Friday, January 11, 2008

Salad with Oranges, Tofu, and Soy Ginger Dressing

Wishing you all a happy and healthy year ahead!

Salad: Mixed Greens, Oranges, Tofu, Ginger-Soy dressing

As soon as a new year is around the corner, you hear people talking about eating lighter, better, healthier and so on. The media isn't one to be left behind either, and in January, one can hardly pick up a newspaper or magazine without an article about resolutions, sensible eating, and exercise. While all that is a good thing, it can get predictably boring. Besides, we all know what really happens as the year progresses.

That is why I had decided that my first post of the year would not be anything like that, because I know better than to make resolutions that don't ever work. However, I would be lying if I say that getting in shape has not been on my mind for a while now, particularly after packing those pounds during the trip to India over Diwali and while traveling during the week of Christmas.

So as the year began, I virtuously stocked up on a bag of mixed greens from the farmers' market, and since then, have already enjoyed a few different salads. Absolutely enjoyed, because I actually like salads a lot and eat them regularly and happily throughout the year. The trick is to keep it balanced and satisfying.

The salads that I make are not based on precise recipes, and usually depend on what is on hand besides the greens, but I like to include a small amount of protein as far as possible, and try to include different textures and colors. I don't like to crowd the salad with too many things, but a few well chosen things that are fresh and flavorful and that go well together never fail to please. While most of them are tossed together extempore, I do have a few favorite combinations that I make repeatedly, and the following is one of my cool weather favorites, put together with all local ingredients except the dressing.

Mixed Greens Salad with oranges, tofu and almonds, with soy-ginger dressing

Salad: Components and Result

These quantities are for 2 servings, and can be scaled easily.

Ingredients for the Soy-Ginger Dressing

1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons light olive oil (or any favorite neutral salad oil)
salt and pepper to taste
5-6 sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped

Ingredients for salad

enough mixed greens for 2 (about 4-5 cups)
1 orange
1 cup of cubed tofu
2 Tablespoons of thinly sliced red onion or chopped scallions
2 Tablespoons slivered sliced almonds

Tossing it together

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients except cilantro, salt and pepper until emulsified together. That takes a couple of minutes. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper at the end and stir together.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of the dressing over the tofu so that it absorbs the flavor while you prep the other things.

Peel and slice the orange into segments [see notes]. Wash and dry the greens, and place in a large bowl. Drizzle the remaining dressing lightly over it and toss gently. Add the onion, orange segments, tofu, and almonds. Season with a little salt and pepper, and toss just once or twice before serving.

Notes

Slicing an orange into segments is a lot easier than it sounds and I learned it only a couple of years ago. Here is a beautiful pictorial guide that tells you how it can be done.

11 comments:

Mansi Desai said...

That is interesting:) would love to try:)

Manisha said...

Lovely salad! Would be great for a healthy lunch. Will let you know what I think.

I also loved that tutorial on slicing oranges but it's something I won't be able to do because of all the good fiber gone to waste. In our family, we need every bit of it, see...:-D

evolvingtastes said...

That's great, Mansi.

Manisha, thanks. I too don't mind the extra fiber, and usually that is how I eat oranges - slice, and gnaw. :-) It is only when I use it in salads or fruit salads that I segment it like this.

Cynthia said...

A very happy new year to you too!

DEEPA said...

wow!! awesome salad and an excellent dressing ...mst have tasted great

musical said...

Very innovative salad! Must have tasted so fresh! Yummy! oranges and ginger!

Miri said...

Such a beautiful salad....thanks for posting - I was looking for a good recipe to include in our meals!

evolvingtastes said...

Cynthia, deepa, musical, miri, thanks a lot, I appreciate your comments.

Richa said...

my mouth is watering looking at the lovely shot of those oranges

Brittany said...

This salad has become one of our favorite go-to's for a quick, healthy, delicious weeknight dinner. To speed things up even more, we've used canned mandarin oranges and incorporated some of the mandarin juice into the dressing. Thanks for a great recipe!

evolvingtastes said...

Brittany,thanks so much for letting me know. Feedback like that is delightful and totally appreciated!

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