Vegan Greek Salad

Greek salad is very easy to prepare and bursting with flavor. It is locally called horiatiki or xoriatiki, which means village in Greek. The salad is mostly present in Greek tables at home in summer months. Authentic Greek salad is made from a mixture of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, olives, onions, bell peppers, capers, cucumbers, and feta cheese. It is drizzled with an olive oil-based vinaigrette on top and not mixed before serving. The salad is traditionally served with bread, not pita. It serves as a side dish souvlaki, a popular Greek fast food made from small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer.

With this vegan Greek salad recipe, you’ll enjoy all the authentic flavors of a Greek salad and souvlaki without even noticing the absence of dairy-based feta cheese and meat. The feta cheese is made from brined tofu cubes while the souvlaki is made from a mixture of mushrooms, walnuts, herbs, and spices. Instead of adding the cucumber in the salad mix, it is shredded and incorporated in the dressing. A bed of arugula also make every bite of the salad interesting. This dish is perfect to take to picnics, serve on parties or just as a vibrant, delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal at home.

Ingredients:

This recipe takes about 45 minutes to make. The tofu feta needs to marinate for at least 3 hours. Serves 2 to 4.

• 8 cups of arugula
• 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
• ½ cup of sliced Kalamata olives
• ½ cup of thinly sliced red onion

Tofu Feta:
• 350 grams of extra firm tofu
• ½ cup of rice vinegar
• ½ cup of almond milk
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp sea salt

Creamy Cucumber Dressing:
• ¼ cup of olive oil
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
• ⅓ cup of shredded cucumber
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• ¼ tsp ground mustard
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ¼ tsp ground pepper
• ½ tsp agave nectar

Mushroom-Walnut Souvlaki:
• 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
• 3 tbsp water
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• ⅓ cup of sliced yellow onion
• 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 cup of walnuts
• ½ cup of whole-wheat flour
• 2 tsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp ground mustard
• ¼ tsp smoked paprika
• ¼ tsp ground sage
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ¼ tsp ground pepper
• 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions:

To make the tofu feta, start by making the brine.
In a large container, whisk together rice vinegar, almond milk, lemon juice, dried basil, garlic powder, and sea salt.
Cut the tofu block into 1-inch cubes, then submerge them in the vinegar marinade.
Cover the container with a lid and place it in the fridge.
Let the tofu cubes marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

To make the creamy cucumber dressing, put all the ingredients in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Transfer the dressing in an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.

To make the souvlaki, start by making a flax egg.
Mix ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl.
Set it aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
Sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat off, then transfer the sautéed vegetables to a food processor.
Add flax egg, walnuts, whole-wheat flour, soy sauce, tomato paste, parsley, onion powder, cumin, ground mustard, paprika, ground sage, salt, and pepper.
Process until you get a pâté-like consistency.
Form the mixture into patties with 2 1/2″ diameter x 1/4″ thickness.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Arrange the patties in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

To assemble the salad, spread arugula on a serving dish.
Arrange cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and red onion on top.
Place 2 pieces of souvlaki in the center, then top off with crumbled feta cheese.
Finally, drizzle with creamy cucumber dressing on top.

Ideas And Tips:

Aside from arugula, you can use Romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower sprouts or mixed salad greens.

For the souvlaki, you may substitute mushrooms with firm tofu or tempeh.

You can also add green bell peppers, avocados or caper berries to the salad mix.

If you want to neutralize the strong flavor of the raw onion, you may soak the slices in an ice water bath for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Vegan Greek Salad
images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h49NODQRAaA

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