This tasty vegan salad is the perfect summer side of simple and nutritious lunch. It’s a refreshing combination of sweet and tender butter lettuce, fresh corn, bell peppers and tofu croutons, topped with a lime vinaigrette!
The joy of summer is almost upon us! My favorite part of the beach season is the produce– corn, zucchini, berries, watermelon, oh my! It’s all so good that each item can stand alone as a tasty snack.
Well, maybe you don’t want to bite into a zucchini, but you get my jist. Today I’m embracing that sentiment and bringing you a summer salad, featuring corn, peppers and lime with a special topper– tofu croutons.
This salad came together on a hot day when I didn’t want to turn on my oven. Living in a small apartment in NYC means that firing up the oven makes the temperature in my apartment rise by about 10 degrees. That’s not ideal in the warmer months.
Not to mention that summer salads taste refreshing and come together in such a short time. Plus, this salad’s vibrant colors invokes a summery vibe and makes you want to eat your veggies.
It all starts with some butter lettuce. If you’ve never tried butter lettuce before, go out and buy some right now. It’s a soft and sweet lettuce (just like butter) that is great for salads or lettuce cups. I topped the lettuce with three simple ingredients– fresh corn cut off the cob, diced bell peppers and tofu croutons.
If you’re wondering what I mean by “tofu croutons”, let me explain. As a vegetarian, I eat tofu for protein but I don’t really love tofu. That is, until I figured out how to make it actually taste good. The consistency of tofu needs to be just right for me to enjoy it, and I’ve figured out how to do that with these tofu croutons.
You just cut tofu into 1″ x 1″ cubes and pan sear it until it gets crispy and golden brown. Not only do these “croutons” add a nice texture to the salad, but they serve as protein, so you can eat this salad as a stand alone meal.
Now, you can buy canned corn, but I really urge you to take the 10 minutes to boil some fresh corn and cut it off the cob. It tastes so fresh and really makes this salad sweet and delightful.
All of these ingredients are pulled together with a sweet and tangy lime vinaigrette. It’s a combination of lime, dijon mustard, oil and honey, and it’s heavenly.
I hope you add this salad to your Meatless Monday meal plan, a summer BBQ or lunchtime routine. It’s sure to be one of your new go-to’s for a healthy serving of veggies with a tasty twist!
Butter Lettuce & Corn Salad with Tofu Croutons and Lime Vinaigrette
A refreshing and sweet vegan summer salad with tofu croutons and a tangy vinaigrette.
- 2 ears of corn
- 2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 block (14 ounces) of extra firm tofu cut into 1” x 1” cubes
- 2 heads of butter lettuce
- 2 medium bell peppers any color, diced
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the corn. Boil for 7-9 minutes, remove the corn from the water and set aside to cool.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. Add the tofu cubes to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip the tofu and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes (until golden brown). If you like it extra crispy, flip and cook for 5 more minutes.
While the tofu cooks, cut the corn off the cob and combine with the lettuce and diced red pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, dijon mustard and honey and season with salt and pepper.
Add the tofu and dressing to the salad and enjoy.