Chef’s salads are typically laden with lunch meats, cheeses, and egg. This Vegan Chef’s Salad Bowl from Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever features protein from lentils and tofu, and is accompanied by a bold dressing that is capable of standing up to the other hearty ingredients. Croutons crunchy addition to this recipe.
Vegan Chef’s Salad Bowl
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup black or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 1 14-ounce package firm or extra-firm tofu, rinsed and squeezed of liquid, mashed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 soft sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
- 4 cups arugula, coarsely chopped if desired
- 1/4 cup thin sliced red onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small cucumber, cut into half-moon slices
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
- Croutons, store-bought or homemade
LENTILS: Combine the broth, tamari, garlic, lentils, paprika, and bay leaves in a medium saucepan. Cover, bring to boil over high heat, reduce to simmer over medium heat, partially cover and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, remove and discard the bay leaves, return the lentils to the pan and stir in the oil and pepper, to taste.
TOFU: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mashed tofu, garlic, oregano, salt, and turmeric. Stir and cook until lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, cover and cook until the broth evaporates, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
DRESSING: Combine the vinegar, oil, water, mustard, tomatoes and thyme in a small blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
VEGETABLES: Combine the lettuce and arugula in a large bowl with a third of the dressing. Toss well. Serve the greens in bowls with the toppings layered on the greens side-by-side, including the onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, lentils, and tofu. Top with croutons and serve with the remaining dressing.
QUICK TIPS: Preheat the large skillet before you press the tofu. Prepare all the garlic at the same time: 2 crushed, 2 minced. To press the tofu, squeeze half the tofu with your hands over the sink until most of the liquid is squeezed out. Repeat with the other half. Use your hands to mash the tofu. Make the dressing while the tofu cooks. Chop the vegetables while the lentils cook. Chop the avocado right before serving to prevent discoloration.
Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.