Do you know what I miss about not living in the city? Besides my family I really miss the food. We have very few restaurants in our town and even fewer that are actually good. That's why we eat at home so much. (Well, that and I actually really enjoy cooking).
While I miss ethnic food, something simple that I miss are big salads. In the city I can go to almost any restaurant and they have a collection of large entree salads. In our town a restaurant might have 1 or 2 salads and they often aren't what I am looking for. This leads to me looking for hearty, filling entree salads that I can make at home.
For the most part I end up making salads with grilled chicken. Then I found this tofu salad. The photo was the first thing that caught my eye. The colors were just popping out of the screen and my mouth literally began to water. Once I read the ingredient list I was even more excited. A vegetarian salad complete with BBQ tofu and mushrooms, on a bed of mixed greens, and finished off with cheese quesadilla triangles. It sounded amazing.
I have to tell you, this salad totally lived up to my expectation. My husband really loved it as well. I put a very small amount of dressing on my salad but really it didn't even need it. The apples added a touch of sweetness, the BBQ mushrooms and tofu were bursting with flavor, the greens added some crunch, and the cheese quesadillas finished off this filling salad. It not only tastes delicious but it's a beautiful salad as well. I'd love to serve this the next time we have our vegetarian friends over.
Color Splash Tofu and Quesadilla Salad (adapted from Lunch Box Bunch)
For the Salad:
2 bunches of mixed lettuce and greens (I used Bibb lettuce, kale, and chard)
½ red pepper, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
⅓ c. red onion, chopped
1 small apple, thinly sliced
½ avocado, diced and tossed with lime juice
For the Mushrooms:
1 c. mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ c. red onions, diced
¼ c. BBQ sauce
½ t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. olive oil
For the Tofu:
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. cumin
3 T. BBQ sauce
For the Quesadilla:
2 flour tortillas
1 T. butter
⅓ c. cheese, shredded (I used cheddar and American)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. Drain the tofu, cut into pieces, and place in the pan. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Flip the tofu over, sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, and BBQ sauce. Continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
2. Wash the greens in cold water and slice into ribbons. Drain in a salad spinner. Place the greens in a large bowl and toss with peppers, onions, apples, and avocado.
3. Divide the greens between 4 plates and set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add in the mushrooms, onions, BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and divide evenly between the 4 salads.
5. Remove the tofu from the oven and divide evenly between the 4 salads.
6. Spread half of the butter on one of the tortillas. Place in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the cheese on top of it and then cover it with the second tortilla, spread with butter. Heat for 3-4 minutes then flip over. Heat for 2-3 minutes on the second side.
7. Remove from the pan and cut into 16 pieces. Divide between the salads. (Make a second quesadilla if you'd like more quesadilla pieces per salad)
8. Serve with salsa and/or dressing.