Happy Memorial Day! I know tradition calls for a grand barbecue on this holiday, but we will be keeping it simple here at the Miller/Turner home. This is mostly because we don't own a grill, but also because Chris and I are kind of going through a Chickenless Salad phase right now.
The Chickenless Salad phase began while we were on vacation the week before last. There was a vegetarian market that we frequented for its hot/cold food bar, and they had a Mock Chicken Tofu Salad that was terribly addictive. We couldn't get enough of it. I was leery at first because I don't often care for very mayonaisey (I just made that word up. You're welcome.) things. Even before I became vegan, it was a taste and texture that did not agree with me. I keep Vegenaise in the house because sometimes a little bit here and there is a bonus in certain recipes, but never is it a primary ingredient. This salad of theirs, though, changed my outlook and I couldn't wait to put my own Vegenaise to work when we got home.
Though there is Vegenaise in this recipe, what really puts it over the top is the tofu. I pressed it for 24 hours, the old-fashioned way (on a plate, with an enormously heavy book and a few cans of beans on top). During this process, Chris opened the refrigerator and said "Honey, did you realize that you left a book in here?" He was completely just in asking this because sometimes, when my focus is elsewhere, I've been known to put refrigerated things in the cabinet or leave my keys in the freezer. Yada, yada, yada and now Chris knows how to press tofu. I marinated it for a while (about 2 hours), but the key is to get as much moisture back out of it as possible. I got a weird look from Chris when I was using the bottom of a bowl to push as much of the remaining marinade out of the tofu and through the strainer, but he did not question it. I think he knew that magic was happening.
After the tofu is baked, and added to the rest of the salad ingredients, it makes for a delicious meal on its own, but when it's made into a sandwich or wrap is when the salad really shines. I didn't use a ton of Vegenaise, but if you want a creamier salad, by all means, add in a little more. I made my Spicy Sweet Potato Fries to accompany it and altogether it was the perfect meal. When we were done, Chris said "I can't believe that just happened. It was too good to be true." A huge book is in my refrigerator now and I can't wait to make it the magic happen again for today's holiday meal.
CHICKENLESS SALAD WRAPS
makes 2 wraps
- 1 block of tofu, pressed
- 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and finely chopped
- ¼ small onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup Vegenaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried dill
- a few dashes of black salt (Kala Namak), or sea salt
- 2 large tortillas
for the tofu marinade:
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp liquid smoke
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow container, such as a 9x9 baking dish or a pie pan. Set aside.
- Halve the pressed block of tofu, horizontally. Thinly slice the two blocks into two thinner blocks, so you have 4 tofu sheets, all roughly 2 inches by 4 inches. Tear each of the blocks into little pieces and place all the pieces into the marinade. Place the dish in the fridge and allow to marinate for 1-2 hours.
- Once the tofu is done marinating, preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.
- Pour the tofu and marinade into a strainer/colander and allow to drain for about 5 minutes. Using the bottom of a clean bowl. Press the tofu into the strainer, squeezing out as much of the marinade as possible. You can squeeze the marinade into a bowl and save it for another use, if you’d like.
- Once you’ve drained the tofu as much as possible, spread the tofu out on a baking sheet. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes, remove and flip, then return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the other ingredients. Once the tofu is cooled, add to the mixture and stir to combine. Spoon half of the mixture into the center of a tortilla. Fold the outer ends of the tortilla over the mixture, then roll the end closest to you over the mixture, then continue to roll it up completely, burrito-style. Cut in half and serve. Enjoy!
SPICY SWEET POTATO FRIES
makes 2 small servings (double or triple for more people)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (increase if you like it extra spicy)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously spray with olive oil.
- Cut the sweet potato in half, lengthwise. Then slice each half into 4 or 5 pieces, lengthwise. For smaller fries, halve each those pieces lengthwise.
- Spread the fries out on the prepared baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle the spices over the fries and toss to fully coat. Spread the fries out again and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through to cook evenly. Remove from oven and serve warm. Enjoy!
I hope you all have a fun and relaxing holiday! What did you all prepare for your holiday meal?
All Photos by Chris Miller
© Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (content and images) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Looking yummy Kristy! I laughed when you mentioned the book in the fridge and keys in the freezer....how many times have I done this? so many. Loving the meal, Happy US Holiday weekend!
Thank you, Shira! Glad to know I'm not the only one who subconsciously thinks the refrigerator is a perfectly acceptable storage place for pretty much anything. Happy Holiday! 🙂
Gabby @ the veggie nook
Haha whenever I'm pressing tofu, my dad just laughs- the tower of cans on top of a cutting board in the kitchen does look pretty ridiculous!
