Tofu Pomegranate Pockets
Savory tofu bits combine with pomegranate to make a palate-pleasing pita sandwich. The pomegranate seeds add texture and a tart sweetness, while the ume plum vinegar brings it all together. Recipe contributed by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen from their book Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! (Fair Winds Press, 2012).
Makes 4 half pockets
For Tofu Bits:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained,pressed, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour, then rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice, or as needed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
- 4 cups chopped baby spinach or arugula
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- Two 8-inch pita breads, cut in half
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, divided
To make the tofu:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray an 8 x 11-inch pan with nonstick spray. Combine the tofu, tamari, 1 teaspoon of the liquid smoke, maple syrup, onion powder, salt, and pepper in the pan. Stir to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. When browned, remove from the oven and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke. Let cool before using.
To make the dressing:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Combine the spinach, red onion, and half the dressing in a bowl. Toss to coat. Fill the pockets evenly with the salad and then layer in the cucumber. Fill evenly with the tofu and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.
Serving Suggestions and Variations:
Want to take this one on the go? You can toss all the sandwich vegetables with the dressing and package it separately from the tofu. When you’re ready to eat, just fill the pitas with the salad and tofu.