What makes a regular salad into a power salad? Well, I’d say that first and foremost, it needs to be a big salad. A meal salad! Not a side salad! Not the salad you get with your quiche at a restaurant that consists of a tiny handful of greens, a single tomato, and 2 limp cucumber slices!
How to make a power salad
Second, a power salad needs to be balanced and contain a good combination of macronutrients: those would be protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
And finally, a power salad should have some micronutrients too. Give me some antioxidants! Some trendy superfoods! Probiotics? Yes, give me allllll the probiotics! And don’t forget the fiber.
This right here happens to be my most favorite power salad, although sometimes I swap falafel for the tofu and a tahini dressing for the almond butter one. But anyway, let me assure you: this salad is meal-worthy. It’s got plenty of vegetables to keep volume eaters happy—lettuce, cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, and green onions.
Does it have a good balance of macros? It sure does! Tofu, cashews, almond butter, and hemp seeds bring protein to the table, while the almond butter and hemp also bring with them some heart-healthy fats. And then there are all the veggies—hello, healthy carbs!
Miso and apple cider vinegar are both sources of probiotics, and of course a rainbow of vegetables means there’s also a nice variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in this salad.
As a bonus, this power salad is also ideal for meal prep. Place the greens in your meal containers, then put in the (cooled) tofu and put the dressing in a little container to pour over everything when you’re ready to eat.
Photos by Ana Stanciu
Miso-Almond Power Salad with Baked Tofu
For the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoon white miso paste
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon tamari
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 4 tablespoons water
For the salad:
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes and cut into 8 slices
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. If the dressing is too thick, add more water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until it reaches a pourable consistency. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Place the tofu slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and turn gently to coat. Bake the tofu for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through the baking time, or until the tofu is just beginning to brown on the edges.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, drizzle the tofu with another tablespoon of dressing, making sure every piece is coated.
- While the tofu is baking, toss the lettuce, cabbage, carrot, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, cashews, sesame seeds, and hemp hearts in a large bowl. Divide the salad into bowls, add the baked tofu, and drizzle the dressing on top.