Roasted Squash and Maple Tofu Spinach Salad

Because sweet and savory compliment each other so well.

Because roasted veggies sound better than a salad, but you really should eat your greens too.

Because you can’t bear to cook anything more complicated than roasting tonight.

Because you had a heavy lunch and want something light for dinner.

Because that winter squash isn’t getting any younger.

Because I told you so, that’s why.

You should totally make this.

Roasted Squash and Maple Tofu Spinach Salad (serves 4)
I really love serving cold salads with warm toppings. It’s the best way to eat salads during the winter. 

9 oz. baby spinach

Tofu marinade:
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Wrap tofu in a kitchen towel, place in a medium sized mixing bowl and press it for at least 15 minutes with something heavy to remove moisture.  Mix together the ingredients for the marinade.  Remove towel from tofu and slice into 1/2 cm thick pieces.  Put tofu back into the bowl and pour marinade over the tofu.  Stir tofu and turn over with a spoon so that every piece is coated with marinade. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes.

Grease a medium sized baking sheet with some olive oil and place tofu on the pan (edges may touch, but do not overlap). Cook on 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Use spatula to flip tofu and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until tofu has crispy edges and is golden brown.

For Squash: 
1 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 delicata squash (or winter squash of your choice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Slice delicata squash into rings about 1/2-3/4 cm thick and remove seeds.*  Grease a large baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Place squash onto baking sheet (a little overlapping of edges is okay).  Sprinkle salt over the squash.  Roast on 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or until squash starts to turn dark brown in places.

*If using a different winter squash, you will want to cut in half, remove seeds, then cut into slices.

For Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In small bowl, combine pumpkin seeds and oil.  Add salt and cayenne pepper and stir well.  Place on a small baking sheet and cook at 325 degrees for 5 minutes or until seeds begin to brown.

For Salad Dressing:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients and stir well.

Divide spinach among four plates.  On each plate of spinach, top with 1/4 of the tofu, 1/4 of the squash, 1/4 of the pumpkin seeds.  Lightly dress each salad with the dressing  (a little over 1 tablespoon each).  Serve immediately.

The combination of sweet, salt, and savory just does it for me.  What can I say?