How I (Finally) Fell in Love with Tofu
In June 2004, I ate a sandwich sitting on a deck overlooking the ocean in Chadwick Beach, NJ. I don't remember the exact date, but it was while my husband was shooting a film called Tomorrow is Today and I was on set as a producer, doing things like calling American Express to ask for a credit increase, finding housing for the cast and crew and picking up actors from LA at Newark airport.
We were lucky enough to get three meals a day catered by a fantastic restaurant in Normandy Beach called Labrador Lounge. (If you visit anywhere near Normandy Beach, I highly recommend a visit there for lunch or dinner!) I've never seen the sandwich on their menu and though some details about it have escaped me over the last decade (like all the ingredients), I am sure of this: It was fantastic.
It was also the first cold tofu sandwich I'd ever had. And it won me over. Because previous to that the thought of eating cold, uncooked tofu was, let's just say... unappealing. (Maybe you can relate?) So I was thrilled to discover how delicious it could be.
I've had other tofu sandwiches since then, but none has compared to the memory of those few blissful minutes I spent nearly 10 years ago, staring out at the Atlantic Ocean. So I was determined to recreate the experience at home and so excited when this recipe did the job. Bonus: my girls love them too. Only thing missing is the ocean view...
That's a (Tofu) Wrap! Serves 4
14 oz container of extra-firm tofu 1/2 cup red onion 1 medium-sized carrot 2 stalks celery 4 tsp capers, with some brine 1/4 cup vegan mayo 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or himalayan pink salt 4 tsp fresh dill, minced 1/2 tsp horseradish freshly cracked black pepper, to taste 4 large collard greens OR 4 8" tortillas 1 cup baby spinach (if using tortillas)
Drain the tofu and wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Place between two plates and stand a couple cans of beans or tomatoes on top. This will press some of the water out of the tofu and prevent your sandwich from getting soggy.
Put the red onion and celery in a food processor and mince. Change to the shredding attachment and push the carrot through the feeder to shred. Empty the food processor into a medium-sized bowl. (If you don't have a food processor, no problem. Just mince the celery and red onion with a knife and shred the carrot on a box grater. If you don't have a box grater either, borrow one from a friend.)
Add the capers with brine, Vegenaise, salt, dill and horseradish to the bowl and mix to combine. Give it a few twists of the pepper mill too.
Unwrap the tofu and you'll discover the towel is very wet. Toss it in the laundry and cut the tofu into 1/2" dice. Add the diced tofu to the mixing bowl and stir gently to thoroughly combine.
Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.
If you are using tortillas, lay each one flat and use a 1/4 cup of spinach to make a row down the middle. Then cover the spinach with 1/4 of the tofu salad and wrap up burrito style. If you are using collards, you can skip the spinach and just cut off the collard green stems before placing 1/4 of the salad on each leaf and wrapping it up. Cut each wrap in half on a diagonal for a pretty presentation.
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