about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Sesame Kale & Tofu Salad.

I don’t know about you, but after the festivities of last week, I’m starting to think I might actually smell like pumpkin pie spice.

With the holiday behind me, I’m feeling extra motivated to eat a lot of fresh and healthy food this week.  To me, nothing screams “health food” more than a salad full of greens.

I’m actually not a big fan of cooked kale.  Tragic, right?  I eat cooked greens because I know they are good for me, but I always turn my nose up just a little bit.  Sort of like a little kid questioning what mom is making for dinner.  Except that I am mom now, so the battle is really only between me and my willpower.

This raw kale salad is totally different though. 

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The sesame flavor is incredible, and I love the bright color and delicious crunch from the cabbage.  Veggies, protein, and good fats from the dressing – this salad is a nutritional powerhouse, and just what I needed to feel healthy and refreshed this week.

Sesame Kale and Tofu Salad

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)


Using a tofu press or a few heavy cookbooks, press and drain a block of firm or extra firm tofu.

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In the meantime, wash kale and remove greens from stems. Rip into bite sized pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.

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Cut head of red cabbage in half and slice very thinly with a knife or a mandolin. Be careful!

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In a separate bowl, combine sesame oil, tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and orange juice and whisk until well combined.

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Pour dressing over the salad and prepare to get messy. Roll up your sleeves and using both hands, work the dressing into the greens and cabbage. You want to toss and squeeze the greens gently until they begin to wilt a bit and absorb the dressing.

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Once the salad seems to have wilted and marinated a bit (probably 3 to 5 minutes of tossing), go ahead and cube your tofu into bite sized pieces and add to the salad. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sesame seeds on top, and season to taste with salt.

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The salad will taste best if you allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, and better if you give it longer.

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Serve by itself as a salad, or as an accompaniment to something like a big steaming bowl of brown rice!

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This salad is both healthy and filling, and absolutely delicious. 

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For baby-related posts, check out this week’s Babble

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54 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Heather @ Side of Sneakers     at 1:39 pm

That sounds so good- and it looks beautiful! Always a plus. ;)


Chase - the CHASE project     at 1:49 pm

Raw tofu? I’ve never had it raw before! But I do have a half a bag of kale which needs something to happen to it :)


Kourtney     at 1:50 pm

Love your blog!!!

Just wanted to give you a heads up – your babble hyperlink leads to your Being Pregnant blog rather than your Baby’s First Year blog.

XOXOXOXO Love your blog tons!


Emily Malone Reply:

Aha! Thank you – I will change it! :)


Laura @ She Eats Well     at 1:55 pm

This salad is perfect as a detox, clean meal. I am totally going to make this during the week to make up for all the crazy Holiday weekend party food :). Yum!


Becca     at 2:01 pm

The salad looks really, really great, but I worry about the raw tofu taste… yuck! I think it might be better if the tofu were baked (as per your instructions on the blog) first…


Melissa @ HerGreenLife Reply:

If you want to avoid the “raw tofu” taste without cooking, try making some extra dressing and marinating the tofu in that for 12-24 hours first. I can enjoy raw tofu, but my hubby won’t go for it.


Emily Malone Reply:

Good idea! But I love raw tofu. :)


Emily Malone Reply:

You could definitely bake it! I actually like raw tofu, but it’s not for everyone.


Jillian Reply:

Ha- the raw tofu comments struck me as funny because, um, the last time I actually *cooked* tofu was over a decade ago! I forgot most people probably do cook it, but I guess I actually prefer it raw. (There, now I can also say it has nothing to do with laziness ;) Actually, I only cooked it back when I was vegan/vegetarian..I think it probably had something to do with the type of meals I would typically make with it (heartier versus light/fresh)
I think I will add some arame to this so I can use up my leftovers :)


Katie     at 2:03 pm

I just got home from the grocery store with Kale & Cabbage, good thing I read this post :) I know what’s for supper now!


Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN.     at 2:04 pm

I miss cute pics of Cullen when he’s not in your posts! ;) Your salad looks great – sesame seed oil gives the BEST flavor and I love how a little goes a long way, especially mixed with rice vinegar!


Emily Malone Reply:

Haha I almost included one but decided perhaps it was not necessary. :)


Jessica Reply:

Um, yeah it is necessary :) He is one beautiful baby and his pics make me smile.
I have never tried raw tofu, hhmmm…


Shady Reply:

I’m aware that I’m going to sound like a complete witch and i apologize for that, but I really appreciated the Cullen free post. I’m (weirdly many may say) not a fan of kids but a huge fan of your recipes. Sorry.


Emily Malone Reply:

To each his own! I’m sure there will be plenty of baby posts down the road, but I plan to include lots of food and recipes too. Glad to hear you enjoy them!


Ruth Reply:

I love your baby posts! I feel very identified with your story ( no babies yet :-/ ) I also love this recipe and raw tofu. I actually have a raw tofu recipe on my blog! !


Jordan Wandfluh Reply:

I agree, at least one photo of Cullen a post!


Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 2:16 pm

I will probably make this soon, once I get me some kale (have all the other ingredients)!


