This balsamic tofu quinoa strawberry salad is a perfect grain salad for spring and early summer! It’s hearty yet refreshing, and it’s also packed with vegan protein.
In spite of a chilly couple of evenings here in New York, it’s summer, and with summer comes the sweet arrival of fresh strawberries at the farmers market. The moment is extra special because it heralds more summer berries and fruits to come, and I’ve been celebrating by putting strawberries in and on everything—this balsamic tofu, quinoa & strawberry summer salad included.
Technically the salad spans the seasons—it’s got radishes, baby greens, and green beans, which are abundant in spring, but the strawberries give it a summery feel for sure. I love how the bitter radishes contrast with the juicy, plump sweetness of the fruit.
I mentioned recently that in spite of it being warmer now, I still tend to go for grain salads with plenty of plant-based protein, especially if that salad’s intended to be a meal. There’s protein aplenty here, both from quinoa and from firm, seasoned cubes of my favorite balsamic baked tofu.
I’m always inviting my clients to keep some basic, versatile vegan proteins in the fridge. This tofu is one great example. Some others are my lemon pepper tempeh cubes, easy BBQ lentils, and brothy white beans.
The balsamic baked tofu cubes are especially great for adding to salads and vegan lunch bowls. If you don’t have time to prepare it from scratch, then you could replace it with a marinated, baked, store-bought vegan tofu. There are a number of options available, and they can be very useful when life gets busy.
The rest of the salad pretty much speaks for itself: fluffy quinoa, chopped green beans, radishes, strawberries. And, oh yeah—the balsamic Dijon tahini dressing that I just can’t get enough of!
Here’s the recipe.
There’s so much nutrition here; it’s most definitely a power plate! Oftentimes I find that summery salads don’t quite have the macronutrient balance that I need to stay full (protein + complex carb + healthful fat), but this one does—with plenty of fresh, seasonal flavor. A new keeper for me, for sure.
Speaking of all this, so happy that a bunch of you have already made the balsamic Dijon tahini dressing and loved it. If you’re enjoying it in your kitchen, you’re enjoying it right alongside me!
Wishing you all a sweet rest of the week. See you this weekend for some reads and recipes.