This wrap looks awesome! I too was never a fan of mayonnaise before my vegan days. I bought a jar of Veganaise to make a recipe a little while ago, but I's still left with an almost full jar and no idea what to do with it! Since I already have some tofu marinating in the fridge, I think I'll try this for dinner! I think my marinade should work well 🙂
Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you, Gabby! I keep telling myself I need to invest in a Tofu XPress, but I keep putting it off. Perhaps the old school way is more fun. 🙂
I hope you like it- it's definitely one of my new faves. And I preferred the "I's" to "I'm." Just sayin. 😉
Gabby @ the veggie nook
oops I'm not I's lol
YUM YUM YUM, Kristy!!
Oh yes, it is, Annie! Triple Yum!
hand me those gorgeous fries with that wrap any day!i hardly ever use veganaise. We are currently in a lot of paratha phase(stuffed indian breads) before we hit warm enough days for some grilling veggie burgers!
Heavens, hand me some paratha! There is a stand at the farmer's market that sells some, but its so expensive! I need to face my fears and just learn to make them myself! Happy holiday, Richa!
Mmm - sounds good! Your blog is lovely, by the way. I found you via your guest post on Fork and Beans, and am your newest follower! Looking forward to reading more. 🙂
Well hello, newest follower! I am so happy to have met you as well- looking forward to spending more time on your blog as well! 🙂
Oh my I am in love - chickenless salad that doesn't rely on mock meats - sign me up!
You are officially on the list. The next time you are in LA, you can get your wrap. 😉
I purposefully stopped buying vegenaise after my last jar ran out because I love it and want to slather it on all my sandwiches (not in a good way). Hellman's and I used to be best friends. I was glad that when we broke up that vegenaise was there to comfort me, but it was too comforting 😉 I'm trying to eliminate refined oils from my diet so I recently came up with a miso cashew ranch dressing. I use that or hummus now for all my sandwiches and wraps and I don't even need mayo rehab. Woohoo!
I think my cashew ranch and your pressed tofu are going to be dynamite! Oh and those sweet potato fries are gorgeous!
Oooh! Miso Cashew Ranch dressing! Good lord, I want to slather that all over everything too (an not in a good way)!
Congrats on eliminating refined oils from your diet and not needing mayo rehab! I'm in awe of you right now!
I haven't posted the recipe but here is the basic rundown
.5 C. raw cashews
1.25 C. almond milk
1 heaping T. white or yellow miso
2-3 t. chia seeds
1/2 t. each of garlic and onion powder
Blend all above until smooth and creamy.Then briefly pulse in a little fresh or dried parsley and dill. Then add salt and pepper to taste, you may not need salt as the miso is pretty salty on its own. The chia will thicken the ranch as it sits in the fridge. I could drink the stuff.
Well, first of all, thank you so much! Secondly- YUM! I love the chia seed idea- that is so genius, and the whole recipe is so simple! Giving this a go ASAP. You're the best, Somer!
Thanks! I decided to include it last minute at the bottom of my last post
It's too good not to share!
That's for sure! 🙂
Am I ever excited to try out this recipe! I stumbled across your blog while Googling mock chicken salad recipes. I've been trying to replicate the delicious one we had on a recent trip to Maui, and kicking myself for not jotting down the ingredient list from the container while we were there. Luckily my search led me to your blog post about the exact place I'd been hunting down, and then to this recipe. So excited! 🙂 Thanks for posting, I've been dreaming about making this since we left.
Did you have it at the Farmer's Market & Deli in Lahaina? Their mock chicken salad rocked my world! How funny that we were both trying to replicate the same recipe- it's such a small world! When were you in Maui?
We did. It was amazing! A friend had recommended the place to us, I wish we'd found it sooner on our trip. I could have had it every day and been happy. 🙂 We were there in mid-April. Such a good time!
We were there mid-May. It was pretty close to our hotel, so we were there pretty often! Great find. 🙂
There's something about spring that makes me want to make salad sandwiches. I recently made one with smoky Soy Curls and Fat Free Vegan's cashew-tofu mayo, and I've been thinking about it ever since. This tofu salad looks wonderful, and I like it that you went light on the Vegenaise. I think Vegenaise has a great flavor, but it's hard for me to justify adding all of that oil to an otherwise healthy meal. Your story about Chris opening up the refrigerator and gently letting you know that you'd left a book inside is too funny. That's a good husband!
Thank you, Cadry, and you are right- Chris is a great husband. I also completely agree about keeping the mayo to a minimum. Its good for adding flavor, but I wouldn't rely on it as a primary ingredient. Ive never had soy curls, so it looks like I have something new I need to try! 🙂
I just made the sweet potato fries and they are really really good !!!
YAY!!! I'm so glad you liked them, Lysa!
Just wanted to say this recipe is great! I added in more celery, some radishes, and next time I want some chopped green apple in there. My 5 year old loved the seasoned tofu and ate a small bowl of it after it came out of the oven!