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One food that always gets a much badder (worse?) rap that it deserves is pizza. Now, let me preface this by saying I get why there’s that “pizza is junk food, pizza is greasy and full o fat” stereotype. I mean, look at the deep dish, stuffed crust, loaded cheese, pepperoni and even pizza stuffed crusts that exist in our world today. As tasty as they are, you can’t eat them on regularity, especially not on a weekly pizza night. And to be honest, that’s why pizza night was so rare in our house, minus those few nights we succumbed to takeout or enjoyed a fresh slice of homemade ‘za. However, that’s about to change, because you know what? Pizza deserves a second chance.
That’s why I’m teaming up with the folks at Freschetta, who are changing the way we view, and enjoy, pizza. Freschetta is focused on the quality ingredients they use in their pizzas, and for Artisan Crust it is all about the 3 whole grains that go into the delicious crust. Plus, their brick oven pizzas (which are available everywhere, including Publix) feature wholesome, natural toppings, like mushrooms, fresh spinach and just the right amount of natural cheese.
And since the crust is naturally rising, it isn’t stuffed with weird chemicals or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Now, I’d be happy to just talk about this pizza (how amazing does it look?) all day, but enjoying a slice was only half the challenge. I was tasked with creating a healthy, nutritious dish to enjoy along side these pizzas, something that even the pickiest of husbands (ahem, E) would enjoy. And, since I know I’d be pairing it alongside a vegetarian pie, knew immediately what this was going to be.
Introducing this beautiful, Middle Eastern tofu salad! Now, I’m clearly no stranger to the tofu salad concept – see it here. However, I knew I watned to blend some of those exotic spices I’ve picked up on my many jaunts overseas and give this salad a bit of a Middle Eastern flair. So, I baked the tofu with a blend of Moroccan spices and harissa, and tossed the salad with a few of my favorite, protein packed, low-calorie favorites; red onions, chick peas, kalamata olives, feta cheese and red quinoa.
The greatest thing about this salad is it stands up on its own, even against pizza. However, the pairing of the Brick Oven Naturally Rising Mushroom and Spinach Pizza was a true match made in heaven. The soft baked crust and simple toppings made every bite of the spiced tofu and zesty quinoa that much greater.
So go ahead, bring pizza night back to your house, and when you do, make sure this Middle Eastern Tofu Salad is on the menu too. It was picky husband approved, which isn’t an easy feat.
Learn more about Freschetta’s new, natural pizzas on Twitter and YouTube!
Middle Eastern Tofu Salad
Serves about 4 – 6.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: About 45 minutes
- 8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 1/4 cup cooked red quinoa
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 15 ounces chick peas, drained
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 teaspoon spicy harissa paste
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced