It's a cloudy Saturday, the first day of a 4-day weekend. I should be running or doing yard work or one of a million other things, but I'm not feeling totally motivated so I decided to read and cook today instead.
Last weekend, I went to Portland to take care of a friend's dogs while she was in Boston, I also had the opportunity to catch up with a dear old friend from elementary school. We went to this great little restaurant in Portland's Munjoy Hill neighborhood called Silly's. If you've never been there, GO! It's one of my very favs. I had one of the BEST salads evah; The Mighty Avo-dighty Salad. As we were waiting for our table I spied another customer with this awesome looking bowl piled high with spinach, assorted veggies and huge chunks of tofu tossed in sauce (at the time I couldn't tell if it was curry, buffalo, or bbq... either would have worked for me). So when it was time to order I discreetly asked the waitress what the lady behind us was eating... "the Mighty Avo-dighty Salad" the waitress replied. This salad is build on a bed of baby spinach, with black olives, tomatoes, red onion (?), buffalo tofu, and guacamole (there may have been a couple other items but I can't quite remember). All I know is that it was delicious and filling!
As I've mentioned before, I've been very hit or miss with my attempts at making tofu at home. But inspired by Mighty Avo-dighty I decided to give it a whirl and try to recreate (at least partially) this awesome salad! I think it came out quite well.
I started with a package of extra-firm tofu. I bought the already cubed kind and the cubes were smaller than expected, would be great for stir fry or other uses (and a nice time saver) but in the future I'll buy a whole block and cut it into larger chunks myself. Now one thing I have read over and over is the importance of squeezing out the excess water from your tofu. So I spread out the cubes on a plate in a single layer between paper towels and pressed the water out with my hands.
I heated about 3-4 T of olive oil in a nonstick fry pan until the oil was hot, then dumped the cubes into the hot oil (again spreading them into a single layer). I cooked them for about 7 mins total, if I were using bigger chunks it would probably take 5 mins on each side. While that was cooking I mixed my buffalo sauce. This sauce was one I stole from a buffalo chicken recipe from Clean Eating Magazine. It's my favorite buffalo sauce and it incredibly easy.
4 T hot sauce
1 T paprika
1 T olive oil
mix together, it's quite spicy!
Once the tofu was cooked to a golden brown I transferred them to a paper towel lined plate and blotted the excess oil. I then tossed the cubes with the sauce.
To assemble the salad:
Spread a bed of baby spinach in a large bowl or plate, top with chopped tomato, 1/2 avocado cubed, sliced black olives, and thinly sliced red onion. Top with 1/2 the buffalo tofu mixture, sprinkle with blue cheese or feta. Optional: drizzle blue cheese dressing
This was VERY satisfying!