I love warm salads. They are the perfect spring or autumn meal; not too heavy to weigh you down but just warm and hearty enough for the season.
They are also very quick and easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Thirty minutes or less? Yes, please!
- Balsamic vinegar has been listed as both safe and unsafe, depending where you look. Monash University lists 1 tbsp. as safe and 2 tbsp. as containing moderate levels of fructose. Most balsamic vinegars are actually flavoured wine vinegars, so it’s hard to tell whether the authentic balsamic vinegar or the imitations are being referred to. At any rate most people aren’t buying the real deal, they’d be much too expensive to cook with except on very special occasions. I can tolerate 2 tbsp. of the imitation balsamic vinegar that I buy.
- Butter is very low lactose, as during production the water-soluble sugar was removed along with the buttermilk.
- Cherry tomatoes are considered low FODMAP in half cup servings, according to Monash University.
- Mushrooms are considered by Monash University to be high in mannitol and have moderate FOS in one cup servings. Different mushroom varieties have different levels of FODMAPs and I can tolerate the less than half cup serving of button mushrooms in this dish, as polyols do not affect me and the FOS has been reduced enough for my tolerance levels.
- Green chives are low in FODMAPs, just make sure you don’t use the white root portion.
Grilled Tofu Salad
- 2 cups loosely packed spinach, de-stemmed
- 225 g/8 oz extra firm tofu
- 1 cup cherry or vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- 3/4 cup button mushrooms, diced
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. minced green chives
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or whole
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 + 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. butter or dairy free equivalent (vegan option such as coconut butter or Nuttelex etc)
- 2 tbsp. flax seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp. each of salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
Slice the tofu so that it is approx. 2 cm thick and wrap it in paper towel, then sandwich it between two chopping boards and place something on top to lightly press it down. This will squeeze much of the fluid out of the tofu. Leave it like that for 20 minutes; in the meantime, prepare the vegetables.
Seal the surface of your a fry pan, then unwrap and fry the tofu for about 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown. Divide the spinach leaves between two plates or pasta bowls and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the oil and your choice of normal or vegan butter over a medium-high heat and then put in the garlic; let it simmer for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Next, lower the heat to medium and saute the mushrooms until they have softened considerably and begun to release liquid, then throw in the rosemary and first 2 tbsp. of chives. After a minute, add in the tomatoes, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar and stir until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.
The vegetables should be done at about the same time as the tofu, so divide the vegetables between the two servings (place on top of the spinach) and then take the tofu off the heat and slice it into strips. Place the tofu on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with remaining chives and flax seeds (optional but I like the crunch). The flax seeds aren’t pictured below.
Serve immediately, so that the vegetables and tofu are still warmed through.