Kale and Kelp Noodle Salad w/ Tofu Bacon
This post was sponsored by Eat Smart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received product samples to facilitate my review.
This Kale and Kelp Noodle Salad with Tofu Bacon is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian. It might be “free” of a lot of things, but flavor is not one of them. This healthy salad is also the king of texture from crunchy to chewy and it doesn’t take long to prepare since I’ve taken a short cut with Eat Smart Salads.
I love things that don’t love me like cheese, bread and beer. Can you relate? I’ve always known that I had gluten and dairy intolerances, but I didn’t fully commit to avoiding them until this year. I’m determined to feel the best that I can – no matter how much I love bagels, craft beer and stinky, artisan cheeses. I’m actually quite happy and feeling very… light and energetic.
My parents have also talked me into eating according to my blood type. Have you guys seen this? Well, I’m type O and therefore shouldn’t be eating pork. Yes, add bacon to my list of “never agains”. Luckily, I’m already a big fan of vegan “meats” and have been making FACON for years. I normally use tempeh, but today I’m using thinly sliced, firm tofu. These are fabulous salad toppers!
Tofu is like a sponge, so it can take on any flavor you marinate it in. I want a smoky, rich, bacon flavor so I’m using a marinade with tomato paste, soy sauce, Worcestershire, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is everything, especially when it comes to fake meats.
Just drain and slice the tofu (extra firm) thin. Don’t worry if they are not all percectly uniform slices. The thinner the slice, the crispier the result. Sometimes the slightly thicker pieces are nice too since they have more chew. Just depends on what you’re looking for. For maximum flavor, let the tofu slices marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Minimum, let them marinate for an hour.
For tofu bacon, there are two cooking methods – bake or pan fry. I feel like baking does a better job evenly cooking the tofu, but in a pan, you can really get them crispy. And so, I do both. I bake and then I quickly fry.
The real star of the show today, though, is the kale and kelp salad, which I can’t take a lot of credit for. The base of the salad is an Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit in Sweet Kale. This particular kit contains: kale, cabbage, sliced brussels sprouts, broccoli, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds and a fabulous poppyseed dressing. This salad kit is DELICIOUS. I love the convenience of having everything I need in one bag – the greens, the extras and the dressing. It is perfect as is, but I almost always add kelp noodles to my salads. They are super crunchy and have great health benefits. Plus, my kids eat them and call them “alien noodles.”
Looking pretty good so far, right? Now we chop up the facon and throw that in. Then comes the poppyseed dressing.
What’s that? Caught me cheating? Those delicious, creamy cubes are actually vegan cheese, but if you’re not into that I recommend mozzarella or goat cheese to top off this salad – something creamy and light.
It can be hard to eat healthy every day, especially with a family, work and other obligations. I get it. That is why Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits are great to keep in stock. Get fancy with them by adding your favorite protein, or don’t. They are total weeknight lifesavers! Check out this store locator to find them near you! Keep in the know with Eat Smart on Facebook and Instagram.
Enter below for your cance to win one of Ten (10) AMEX Gift Cards at $50 each and samples of all five Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits (for a total of five salads)! Giveaway closes 10/07/16
I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (10)
Kale and Kelp Salad w/ Tofu Bacon
- Eat Smart Vegetable Salad Kit – Sweet Kale
- handful kelp noodles
- cheese of choice, cubed
- 1 block tofu, drained and thinly sliced
- 1Tbl liquid smoke
- 1 Tbl Worcestershire
- 1 Tbl maple syrup
- 1 Tbl tomato paste
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- Assemble marinade: liquid smoke, Worcestershire, maple syrup, soy sauce, tomato paste and water. Whisk to combine. Submerge tofu and allow to marinate for at least an hour – preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tofu slices on a silpat-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry tofu slices until crispy. Chop.
- In a bowl, combine Sweet Kale Salad Kit, kelp noodles, tofu bacon and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!