Are you a fan of MasterChef Junior? Though I haven’t seen every episode, I admit to being pulled in by all of those cute chubby cheeks and amazing natural culinary skills (I mean seriously, have you ever seen an 8 year old wield a fry pan like that?) for at least 2 full seasons. The first of which unleashed the talents of Alexander Weiss, age 13.
Alexander’s curly locks and flare for adventure with ingredients were impossible to ignore, so I was excited to discover that he had made a few dairy-free, and even vegan recipes to share, including this easy Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad with a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette.
To heat things up for the warm weather ahead, Alexander partnered with House Foods to make this protein-packed recipe that is made for the grill. Whether in need of an easy weeknight al fresco dinner or a vegetarian addition to your next barbecue, this spicy grilled tofu salad has you covered.
And just look at how flavorful it is! Evidenced by both the pictures and the ingredients – cayenne, garlic, paprika, chili, sriracha, tamari – this is a bold and scrumptious dish to woo even die-hard meat eaters.
Special Diet Notes: Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For a nut-free spicy grilled tofu salad, simply omit the walnuts, or toss with 1/2 cup sunflower seeds instead.
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or wheat-free tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon non-GMO canola oil (or other high-heat oil), plus extra for the grill
- Salt, to taste
- 1 block Organic Firm Tofu, sliced about 1 ½ inches thick
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅔ cup olive oil, plus extra for the grill
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 large bunch of your favorite salad mix (arugula, mesclun, romaine lettuce, etc)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (see note above for nut-free)
- ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
- In a small pan, toast the cayenne, garlic powder, cinnamon, and paprika until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- While the spices are toasting, mix the sriracha, soy sauce, and canola oil in a small bowl, then add in the toasted spices. Season with salt, to taste.
- Add the tofu to a large zippered plastic bag and drizzle in the spiced marinade. Press the air out, seal, and let the tofu marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
- When ready to prepare, heat a grill or grill pan over high heat and oil it well to prevent the tofu from sticking.
- Once hot, place the tofu on the grill and cook until thoroughly colored, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the salad mix, walnuts, and raisins to the bowl with your vinaigrette. Toss well to thoroughly coat.
- Plate the salad (or arrange in a serving bowl), and fan out the tofu on top to serve.