The BEST cozy winter salad with crispy tofu and rice. This salad is made with warm crispy cast-iron tofu, rice, fresh lettuce, carrots, and beets. Serve it with sunflower seeds and the most amazing nutritional yeast dressing. The hot and cold combination is perfect for winter!
Cozy Winter Salad with Crispy Tofu and Rice [Vegan]
For the Salad:
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 3 cups of leftover cooked rice)
- 1 medium head green lettuce (about 5 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 large beet, peeled and shredded
- Raw or roasted sunflower seeds or sliced almonds, for topping
For the Crispy Cast-Iron Tofu:
- 1 block (350g) extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Nutritional Yeast Dressing:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- Start by cooking your rice if you don't have leftover cooked rice. Add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 40 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes. You can also follow the box instructions for the specific rice you're using.
- Meanwhile, cut the tofu into 10 slices and cut each slice in half to make triangles. You can also cut the tofu in any shape that you like. Press the tofu for 15-20 minutes using a tofu press or wrap the tofu with a clean towel. Place a cutting board on top of the covered tofu and top with heavy books.
- While the tofu is pressing, prepare the dressing. In a small food processor or blender, blend all the dressing ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
- Once the tofu is done pressing, add it to a medium mixing bowl, along with the garlic powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully toss to coat the tofu.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 12" cast-iron skillet (a non-stick skillet will also work, but the tofu won't get as crispy). Carefully place the tofu on the heated skillet. Cook for 7-8 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Assemble the salad: Divide the rice, lettuce, shredded carrots and beets into 4-6 bowls.
- Top with the crispy tofu, nutritional yeast dressing and sunflower seeds. Serve!