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Warm Romaine Salad topped with BBQ Baked Tofu and creamy, homemade Tahini Ranch Dressing is a healthy-yet-hearty meal.
I love salads, and I miss them during the chilly months. This Warm Romaine Salad hits that light-and-crunchy spot without giving you chills. The sweet, sticky BBQ tofu is perfect with a lettuce crunch and creamy Tahini Ranch. You’re going to love this salad, you guys!
More salad goodness: Holiday Kale Salad with Warm Ginger-Cranberry Dressing, Seaweed Salad with Crispy Tofu
The trick to making this recipe on a busy evening is to time out your cooking. Here’s what I recommend:
- Get that tofu into the oven, stat.
- Make the Tahini Ranch Dressing.
- Divide the lettuce between your serving bowls and prep your kale and mushrooms to saute.
- Cook the kale and mushrooms when the tofu has about 10 minutes to go.
- Assemble and serve!
The warm tofu and veggies wilt the Romaine just a bit without totally killing that lettucey crunch. I am seriously addicted to this salad, you guys!
Preparing Your Tofu
The recipe below specifies using pressed tofu, and you definitely don’t want to skip that vital step. You can press and prep the tofu for this recipe in about the time it takes your oven to preheat, so it doesn’t even add much time, if any, to the whole shebang.
I use my EZ Tofu Press to press my tofu, because it gets the job done quickly while maintaining the block’s perfect shape. Pressing the tofu does two crucial things for this recipe:
- Makes your tofu more firm. You get an average of 1/2 cup of water out of a tofu block when you press it. That makes the tofu much more form and toothsome.
- Makes your tofu tastier. Getting that water out turns your tofu into a flavor sponge. Since you bake the tofu for this Warm Romaine Salad in a sea of BBQ sauce, you don’t need to marinate to get a flavorful result. The well-pressed tofu will soak in all of those wonderful BBQ flavors as it bakes.
Got your tofu pressed and ready to rock?
Let’s make that Warm Romaine Salad!
Check out the video for how to make your Warm Romaine Salad, then get the written recipe below.
Warm Romaine Salad with BBQ Tofu & Tahini Ranch
For the Baked BBQ Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu - pressed and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 1/2 cups vegan BBQ sauce
For the Tahini Ranch
- 3/4 cup tahini
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 cup water - or more, as needed, to reach your desired consistency - How much you need will depend on the tahini you're using.
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Kale and Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
- 4 ounces button mushrooms - sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 packed cups chopped kale
For the Warm Romaine Salad
- 8 cup chopped Romaine lettuce
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
Make the Baked BBQ Tofu
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce into the bottom of an 8x8" glass pan. Arrange the tofu cubes in a single layer, then top with the remaining BBQ sauce. Bake for 40 minutes.
Make the Tahini Ranch
- Combine all of the Tahini Ranch ingredients in your blender, and puree until smooth.
Make the Kale and Mushrooms
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion turns translucent and the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the kale to the pan and cook for another few minutes, until it wilts and turns a beautiful bright green. If the pan is getting dry at this point, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Whether you need the water or not will depend on your pan.
Make Your Warm Romaine Salad
- Divide the Romaine and carrots between four bowls. Spoon on the Kale and Mushrooms, then the Baked BBQ Tofu and a little bit of the extra warm BBQ sauce from the pan. Drizzle on the Tahini Ranch, then top each bowl off with 2 tablespoons of chopped green onion. Serve immediately.