Meatless Monday: Sesame Crunch Salad

Sesame Crunch Salad
During a recent hot spell I actually paid attention to the weather and made a refreshing, meal-sized salad for dinner. When I make salad for dinner I need to make sure it is filling enough for my husband and Trey. Generally they need more dense food to feel full than I do. In this salad I add tofu, almonds, sesame seeds and sesame crackers to all of the vegetables to make this salad meal-worthy.
Sesame Crunch Salad
I marinated tofu that I cut into cubes in teriyaki sauce. I used teriyaki sauce I had leftover from my teriyaki bowls. I let it marinate for a few hours and then sauted the tofu with the marinade in a large cast iron skillet. I let the tofu get fairly crispy because, like my Mom, I love burned food! If you don’t have teriyaki sauce on hand use the Simplest Tofu Marinade from Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families.
If you, or your family, are not into tofu you can also marinate chickpeas with either teriyaki sauce or Dreena’s marinade. Place the marinated chickpeas in a large baking dish lined with parchment. Bake them for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, stirring them at least once while they cook.
Sesame Crunch Salad
To add additional crunch I used Sesame Rice Crackers from Whole Foods. My mom used to make a similar salad with broken up ramen noodles, but the all-natural ramen noodles don’t have the same texture as their more processed counterparts. I found the broken up Sesame Crackers add additional crunch and flavor that works well.
Sesame Crunch Salad
For the dressing I used Trey’s favorite dressing from Dreena Burton. Her Cumin-Cinnamon Vinaigrette from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan was the first salad dressing Trey liked when he was a toddler. This dressing also works really well if you are looking to make a side salad with Mexican or Asian meals.
Meatless Monday: Sesame Crunch Salad
 
Vegan Sesame Crunch Salad filling enough for a Meatless Monday meal. Packed with veggies, proteins and healthy fats.
Ingredients
  • 10 oz Tofu, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 4 cups Napa Cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 cups Romaine Hearts, sliced thin
  • 2 small Cucumbers, julienned
  • 2 small Carrots, peeled and juliened
  • 4 Scallions, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, minced
  • ¼ cup Slivered Almonds, browned
  • ¼ cup, crushed Sesame Rice Crackers
  • 2 TB Sesame Seeds, toasted
  • Dressing of choice (see note)
Instructions
  1. Toss cubed tofu in teriyaki sauce. Marinate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. Add canola oil to a large skillet on Medium High heat. Add marinated tofu and saute for 10 minutes, until tofu is browned. Stir frequently. After tofu has browned remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine all ingredients, including cooked tofu. Toss with dressing of choice.
  4. Serve!
Notes
I like to use this Cumin Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Meatless Monday: Vegan Teriyaki Bowls

Vegan Teriyaki BowlsTrey has been attending a camp this summer that offers lunch each day. Initially I was packing his lunch, assuming that the vegan options would be limited. Each day though there seemed to be plenty of vegan options that Trey was excited to eat. In particular he loved the Teriyaki they offered him. It was rice, tofu and snap peas in teriyaki sauce. Since he enjoyed it so much I decided to create Vegan Teriyaki bowls at home. In our teriyaki bowls I used a base of white rice, snap peas and broccoli and marinated tofu – all topped with teriyaki sauce. These bowls are a great Meatless Monday meal since many of the flavors are familiar and it can be ready to serve your family in 30 minutes or less.

For this particular recipe I used pre-made teriyaki sauce because I wanted this to be a quick meal. You can definitely make your own teriyaki sauce – it is not difficult and there are tons of great recipes available. I used a Teriyaki sauce from Organicville. I like that it doesn’t have any strange ingredients and flavor wise it isn’t overly sweet. I often find bottled teriyaki can be sickenly sweet. In this case it is the perfect balance of sweet, savory and spicy.

Vegan Teriyaki Bowls

To cook the tofu I used one of my favorite, low touch methods – broiling. I marinate the tofu for a bit and then broil it in the oven. I love the texture of broiled tofu. It is especially good for people who are new to tofu. It is not mushy at all and has a crisp outer layer. Be sure to use a super firm tofu, preferably one that is not packaged in a tub of water. I like the Trader Joe’s brand and Wildwood Organics. If you haven’t used your broiler before here is an easy how-to.

Vegan Teriyaki Bowls

The key for a good bowl is to make sure each component tastes delicious on it’s own. If you add one flavorless component, say plain steamed broccoli, it waters down the flavor of the whole dish. I saute the broccoli and snap peas with garlic and chili flakes. I also add rice wine vinegar to the rice to add a bit of flavor.

Do you have a favorite brand of teriyaki sauce or homemade teriyaki recipe that you love?

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Meatless Monday: Vegan Teriyaki Bowls
 
Savory, flavorful bowl filled with vegetables, tofu and rice. An easy weeknight meal for busy families.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Tofu
  • Teriyaki Sauce, either homemade or store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 3 cups Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 3 cups White Rice, cooked
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • TOPPINGS
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Cilantro, minced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or flat dish stir together 1 cup of Teriyaki sauce and ½ cup of water. Omit the water if your teriyaki sauce is already fairly thin. Slice tofu in ½ inch slabs. Place the slabs in the teriyaki mixture. Let tofu marinate for 5 minutes. You can marinate the tofu for up to 12 hours if you like. Move the oven rack to the highest possible position (about 3-4 inches from the heating element). Turn your oven on broil.
  2. While the tofu marinates, heat a large pan to Medium on the stove with olive oil. Add in garlic and chili flakes. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Toss in broccoli and snap peas and stir until the vegetables are coated in the garlic and chilis. Add in ¼ cup of water and cover pan. Let vegetables cook for 5 minutes, covered. After 5 minutes the water should be absorbed and the vegetables will be crisp cooked. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
  3. Go back to tofu while vegetables cook. Place slabs of tofu on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes turn tofu over and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Watch this carefully as every oven is different - check to make sure you don't burn the tofu. Once the tofu is cooked you can cut the slabs of tofu into cubes or serve the tofu in slabs.
  4. Toss cooked white rice with Rice Wine Vinegar. Start with 1 Tablespoon and add additional Tablespoon to taste.
  5. Assemble: In each bowl place rice, diced tofu, and vegetables. Drizzle teriyaki sauce over each bowl. Top with Sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro. Serve warm.