Tofu Amaranth Salad Recipe

A good number of you were curious about the tofu and amaranth salad pictured next to those chive pancakes I posted a few weeks back. Here's the recipe. Thanks for your patience!

Tofu Amaranth Salad

A good number of you were curious about the tofu and amaranth salad pictured next to these chive pancakes a few weeks back. Apologies for taking so long to write it up! The salad was inspired by two things. I wanted to make something with crunch, structure, and creaminess to go along (or inside) the paper-thin chive pancakes. And, I wanted something fresh, with a nice protein component - enough to make a meal of. I picked up beautiful little gem lettuces, fuchsia amaranth leaves, ripe avocado, and flowering basil. The dressing was coconut milk based. I used a partial can for the crepe batter, and didn't want the rest to go to waste, so it ended up in the dressing. I'm imagine a coconut green goddess dressing would also be great.

Tofu Amaranth Salad RecipeTofu Amaranth Salad Recipe

It's not a big deal if you can find amaranth leaves...just toss whatever you like into this bowl, really. The little gems, avocado, and dressing are a nice backdrop for all sorts of things - as we're heading toward fall, I think a roasted squash version would be equally nice! Or do a version with grilled tofu. Thanks again for your patience. xo -h

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Tofu Amaranth Salad

HS: If you can't find little gems, any structured lettuce will work here - baby romaine would be a nice substitute.

1/2 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

4 scallions, thinly sliced 

2/3 cup / 160ml coconut milk (full fat)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

2-3 heads of little gem lettuces, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons

a handful of amaranth leaves, or red lettuce, or spinach
12 ounces extra firm tofu, pat dry and cut into tiny cubes
1 small handful of basil leaves
1 small avocado, thinly sliced

Start by making the dressing. In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chile flakes into a paste along with the salt. Alternately, you can use a food processor. Add the oil and the scallions, and smash or chop a bit more. Transfer the mixture to a jar or bowl, and whisk in the coconut milk, then the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust with more salt or lemon juice if needed. You can store the dressing in a refrigerator for up to a week.
Be sure your lettuce and amaranth is well washed and dried, then combine in a bowl along with the tofu and basil. Toss gently. You can either dress at this point or serve the dressing to the side. Add the dressing a bit at a time, until the lettuce is coated to your liking. Taste, and salt, if needed. Add the avocado last and give the salad once last gentle toss.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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I really enjoyed this recipe. The dressing is super versatile, I will be using on other types of salad. No one could believe the dressing was vegan. One of my favorite recipes so far, I have already made it twice this week. I added peanuts to the salad to give it an extra crunch.


A coconut-milk dressing sounds like a pretty neat idea. I have been wanting to reduce my dairy intake even further, and in the past I mostly used yoghurt for dressing, but I’ll gladly give this a go. About your crockery, I think your style is pretty amazing, have you ever tried making your own?

HS: Thanks Ole! I have friends who do pottery – I think it’s incredibly challenging – happy to leave it to them 😉

Ole @cookingbrains

This dressing is a wonderful way to use up coconut milk! I loved it, and it was a nice change of pace. Nice and creamy.


I love to see a salad beautifully composed before it is tossed. Makes it seem extra special even with our usual ingredients. This salad has a few different things to pull us out of our salad ruts!

Jean |

Tasty! Just saw amaranth (and fennel & artichokes) growing in a public park in Lyon; I was so excited that there was edible landscaping. Even though the signs very sternly warned visitors not to pick any of the plants. Still, might have to put some in my garden when I get back home.

Claire at Plant & Plate

yay! as one of the people who asked for this salad I am so excited to try it later this week, I have a can of coconut milk open in the fridge and half a delicata squash that I was looking for a use for as well so this is perfect!
love and thanks


I believe Chinese spinach is another name for amaranth greens for those who have been having trouble finding them.


Hi Heidi – I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I love your dishes but always struggle with how to put multiple dishes together to form a meal to serve guests. It would be very helpful if you could suggest accompanying dishes in your posts, using previous recipes. Since you have a much better idea of what flavors go together and how to build a balanced meal, your guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!


I love how you put these simple things together, Heidi!


I LOVE amaranth – it’s so easy to grow, too! Colour, nutrients, variety … and it self seeds. 🙂

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic

I was on Fillmore over the weekend at Nest being a typical tourist. Every inch of that store reminded me of you…


your avocados are consistently perfect; unblemished and sliced in a way that is delicate. They embody your love and care (a funny thing to say, I know! that an avocado embodies you…well, that’s how I see it;)

marie frances

Loving this. Something about fall in California makes basil post October 1st absolutely acceptable, even exciting. Going to try this with the roasted squash.


Heidi, your avocados are always cut so beautifully. Do you have a preferred technique? Please share! This salad looks simple yet stunning.

HS: Hi Blaine Arin…First, I make sure it’s nice and ripe. Then I cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and cut each half into quarters. Then, I cup one of the quarters in the palm of my hand, and carefully slice thinly on a diagonal. Run the knife along the skin to release the slices….That said, it’s probably much safer to cut the avocado directly on the cutting board…

Blaine Arin @ Feel-good Food

Congratulations on having an item from your shop mentioned in Bon Appetit! Beautiful things …


Very beautiful! And it looks so delicious! I also love your dish wares. Where do you get such wonderful pieces?

HS: Thanks Lara! That was a gift from my friend Molly – her sister makes beautiful pottery.


As beautiful tossed as when simply composed!

diary of a tomato

I’ll toss some of my favorite extras 🙂 and yes, fall is coming, it will be golden outside soon.

Marta@What should I eat for breakfast today

So gorgeous! I particularly love the way you sliced the avocado.
Where did you get your lovely bowl? It’s looks like the perfect size for lunch salads and cozy eating. 🙂


Looks beautiful! I love the color from the amaranth leaves, I’m thinking I might try a variation with a bit of Thai basil…


Looks gorgeous, delicious, and healthy. A winning combination! Thanks!

Rockin Arugula

Perfect pictures… really adorable light and healthy food…Chiara

c h i a r a

This salad sounds lovely!! Such a fab recipe.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

This looks so yummy! And simple to make too. Perfect! Lucy xo


I have been using red amaranth leaves generously these days thanks to my garden. This salad looks yum with such an interesting dressing.

sangeeta khanna

They are so pretty (yes I do love to eat pretty foods)…Where did you get these? I see some red leaves at the market but they tell me it’s NOT amaranth. Something Chinese and red, but I always ask and never get amaranth. Maybe the Ferry Building?

HS: Hi Phi – yes, I got these at the Saturday market at the Ferry building 🙂

phi @PrincessTofu

This salad is so beautiful. I especially love how you used the amaranth greens. I recently bought a bunch of greens that look just like them (with that pretty purple color). I actually have a picture of them on my blog. The farmer told me they were called Chinese spinach…but I swear they were amaranth greens. They were delicious, so I guess it doesn’t really matter anyways!

Renee @ Nourish The Roots

No need to say sorry for taking so long! I have been waiting for this and I know you are very busy. Very clear description on what you wanted here. I can not wait to try this with my twist on your pancakes ( I made them into waffle version!)
That dressing sounds phenomenal!

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

Great colors here. One thing I’ll always remember from elementary school was learning “a colorful meal is a healthy meal”

jaime @ asweetroad

I have never seen Amaranth leaves before, just the seeds. It looks delicious!

Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

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