By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Kikkoman and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Umami is a term for the savory flavor that we taste. Soy sauce is just one of the foods that give a unique savory flavor to foods and it is a perfect ingredient to add to plant based meals that include beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan or vegetables. Soy sauce can also help meat eaters enjoy smaller portions because it adds umami to the rest of the meal so it is more satisfying! You can learn more about umami below in one of my previous blog posts.

Exploring the Taste of Umami!

In addition to adding umami flavors to recipes, another great benefit of using soy sauce, is that when it is used in place of table salt in recipes, it can help reduce the sodium in recipes by half! This means that if 1/2 teaspoon of table salt is replaced with 1/2 teaspoon of salt that the recipe can be 1000 milligrams of sodium less while adding more flavor! This was a wonderful thing for me to learn since a diet high in sodium has been linked to elevating blood pressure, retaining fluid in the body and also may have a link to bone loss. Soy sauce can help round out the flavor of recipes overall and can help enhance the palatability of a wide variety of foods like vegetables, whole grains and meat alternatives!

Kikkoman recently asked registered dietitians and other nutrition experts with Recipe Redux to share some of their Sodium Saving, Flavor Raising Recipes so I wanted to share one of my favorite salad recipes with you!

This recipe that I am sharing is not a typical recipe that you might think about when using soy sauce but it comes together wonderfully and I hope that you give it a try!

 

Marinated Tofu, Cherry, Pecan and Green Salad

Savory Tofu, Cherry, Pecan Green Salad

Using soy sauce in this salad works well because it helps caramelize the tofu and it is so flavorful that even meat eaters will love it. But for hard core carnivores out there, the marinade can easily be used for chicken or even shrimp. The balsamic vinaigrette uses soy sauce in place of table salt so it needs less sodium and it adds lots of umami flavor!

Makes 4 servings of salad.

1 recipe marinated Tofu (see recipe below)

1/2 cup red onion

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup toasted pecans

1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

1 small head of romaine, washed, drained and gently torn

Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

In four large salad bowls, divide salad greens, onions, cherries, marinated tofu and pecans. Lightly dress with balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with white cheddar cheese.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Kikkoman soy sauce

Pepper to taste.

Mix all the ingredients and gently shake

To make marinated tofu:

1 tablespoon Kikkoman soy sauce

1 tablespoon Kikkoman Rice Vinegar

1/2 tablespoon Kikkoman Sesame Oil

1 tablespoon sorghum

1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Below are some pictures and directions to make baked, marinated tofu. Below is a block of tofu, just before being cut and marinated.

Tofu off the old block

Slice the tofu into the size that you would like the final pieces into. This picture has the tofu sliced into 1/3 inch triangles but in this tofu salad recipe, I sliced the tofu into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes.

 

Pressed, sliced tofu

Make the marinade above and marinate tofu for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Turn tofu once.

Marinating Tofu on Baking Sheet

Bake tofu in the marinade at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, turning carefully once or twice. When it is done, the marinade will be absorbed and the tofu will be firm and crisp.

In addition to the Kikkoman’s regular soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. They also have a 50 % less sodium, gluten-free tamari soy sauce , a less sodium teryaki marinade and sauce and a 50 % less sodium, gluten-free teriyaki marinade and sauce.

I hope that you give this salad a try using some flavorful soy sauce! Eating salads, vegetables and moving towards a plant based diet can help lower the calories for those of us cutting back after the holidays and the bulkiness of the plant based foods and the satisfying taste can help us feel more full. I am glad that you stopped by the Vine Ripe Nutrition website and blog! I am a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville and you can find out more about me here !

 

 

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