A kale and quinoa salad that gets a lift from heaping handfuls of parsley and briny black olives pairs with crispy oven-baked tofu for an easy light dinner that packs a nutritional punch.I’m back! Thank you all so much for your support and care while I took a break from this space that is so important to me. I’m ready, I’m rested, and I’m ready to come back with a new sense of purpose and an attitude of balance. Oh – and lots of yummy food too!
I’m putting my focus on easy vegetarian, gluten free meals that you can cook up when you get home from work or big batch cook on the weekends to make lunches a cinch! Don’t worry there will be a healthy dose of indulgent gluten free baked goods too, and I’m going to try my hand at featuring more vegan baked goods here too because I like a challenge!Now, let’s talk about this Olive, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Baked Tofu situation. I know, I couldn’t have chosen a more cliché healthy food combination, could I? And I’m sure I scared off a few people with the hippy dippy food jammed into the title, but give a girl a chance! This bowl is filled with tons of flavour, and is a far cry from any bad tofu experiences we may have had. Believe me, I was not a tofu lover until I started baking it so that it had a crispy skin and slightly chewy texture. Blobs of white jelly bobbing around in my soup? No thank you. Crispy skinned tofu just ready for soaking up a garlic and lemon dressing? Yes please! [Note: my tofu non-enthusiasts you can replace the tofu with chicken.]Oh my, the Olive, Kale and Quinoa Salad is so easy, and would make a perfect barbecue or pot luck dish if you doubled or tripled the recipe. I started this salad with sturdy snipped-up kale leaves, a decent helping of quinoa, and handfuls of flat leaf parsley. Then we sprinkle over our star player: halved black olives (y.u.m.) and soak the whole lot in a lemon, olive oil, garlic, and chive dressing. I like to let this salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before I eat it so that the kale breaks down just a little and the quinoa soaks up the dressing. Once it comes out I sprinkled over a few tablespoons of sunflower seeds for s little bit o’crunch. Scoop up a big forkful of this salad and you are met with fresh green kale, nutty quinoa, crispy sunflower seeds, and salty briny olives. Together, the crispy chewy tofu and hearty fresh salad are a match made in taste heaven. The tofu soaks up any dressing that drips from the salad and is a great foil to the super briny shiny black olives. Lip-smacking healthy bowl perfection!
Olive, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Baked Tofu
| Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3
For the tofu
- 300 gram block hard tofu
- 1/4 cup gluten free cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the salad
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups low sodium liquid vegetable stock
- 4 cups chopped kale leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped flat parsley
- 1/2 cup black olives, halved
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
For the dressing
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped chives (substitute eschallots or spring onions)
- First, prepare the quinoa. Place rinsed and drained quinoa into a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and fit the saucepan with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and sit for another 5 minutes. Remove and spread over a clean baking sheet to help it cool faster.
- When the quinoa has cooled a little prepare the salad. Place chopped kale leaves, parsley, and olives in a large bowl. Add quinoa.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredient and pour over the kale salad. Toss very well and place in the fridge to marinate while the tofu cooks.
- To prepare the tofu: preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper.
- Slice your tofu into 8-9 even pieces and drain them on a paper towel. Place cornflour, salt and pepper into a shallow dish and mix around. Coat each piece of tofu in the cornflour, shake to remove any excess, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake tofu in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping it halfway through to make sure it browns on both sides.
- Remove kale salad from the fridge and toss through the sunflower seeds. Spoon into bowls and top with baked tofu.