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keto tofu salad
5 from 1 vote

Keto Crispy Tofu Salad with Creamy Tahini Dressing

My Keto Tofu Salad is full of crispy tofu, veggies, pine nuts, & topped with a creamy tahini dressing. It's healthy, keto, and plant-based.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp water
  • ½ clove garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or to taste

For the tofu (if baking):

  • 1 14 oz block tofu, extra firm
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Braggs Aminos
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

For the tofu (if pan frying)

  • 1 14 oz block tofu, extra firm
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

For the tofu (if deep frying):

  • 1 14 oz block tofu, extra firm
  • 48 oz canola oil, one standard sized bottle
  • Fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling

For the veggies:

  • Arugula, I use 1-2 cups per salad
  • Red onion, cut very thinly in to half moons (I use 1-2 Tbsp per salad)
  • Bell pepper, thinly sliced (color of choice, red or green bell peppers are more keto-friendly; I use about 1 ounce per salad)

Everything else:

  • Pine nuts, I use 1 Tbsp per salad
  • Feta Cheese, I use ¼ cup per salad if not keeping it vegan, omit to keep this salad vegan

Instructions

Make the dressing

  • For the dressing, place everything but the water in your food processor/blending apparatus. Process until the garlic breaks down, and the dressing gets smooth and thick.
  • Starting with ¼ cup, add the water, and blend until it's incorporated. If the dressing is still too thick, add the remaining 2 Tbsp water, and blend until smooth and creamy. Dressing is done, set aside.

Instructions for baking the tofu

  • Over the sink with your hands, press as much water as possible out of the tofu block. Now cube the tofu into about 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. (I usually do just under 1 inch cubes). Take a look at my tofu tutorial here for my tofu pressing and cubing process.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the tofu, olive oil, aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt. Toss everything together, taking care not to break apart the tofu. Some cubes may break a little and that is ok.
  • Let the tofu marinate for about 5 minutes, or even a few hours in the fridge before baking. Just do whatever works best with your schedule.
  • Grease a standard-sized cookie sheet, and place the tofu cubes, evenly spaced, on the sheet. The cubes don’t have to be very far apart from each other, just make sure they aren’t touching.
  • Bake the tofu at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Take the tofu out of the oven, and flip each cube so a different side is touching the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Now take the tofu out of the oven, and do one more toss of the tofu. Don’t worry about being too precise here, just a quick toss is great.
  • Bake the tofu for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Tofu is done.

Instructions for pan frying the tofu

  • Over the sink with your hands, press as much water as possible out of the tofu. Now cube the tofu into about 1 inch by 1 inch pieces.
  • To a nonstick skillet, add the olive oil. Turn the heat on to medium, and let the oil get hot, about 30 seconds.
  • Now add the tofu, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to the skillet. The tofu will release more water in the skillet.
  • Let the tofu fry in the skillet until all the water and oil are absorbed, and the tofu browns, about 15 minutes. Flip the tofu with your spatula every so often to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Tofu is done, set aside.

Instructions for Deep Frying the Tofu

  • Over the sink with your hands, press as much water as possible out of the tofu block. Now cube the tofu into about 1 inch by 1 inch sized cubes.
  • Add the full bottle of canola oil to a large pot. Use a pot with at least a 12 cup capacity—this will keep you from potentially getting hit by oil when it's hot. Heat over medium-high heat until when you look at the oil, it seems to be separating.
  • Turn the heat down to medium. With a slotted spoon or a fryer skimmer, lower a few pieces of tofu into the hot oil. I usually do seven cubes at a time, but start with less until you get the hang of it. The oil will probably go a little crazy, but if you've pressed enough water out of the tofu, it won't be too bad.
  • Let the tofu sizzle away in the oil. Every so often, use your slotted spoon or skimmer to move the tofu around to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • After about 2 minutes, use your spoon or skimmer to carefully remove a piece of tofu from the oil. If it looks crispy and golden brown, the tofu is done . Remove all the tofu pieces from the oil. If the tofu is not crispy and golden brown, place the cube back into the hot oil, and check again in another 1-2 minutes.
  • Note: you will have to adjust the temperature under the pot at times. If the oil is getting too hot and really going nuts, turn the heat down. If the oil gets too cold and is not making the tofu sizzle, turn the heat back up.
  • Once the tofu is crispy and golden brown, remove all the cubes from the oil with your slotted spoon or skimmer. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil from the tofu. While the tofu is still warm, sprinkle with a little sea salt or fleur de sel.
  • Continue this frying process until all the tofu cubes are fried.

Assemble the salads and serve

  • Lay the arugula on your dinner plate. Then arrange the red onion and bell pepper on top. Sprinkle the pine nuts and feta, if using, followed by the tofu. Drizzle the creamy tahini dressing over the salad, and serve.

Notes

Carb Count:
  • 2 Tbsp Creamy Tahini Dressing: 1 carb
  • 3 oz tofu: 2 carbs
  • 1 cup arugula: 1 carb
  • ¼ cup Feta cheese: 1.5 carbs
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts: 1 carb
  • 1-2 Tbsp red onion: 0-1 carb
  • 1 ounce bell pepper: 1 carb
Total: 7.5-8.5 carbs per salad
This salad makes great leftovers for lunch.  If the Creamy Tahini Dressing gets thicker overnight, simply add a little more water before serving, and mix to incorporate.  A little bit goes a long way, so start with just a small amount of water.