I definitely have a thing for Greek salads. You know how most people working on moving towards a vegan or vegetarian diet have that one item of food they could never imagine giving up? Well, for a long time that was feta cheese for me, and specifically feta cheese sprinkled on a bed of crispy lettuce and smothered with tangy dressing.
A friend told me a while back that I needed to give tofu feta a try. Even though I've had success with lots of other DIY vegan cheeses, and even though I've found that tofu actually works as a delicious substitute for other cheeses like paneer, I was dubious. I guess with feta being my favorite and all I set the bar pretty high when it came to making a vegan version.
I finally gave tofu feta a try, and I'm kind of kicking myself for waiting this long.
Basically all you need to do is grab a block of tofu, squeeze out as much moisture as possible by pressing it, and then replace that moisture with a tangy, salty marinade to make it taste like feta. Some lemon juice, salt, and a little garlic for good measure was all it took.
Now, while my tofu feta was absolutely delicious, I'm not sure if you handed someone a plate of it and told them it was feta cheese they'd be fooled. The texture is a little different. But if you toss it with greens and bunch of Greek salad fixings, there's a pretty good chance they'd never notice those differences.
Kalamata olives, juicy tomatoes, red onion slices, and crispy cucumber would be those ingredients I'm talking about. For the dressing I went with a super simple red wine vinaigrette with some garlic and oregano. I kept the dressing on the light side by replacing a portion of the oil you'd normally find in this type of dressing with water, and since tofu feta is relatively light too, you end up with a vegan Greek salad that's way lower in calories than your typical Greek salad, but still totally satisfying! A meal sized portion (a fourth of the recipe) is totally meal-worthy and has just under 300 calories.
For the tofu feta cheese:
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained and pressed for at least 30 minutes, and cut into ½ inch cubes
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the vegan Greek salad:
- 2 heads romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- ½ medium cucumber sliced
- ½ medium red onion sliced into strips
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- Make the tofu feta by stirring the lemon juice, garlic, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the tofu cubes and gently toss to coat. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the tofu marinates, make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl or placing them into a sealed jar and shaking until well mixed.
- Place the chopped romaine lettuce into a large bowl and add the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and olives. Drain the tofu feta and add it to the bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss to coat everything.
- Divide onto plates and serve.