bad to the Bowl. Can I take a few minutes to introduce myself?
Of course, if you prefer, you can just skip to the recipe. Almost 90% of the time, I do that too on food blogs (it’s the reason we clicked on the food photo, right?)
My Journey to a 100% Plant Based Lifestyle
Back to me - so why am I here other than to share a recipe?
Because of the small steps!
The little changes that I took that eventually led me to embrace a 100% plant based lifestyle.
Small step #1 = Cut out dairy.
I think there comes a moment in everyone’s life, where something happens and you start a journey. My plant-based journey started with deciding I hated having awful drainage year around and a sinus infection almost constantly from fall to spring. So I researched around and decided to cut out dairy! This was hard, not because I loved milk, but I was hands down an ice cream fan through and through.
And you know what? It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually, I stopped being that girl who always had kleenex in hand because my drainage was SO bad.
The next step happened due to a car accident where I had awful whiplash…this led to many many chiropractic visits and even a round of physical therapy to strengthen my ‘neck and shoulder muscles”. But I was still taking multiple ibuprofen a day to deal with pain and headaches. So back to some research that led to the conclusion that I was dealing with some serious inflammation.
Start by cutting out dairy.
Small step #2 = Cut out all animal products.
So I cut out all animal products in January 2017.
Again, I didn’t notice any changes overnight.
But about 3 months later, I noticed I was taking less ibuprofen and could even bounce back quicker after a workout! It was working. And just this year, I had the realization that my circulation in my hands was even better - they had experienced some odd coldness and numbness for the longest time every winter and I had not noticed that happening! Win. Win. Win!
Once you've cut out dairy try removing all animal products as well.
Making 100% Plant Based Work
Was it hard? Is it hard?
The answer to both is yes. But I think the gradual cutting out dairy first and then all other animal products worked for me. It didn’t seem a far stretch after giving up dairy to just give up meat and eggs too!
Is it a pain to travel and go out to eat? It can be.
Usually, though, you can find something to work with on the menu and it is amazing how many places offer more plant-based options these days! Often, I just look for the vegetarian option and ask to take the cheese off. Get creative, think outside the box! About the only place, that is a really big struggle is the airport - so just plan ahead and pack something to snack on.
This Salad Bowl
So what does that have to do with this fresh green salad? A little bit of everything and a little bit of nothing!
I have always loved a big huge salad! (I know hate me but be sure to check out all the salad bowl recipes on the blog).
But it was always my thing - huge salad full of good toppings from healthy (think veggies!) to not so healthy (feta cheese and bacon). So to give up my creamy feta or goat cheese was huge! That made my salad SO GOOD.
But you learn to adjust and when I discovered how creamy and versatile avocado was - I started using that for adding the creamy to my salads and it works!
Tofu - love it or hate it. I used to hate it. A vacation to Disney World of all places made me fall in love with it! I still had to experiment with it though - and for our family, we love firm tofu vs. extra firm. “You do you” though - try and see what works for you!
Other than that, this salad is customizable to you and what you have on hand! Don’t have zucchini? Just use cucumber slices. Don’t have parsley or cilantro? Use what you have on hand. Dill or even basil would be great in the avo dressing!
Don’t have time during your busy week? Meal prep on the weekend! I actually made the salad pictured here on a Saturday, but didn’t eat it until Monday! (I just crisped the tofu for a few minutes in the oven to give it that ‘crisp” again).
A Salad A Day…
I have a friend who makes a commitment before January to start eating a salad a day so she starts the new year on a healthy trek - I love her idea and this salad goes out to her.
Because that little change can be just to start with a salad a day.
Fresh Green Salad with Avo Herbed Dressing and Crispy Tofu
Crispy Tofu Ingredients:
- 1 - 14 oz block of firm tofu
- 1 Tblsp tamari
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tblsp cornstarch
- Optional: Your favorite BBQ sauce
Avo Herbed Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tblsp lemon juice
- 1 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup non-unsweetened almond milk
- Fresh salad greens
- 1 zucchini spiralized
- ¼ cup celery diced
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup red onion
- Optional: Maple Coconut Oil Roasted Almonds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil that lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
- Remove tofu from packaging and press it to remove excess liquid. I did this by cutting the tofu into 3 even slices, then cutting each slice into cubes. I think placing it on a pan that was lined with a clean towel. I covered it with another towel and used my cast iron pan to ‘press it’. Press it for 30 minutes or longer.
- Transfer the pressed tofu to a medium mixing bowl and drizzle with the tamari, maple syrup, and garlic powder. Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle the starch over the tofu, and toss the tofu until the starch is evenly coated.
- Tip the bowl carefully unto your foil lined pan and bake for 30 minutes. Flipping tofu at 15 minutes.
Avo Herbed Dressing Directions:
Place all items in a blender and blend until smooth consistency! Store in fridge.
- If making maple coconut oil roasted almonds, make those first!
- Assemble ingredients in the bowl.
- Top with tofu and dressing.
If you make this we would love to know. Tag #badtothebowl or @badtothebowl on all social media.
A salad a day…