Creamy ranch kale salad with buffalo tofu! The title says it all… one last quick recipe before Thanksgiving. I’m on vacation starting now (in Berkeley, CA! So yes, I am hunting down Miyoko’s Creamery vegan cheeses to try). I’ll be back early next week with a new recipe. =]
I promised to share a salad recipe along with my avocado ranch dressing. It almost ended up using my go-to BBQ tofu recipe (will definitely share that one another time!), but I realized that since it was ranch, I had to go with buffalo. It’s just a classic combo!
I’m also excited to finally share my method for making tender, delicious raw kale salads. If you’ve been reading for long, you know that I limit added oils in my food when possible. The avocado dressing and toasted almonds provide tons of whole food healthy fats to this salad, so we’re already covered on that front. The texture is not exactly the same as oil-massaged kale, however, it’s (IMO) very superior to plain unhandled raw kale.
After you use this no-longer-top-secret kale trick, whip up some baked buffalo tofu, add a few other mix-ins and drizzle the whole thing with creamy vegan ranch dressing, well… you’ve got yourself a kale salad full of irresistible flavors, but with the health factor to back it up. If you have a soy or nut allergy, swap in buffalo cauliflower for the tofu, sunflower seeds for the almonds, and it’ll be just as good. 🙂
The instructions here have a super quick and easy baked tofu, but however you like to cook your tofu would be just fine. People have their preferences about tofu texture 🙂
Creamy Ranch Kale Salad with Buffalo Tofu
For the baked buffalo tofu:
- 16 oz extra-firm tofu drained
- cooking oil
- 3 tbsp cayenne pepper hot sauce divided
- 1 tsp maple syrup
For the creamy ranch kale salad:
- 1 lb lacinato kale cut into thin strips or chopped small (1 large bunch)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 lb baby spinach cut into thin strips or chopped small
- 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (or to taste)
- 1 to 2 ribs celery thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
- pomegranate arils (optional, for garnish)
- buffalo tofu (recipe above)
- avocado ranch dressing
To prepare the baked buffalo tofu:
- Press the tofu for 30 minutes, using a tofu press or by wrapping it in a thick towel and stacking it with heavy objects.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, then spray it lightly with cooking oil. Cut the tofu into cubes and toss them with 1 tablespoon of hot sauce.
- Line the tofu on the baking sheet, and spray the top of the tofu lightly with cooking oil. Bake the tofu for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until firm and lightly crisp.
- Toss the baked tofu with the other 2 tablespoons hot sauce and the maple syrup.
To prepare the creamy ranch kale salad:
- Meanwhile, place the chopped kale in a large bowl and sprinkle the kosher salt over it. Pour the white vinegar over the salted kale, and add hot water to cover. Allow the kale to soak for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Rinse the kale well, and pat or spin it dry. Toss it together with the spinach, almonds, celery, bell pepper, pomegranate, and baked tofu cubes. Dress to serve with ranch dressing.
- Store leftover salad separately from the dressing.