Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brown Rice & Sesame Tofu Salad

A Heaping Plate of Vegan Grains and Greens

The Dilemma:

Me: “I would love a salad for dinner tonight!”

Fiancé: “………uh huh..”

Don’t get me wrong, my fiancé (aka Jeremy) loves him some vegan cooking. Lord knows he eats enough of it. But sometimes my veggie dreams don’t speak to him so seductively. An occasional meat and prolific cheese eater, my sigo is a sort of convenience vegan, enjoying the meals I prepare but by no means inclined to choose tofu over chicken when left to his own devices.

And his own devices are…ravenous. A salad, usually, will not suffice.

So last night, when I declared myself salad-ready, the silence set in. Nothing…nothing…no comment…and then a polite little “uh huh.”

Little did he know that my signature Brown Rice & Sesame Tofu Salad was in store. Uh huh. That’s right.

The Recipe:

Hello, gorgeous!
I invented this salad in my late college years, right around the time when my sister and I would frequent the Lady Killigrew Café and Bookmill in Montague, MA. It was there that I had my first taste of warm brown rice over crisp greens, a combination so compelling I had to replicate it in my own kitchen. Yes, you have to juggle a few moving parts to pull this salad together, but it’s oh-so-worth it!

For sanity’s sake, approach this recipe in three parts: the rice, the tofu and the veggies.

For the rice, you’ll need:
  • 1 cup sweet brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Dash of salt

Place the water, rice and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down as low as it will go and cover. Cook for approximately 40 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

As the rice is cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your block of tofu into slices or squares and set pieces into a marinade of:
Flip the tofu slices about halfway through baking
to brown evenly on both sides.
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
  • 1 TSP freshly grated ginger
  • 1.5 TSP pressed garlic
  • ½ TSP red pepper flakes
  • 1 TSP sesame seeds

Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes and then spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until browning occurs, flipping each piece at the 15 minute mark.

Now, onto the veggies. While there's tons of room for experimentation here, some of my staple veggies include:

  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced into long strips
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1/3 red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 4 cups arugula, loosely packed

The Finale:

Cindy's Kitchen vegan-
friendly dressing
Once your rice and tofu have cooked and your veggies are prepped, simply spread a bed of lettuce and go to town with your toppings.

And no Brown Rice & Sesame Tofu Salad is complete without my all-time favorite dressing: Deeply Roasted Sesame by Cindy’s Kitchen. Not only is Cindy’s Kitchen a local shop, hailing from Brockton, MA, they offer a huge selection of vegan dressings and marinades, all unbelievably fresh and flavorful. If my Brown Rice & Sesame Tofu Salad were on a dessert island, Cindy’s Roasted Sesame dressing would be its singular survival item.

It, like me, can’t do without.


  1. Replies
    1. and did you notice my napkin? :)

  2. thanks! this salad stands the test of time...it never gets old!

  3. the napkin was my favorite part!

    1. The napkin was a DIY element from my friend's Denver wedding.