Greek-Inspired Dinner Salad with Tofu "Goat Cheese"

A couple months ago, Christy Morgan from the Blissful & Fit Chef launched an awesome magazine for "plant-powered ladies who lift." I gobbled up the first issue! It is beautifully designed and is full of advice and resources for women, just like me, who are both vegan and into weightlifting. It's called Definition for Ladies. If you haven't already, be sure to check it out.

This post is my entry to the Definition Magazine Summer Salad Redux Recipe Contest. It is also the first recipe I've entered into a contest, believe it or not! I typically bookmark recipe contests and then quickly forget about them. Not this time, no, I knew I had to throw the hat into this competition. Why? Because I love salad.

When I first went veg, greens were not my favorite. To be fair, though, I grew up a pretty picky kid and if my parents had even offered me a plate of anything but iceburg lettuce I probably wouldn't have tried it. Oh, how times have changed.

I thought about what I might like to submit for the contest and I ultimately elected to feature tofu in this dish. Tofu can be intimidating but it is very good for you and can take on a lot of flavors when combined with other ingredients. It's a mission of mine to make more people into tofu lovers. Homemade tofu-based cheeses are easy to make and can be extremely flavorful with the right recipe. My tofu cheese is very soft, tangy, and a perfect substitute for goat cheese.

Greek-Inspired Dinner Salad with Tofu "Goat Cheese"
Makes 2 to 4 servings

Crisp baby greens drizzled with a homemade oregano infused dressing and topped with chunky veggies. Pair with homemade tofu "goat cheese" for a complete meal.

For the "goat cheese:"
1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu
Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

For the salad:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 (5 ounce) bag of baby spring mix
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1 green bell pepper, sliced into rounds
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
Kalamata olives, to taste

The tofu "goat cheese" needs to be prepared the night before. Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes. I use my Tofu XPress for this. Otherwise, place the block between to plates and set something weighty on top. The water will slowly exit. Drain the water off. Crumble the tofu into a food processor. Add the lemon juice, miso, salt, onion powder, basil, and vinegar and blend until thoroughly combined. Then add the coconut oil and continue blending until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. You may have to scrape down the sides once or twice.

Line a container with plastic wrap. Pour the cheese into it and the place in the refrigerator, uncovered, until ready to serve, at least 8 hours.

To make the salad, combine the grapeseed oil, white wine vinegar, oregano, and a few cranks of freshly ground salt and pepper. Whisk to incorporate. Slice the pepper and tomato. Then, in a large bowl, combine the spring mix and dressing and toss to coat.

Plate by starting with a bed of greens. Then add the sliced peppers, tomato wedges, and olives. Top with gobs of the tofu cheese as you see fit. Note, if you're preparing this in advance and will be traveling before consuming it, keep the cheese separate until ready to eat. It's very soft.

Don't forget to check out Definition for Ladies! You can also check out other entries in this contest by using the hashtag #definesalad on Instagram. There are a bunch of other entries that look super tasty! If you try my recipe, be sure to come back and leave me a comment with your feedback!

EDIT: The second issue of Definition is available now at this link. Also, I won "runner up" in the Best Everyday Category in the contest. Woo hoo!

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