Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crispy Kale and Tofu Salad with Coconut

I fully realize that I teased you with the prospect of Fry-Daddy recipes and photos. But, before I go on my fatty-bo-batty kick, I thought I'd leave you with one more uber healthy recipe. In an effort to expand my cooking horizons, I made perhaps my third tofu dish ever. Though I'm a huge fan of tofu, I just haven't had a ton of luck cooking with it.

Coconut Brown Rice Kale SaladLuckily, this fairly simple, but not that attractive recipe came together quickly and tasted quite yummy despite the healthy virtues of its contents. When I first spotted this in Food & Wine magazine, it seemed to be such an odd concoction of ingredients that I was immediately intrigued, mystified and inspired to make it despite my past failures with tofu. I'm not sure how one thinks of combining brown rice, kale, coconut and tofu in one dish but it works!

Coconut Kale SaladBecause I'm a self admitted salt fiend/addict, I added Kosher salt to the salad before baking. Since kale seems to soak up salt like a sponge, please sprinkle judiciously. I think I went a little too far and ended up with one salty dish, which is fine by me but probably not the best for you!

Crispy Kale and Tofu Salad with Coconut
slightly adapted from Food & Wine
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used about 1/4 cup and thought that was more than enough)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds Lacinato (flat) kale—stems and ribs removed, leaves chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
pinch of Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350° and position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. In a saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 35 minutes, until the rice is tender.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Transfer two-thirds of the dressing to a large bowl. Add the kale, coconut and tofu; toss to coat, then spread on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, until crispy. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Stir once or twice and shift the pans halfway through baking. Return the mixture to the large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing and rice. Season with salt and serve right away.


Sophie said...

We've been eating a lot more tofu lately and it is tough to cook with, I agree. It seems to have a tough time soaking up flavor, I've found. The ingredients in this dish are really cool, though, I bet the coconut does a good job of adding flavor to the tofu. I'm gonna have to save this one!

La Bella Cooks said...

Sometimes I crave super-salty dishes so I may ned up trying it your way! I adore kale and this is a great recipe to add to the collection.

kat said...

We love kale & are always trying to find new ways o use it

Sarah said...

Rice with coconut, va va voom!!

Yay for the blogger festival, I'd love to finally meet you next November. Let's coordinate a little before.

Meandering Eats said...

We keep getting kale in our CSA box and I saw this recipe in F&W, too. Glad to know that it worked out and I'll definitely have to try it soon. As for tofu... my mom's mapo tofu rocks. I don't get it quite as great as she does, but it's a great dish to cook and it's hard to mess up the tofu doing so.

Are you going to the Foodbuzz thing? I saw the email for it and was thinking about it... would you be interested in coordinating travel plans for it?

grace said...

you were quickly losing me when i read your recipe title but the day was saved by one word: coconut. i'd definitely give this unique dish a try. and yes--bring on the salt. :)

Maris said...

Whenever I eat tofu out, I love it but never make it at home. This sounds like such a unique way to use kale, too!

Anonymous said...

I am having a love affair with kale. It all started when I lovingly grew some this last summer and the affair hasn't stopped. I passionately cook it as often as I can! Great recipe! Thanks!

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pigpigscorner said...

oops that happens to me sometimes. I would say drown it =P

Pam said...

This salad may just make me like tofu - it looks really delicious.

Jennifer said...

This sounds SO good with the coconut!

Bren said...

girl, i can't remember the last time I had Kare, but it sounds really good with coconut!!! I just made a coconut flan! sooo good. great combo you have there, sweetie! Hope life is treating you well.

The Blonde Duck said...

It looks good to me!

SYD said...

Kale is a new trend in Los Angeles; popping up everywhere. I'm not sure if I have learned to enjoy it quiet yet, but I'm open to trying new recipes.

I'll definitely give yours a shot. It looks great.

Chef Fresco said...

Tasty creation! We definitely don't cook enough tofu - nice recipe.