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Jan 17, 2017

Clementine and Arugula Salad with Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu and Pecans

Before telling you about this Clementine and Arugula Salad with Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu and Pecans we gotta go to that good ol' disclaimer: Housevegan.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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Look at this gorgeous salad! We may be deep in the middle of winter*, but we've been feeling salads over soups lately. While we love our go-to recipes like Banh Mi Salad and Raw Taco Salads for Two, my husband and I were recently in the mood for something a little more seasonal. I don't know about y'all, but when I think about seasonal produce in January my mind immediately goes to citrus.

Ok, my mind actually immediately goes to how sick of kale I am, and how much I long for late summer when tomatoes, zucchini, and butternut squash run rampant. After that though I'm all about the citrus.

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I used clementines in this salad because they're a perfect gateway citrus. My husband doesn't love eating oranges or grapefruit, but he's down for a good clementine in the right application. After coming to my clementine decision the rest of the salad just came together. It has arugula because its strong pepper flavor makes it our favorite salad green, parsley because herbs are great, pecans because our friends gifted us like 4 pounds of fresh pecans from their pecan tree, and cranberries because clementines and cranberries are one of the best winter flavor combos. They're both so sweet, and the depth of the cranberries brings out the brightness of the clementines. That sounds a bit hokey, but I'm going to live in my truth here.

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This recipe is made complete with the Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu, and my method of making this may surprise you. I just can't be bothered to press tofu anymore so I use the boiling salt water method to remove excess moisture and add seasoning to tofu. Basically, I marinade my tofu in boiled salt water for about 15 minutes before draining it and carrying on with the recipe. What this does is leech the initial moisture from the tofu while perfectly seasoning it with salt. From there it only requires a gentle squeeze before baking. I'm telling you, once you try this method, you'll never press tofu again. I literally haven't pressed my tofu in years, and we eat a lot of 'fu.

This salad looks like it contains a lot of ingredients and work, but it's really quite easy. It would have to be or I wouldn't make it. With the new house, packing, etc., I just don't have patience for complicated recipes right now. 

Speaking of January busyness, how are you guys doing? Did you set any food or health-related goals? How about lifestyle goals? I didn't set any food or health goals, but I did set some lifestyle goals. By "lifestyle goals" I mean I'm trying to enjoy a wider variety of wax melts and use more Disney planner stickers. Very mature, right?

Mentioned in this post and recipe:

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Clementine and Arugula Salad with Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu and Pecans 
by  Jan 17 2017
Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu:
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 12-14.5 ounce package extra firm tofu, sliced into eight equal pieces 
  • 1 tablespoon Bee Free Honee (or agave nectar)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • pinch ground pepper 
Tahini and Rosemary Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon tahini 
  • 1 tablespoon water 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 
  • salt and ground pepper to taste 
Clementine and Arugula Salad with Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu and Pecans
  • 4-6 cups arugula (depending on how hungry you are)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (curly or Italian), chopped
  • 1 batch Tahini and Rosemary Dressing
  • 2 clementines, peeled and separated into segments
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 batch Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu
Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F, and lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine the salt and water in a large pot over hight heat, and bring the salted water to a boil. When the water reaches a boil remove the pot from the heat, and add the tofu. Let the tofu soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine the Bee Free Honee, olive oil, dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and ground pepper in a small bowl. 

2. When the tofu is done soaking drain the salt water from the pot. Carefully transfer the tofu pieces to one half of a clean kitchen towel. Fold the other half of the towel over the tofu, and give it a light squeeze with your hands to remove a little bit of its moisture.

3. Place the tofu on the prepared baking sheet, and brush a bit of the honee mixture over each piece. Bake the tofu for 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and flip over each piece of tofu. Brush to remaining marinade over the tofu pieces, and return them back to the oven to bake for another 12-13 minutes. When the tofu is done cooking, remove the pan from the oven and allow the tofu to cool for at least 10 minutes.

4. While the tofu cools prepare the Tahini and Rosemary Dressing by whisking together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

5. To prepare the salad toss together the arugula, parsley, and dressing. You may want less than the full batch of dressing so start with half of the batch and work your way up as preferred. Evenly divide the dressed greens among two large bowls. Next evenly distribute the clementines, pecans, cranberries, scallions, and tofu between the two salads. Serve immediately. 

Yield: Clementine and Arugula Salads with Vegan Honey Herb Baked Tofu and Pecans


*It's actually been in the 60s and 70s so my "deep in the middle of winter" claim is hardly anything!
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