There’s something about the fall season that feels just so right for lentils. This warming, dosha-balancing legume cooks quickly without soaking overnight. Paired with sesame tofu, it makes a hearty, earthy fall salad and an ideal one-dish dinner.
Toasted Sesame Tofu and Lentil Salad
- 1 box spring greens
- 1 package tofu
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1 or 2 avocado
- 1 package white mushrooms
- 1 vegetable zucchini
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- to taste salt/pepper
- to taste ginger dressing
1. First things first, the tofu needs to dry out. Tofu naturally holds a lot of moisture that will need pressed out before cooking. Take the block and slice into pieces. Put the pieces onto a plate with a paper towel. Then grab some more paper towel and press on each piece until most of the moisture is out.
2. Now grab your lentils and throw them into a pot of water to boil. I usually add salt to the water for some taste. Let this cook for about 30 minutes.
3. While the lentils are cooking and the tofu is drying, you can cook the veggies. Start by grabbing a skillet and turning it on medium heat. Dice up the mushrooms and throw them into the pan. When cooking mushrooms, they tend to let out some moisture that will allow them to not stick to the pan so no olive oil is needed unless you prefer.
4. Now grab the zucchini and dice. Once diced, toss the pieces into the skillet with the mushrooms and stir the vegetables for a minute or two. Then add the tamari and some pepper and let cook a little longer while stirring periodically.
5. After the veggies are brown/softened you can remove them from the heat and set aside to cool.
6. Now it’s time to cook the tofu! Start by cutting the pieces into smaller bite sized pieces. For added flavor, cook in the same skillet you used for the veggies. Keep the burner at medium heat and throw the tofu into the pan. Let the tofu cook for a few minutes before you flip over. If you try to flip too soon, the bottom will stick to the pan and the pieces will rip apart. Once you are able to flip the pieces, let them continue to cook and add the toasted sesame oil to the pan. Continue flipping and stirring until the tofu turns golden and crispy. Then remove from heat.
7. By now the lentils should be just about ready, or at least ready for a taste test.
8. When you are satisfied with the texture of the lentils, you can remove them from heat and strain the water out.
9. Now it is time to assemble the salad! Take a handful of washed spring greens and toss them onto a plate. Then take a few spoonfuls of lentils and add them to the greens. Next stack on your desired amount of veggies and tofu. Top this with a 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado, or whatever amount you prefer. Finish the salad off with a nice drizzle of ginger dressing. I use Chosen Foods brand of dressing, but any will do.
10. Voila! Enjoy a salad now and a few for later. This dish will keep for a few days and can be eaten hot or cold.
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Photo: Lindsey Blakley