Rachel     at 2:23 pm

I’ve actually never eaten raw kale, except in a smoothie. I love it cooked, so I really should try it raw. I don’t know why I haven’t. This sounds so good that I think it may have to be how I try it :)


Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)     at 2:52 pm

Great colors! Looks so healthy. :)


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn     at 3:28 pm

Click, sending to Momma.


Kristina     at 3:28 pm

Mmmm…kale. Ironically I just bought all of the ingredients to make your Kale & Roasted Vegetable soup, which is one of my favorites…but now I’m tempted to make this instead…


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 4:14 pm

Holla to my fellow rice cooker devotee! Haha–couldn’t resist. But I should probably never use that word again… :)


Crystal     at 4:30 pm

The salad looks delicious. My only hesitation is the raw tofu. I’ve never had it uncooked before. Guess I’ll have to give it a try this week!


Heather @ Get healthy with heather     at 4:48 pm

A big bowl of greens always gets me going on the right track too. This looks delicious!!


Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}     at 4:56 pm

I agree that eating greens always makes me feel better. This salad looks great. Well, except for the raw tofu. Can’t get on board this that. Otherwise, looks great!


Katie @ Peace Love and Oats     at 4:58 pm

Ahhhh looks so good, but I can’t eat soy! I do love kale though, in all forms! and now that Trader Joe’s sells it, my life is complete.


maribel     at 6:49 pm

Can you give us a sample of what you eat thru out the week. (It might be easier to look back before baby…at least for me I don’t really remember those early days, I just munched on anything I did not need to take to much to prepare) . This coming year I want to switch to a healthier way of eating…more plant based. I want to avoid processed foods.


Kristen @ Life as an Americanadian     at 8:48 pm

I’m not a fan of cooked kale either! I need to try this asap…looks yummy!And I agree…more Cullen pics! He’s such a cutie and has the best expressions…you can almost tell exactly what he’s thinking :-)


Jordan Wandfluh     at 8:58 pm

Can NOT wait to try this! It is so simple and looks amazing!


emily     at 9:38 pm

Oh my word- this looks AMAZING.
I can’t wait to try it. :)


Susan H. @ the food allergy chronicles     at 7:06 am

I didn’t know you could eat uncooked tofu. I imagine one could serve this dish as a cooked version…sauteeing the kale, cabbage and tofu and then tossing it with the dressing. Either sound delish! Beautiful colours in this dish.


Marie@feedingfive     at 7:51 am

This looks so fresh and healthy. My kids would never go for it but I would love to make it for my sister and my mom.


Amber K     at 10:37 am

Interesting, I had no idea you could eat tofu raw. Why did this not occur to me? Probably because this is the first recipe I have ever seen where you don’t cook it!


Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous     at 10:45 am

What a great recipe for all the kale I get from my CSA!


kristen     at 11:35 am

Ive been making kale caesar salads lately and they are so filling and make me feel better, especially after Thanksgiving.


Rebecca     at 11:54 am

This looks SO good!! I can’t wait to make it!


Katie (Sweet Tater)     at 7:13 pm

i want this immediately, please.


mi-an d.     at 9:53 pm

i’ve made kale salad before using bragg’s and rice vinegar as dressing…so def going to try this recipe as they flavors are def my faves!! and the ingredients!!


Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count     at 6:22 am

That’s so different and it looks really good!


carrie     at 7:59 am

Thanks for this recipe! I just made the kale salad part and am letting it sit for a little bit to marinate. I am going to sear some tofu to go with it. I don’t think I would love un-cooked tofu. I love the dressing and how it has some heat in it! It’s perfect for detoxing after Thanksgiving!


Emily Malone Reply:

Hope you liked it! :)


fluke     at 3:51 pm

This looks SO good! So making this ASAP! Red cabbage is a favorite of mine!


sugar fluke » breadcrumbs 2     at 10:36 pm

[...] Sesame Kale Tofu Salad. Doesn’t that just sound yummy?! Wait, do you even know what kale is? It’s okay, most people don’t. It’s delicious. Go buy some and make this salad. If you don’t, don’t worry, I’ll let you know how it is. [...]

Katie G     at 6:08 pm

I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! i’m glad i have some left over for lunch tomorrow! :)
I marinated the tofu in the dressing for a while and it’s the first time I can actually eat raw tofu! Thanks for the recipe!


courtney     at 9:39 am

just made this for lunch…it’s amazing! My husband agrees! Thanks!


Jen     at 10:56 am

hey emily! thanks for the recipe! how long will the dressing keep in the fridge? and can it be frozen for future use? thanks!


Emily Malone Reply:

Up to 7 days in the fridge (although it will separate so you’ll need to shake). Not sure about the freezer. My gut says no, but I’m not sure why…


Jen     at 11:05 am

one more question emily- does the 1/4 tsp of salt go in the dressing? it doesn’t say…. thank you!


Emily Malone Reply:

Just mixed into the salad (or the dressing) – either one! Sorry for the confusion!


Jen Reply:

thank you so much for answering reader comments i truly appreciate it as a learning cook!


Emily     at 7:10 pm

This is still absolutely the best salad ever. Every time I make it I think that I forgot how delicious it is!


Emily Malone Reply:

Yay! We love it too. :)


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