Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kale Tortilla Salad With Baked Cilantro Tofu

This salad is an example of how far you can push an idea, and in many different directions. I was craving Mexican flavors today, but had some kale to use up and a package of sprouted tofu with a looming expiration date. I didn't have a jar of salsa, nor did I have tomatoes. But I did have enough other ingredients for a satisfying salad. Here's the recipe:

Kale Tortilla Salad With Baked Cilantro Tofu
1 bunch of raw kale
1 avocado, diced
1 lime
4 Tbsp. purple onion, diced
1 package of firm tofu, drained and squeezed of excess water, then diced
2 small handfuls of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
a couple shakes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
A few tortilla chips for serving
In a sealed storage container or a baggie, marinate the tofu with juice of half the lime, half of the cilantro, half of the onions, a pinch of salt and a few shakes of hot sauce for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and de-stem the kale and spin it dry. Squeeze the other half of the lime over the greens along with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the raw greens for a few minutes to soften them. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the tofu in a single layer in a pan and bake it for about 20 minutes, or until crispy around the edges. The cilantro gets slightly crunchy.

Add the avocado and the rest of the onion to the salad and mix well. Once the tofu is baked, allow it to briefly cool, then mix it into the salad. Top individual servings with tortilla chips -- I crumbled mine  into the salad.

I didn't feel like eating corn chips, so I used these brown rice chips instead:

This salad turned out to be hearty and satisfying, but it did take seemingly forever to prepare, but maybe that's because I was already starving when I began making it. I did accomplish my goal of using up certain ingredients, but one could obviously change the ingredients list in so many ways. Instead of tofu you could use a can of rinsed black beans, you could add leftover brown rice, you could add some daiya shredded cheese, some tofutti sour cream, salsa, jalapenos instead of tabasco, you get the idea.

I first saw this treatment of kale on Morgan's "Little House of Veggies" ( where she created a Mediterranean version of the salad which was delicious. Since learning how to soften raw kale with citrus, oil and friction, I have made many different variations on this theme, utilizing artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, leftover potatoes, whatever I had on hand. I encourage you to get creative with your ingredients and make this delicious raw medium your own!


  1. your tofu marinade sounds awesome! i've read about the massaged kale on various blogs and it sounds like something i need to try for myself!

  2. The salad looks great to me!! I love the simplicity of the ingredients and that you improvised to use the things that you had on hand. So many times people ask me "is is SO EXPENSIVE to eat like this" and I say, raelly, no if you use all the things that you buy, and eat leftovers (which I LOVE). Isn't it amazing how palatable the raw kale is when massaged with some citrus and oil?? Im so glad it inspired you to do much more with it! When you leave the kale raw like that is keeps and preserves all of the living goodness that it has to offer your body!! Chips look SO YUMMY too!

  3. Thanks, Morgan -- and I am forever indebted to you for the idea of massaging the kale. I do love it so much that way!