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Mason Jar Salads with Butternut Squash, Tofu and Quinoa

Mason Jar Salad with Red Curry Tofu, Quinoa and Butternut Squash

You can mix and match your favorite protein and vegetables to these mason jar salads!

Ingredients

Scale

Orange and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 6 tablespoons Nature’s Intent Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Red Curry Tofu

  • 2 12-ounce packages of extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (or use tamari if gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (brown sugar or honey works, too)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Mason Jar Salads

  • 4 32-ounce wide-mouth canning jars
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 4 to 5 cups mixed greens

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar. Cover with a lid and shake until the ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Set it aside.
  2. Prepare the tofu: Drain the tofu and wrap the tofu blocks around a layer of paper towels to dry the tofu even more. If you squeeze the block of tofu, and notice that it squishes pretty easily, you’ll need to press the tofu. Place each wrapped tofu block onto a separate plate. Then, add a stack of plates over each block of tofu. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes to press out some of the liquid. Pressing isn’t necessary if your tofu block feels firm.
  3. Prepare the red curry sauce: Mix the red curry paste, soy sauce, maple syrup (or brown sugar/honey), and toasted sesame oil in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  4. Cook the tofu: Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat 2 large non-stick pans over medium-high heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in each pan. Add the tofu cubes and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, flipping the tofu a few times to brown some of the sides. Consolidate the tofu into one pan. Pour the red curry sauce into the pan and stir to coat the tofu with the sauce. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce fully soaks into the tofu. Turn off the heat and let the tofu cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Assemble the mason jar salads: Grab the vinaigrette. You’ll notice that the oil has separated. Give the jar a good shake to combine the ingredients before assembling the salad. Gather all your mason jar salad ingredients together, as well as the 4 mason jars. Add the following ingredients into each jar in this order: 3 to 4 tablespoons of vinaigrette, 1/4 of the diced bell pepper, 1/2 to 2/3 cup roasted butternut squash, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 of the batch of red curry tofu, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, small handful of mixed greens (about 1 cup). Seal the jars and store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Notes

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Amount for 1 mason jar salad without dressing: Calories: 463, *Total Fat 25.3g, Saturated Fat: 3.7g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 625mg, Total Carbohydrate: 43g, Dietary Fiber: 8.4g, Sugar: 9.2g, Protein 22.8g

  • ROASTING BUTTERNUT SQUASH: If you don’t have roasted butternut squash ready to go, start with a squash that is about 1 1/2-pounds. You can roast a larger one and use the leftover squash for something else. Peel, trim and deseed the squash. Chop the squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast at 375ºF for 30 minutes, or until fork tender. For those of you who buy packages of cubed butternut squash, 10 ounces of the squash should be enough.
  • COOKING QUINOA: If you don’t have the quinoa ready to go, grab a large saucepan and boil 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Once the water boils, cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 to 18 minutes, until liquids are absorbed by the quinoa. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for an additional 10 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
  • It is essential that you use a non-stick pan to fry the tofu. Otherwise, it will stick to the bottom of your pans constantly, and that’s just annoying.