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The Sacred & Delicious Food List

The Sacred & Delicious Food List is an addendum to the cookbook, Sacred & Delicious. Author Lisa Mitchell decided to distribute this comprehensive list of the foods through her website so that she would be able to update it more easily. These are foods found in most modern kitchens. The list organizes the foods into categories to reflect how they fit in your diet from an Ayurvedic perspective.

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Versatile Vegan Sides and Salads for Summer Entertaining

This gluten-free Tofu Salad with Summer Vegetables is a perfectly satisfying and delicious dish that can travel with you to any event this holiday weekend. Serve it chilled at a Memorial Day picnic or serve it as a warm side dish on your family patio.

This Tofu Salad with Summer Vegetables is ideal to pack in a cooler to travel to the beach, to the lake, or to the mountains, and be glad you didn’t have to stop for fast food along the way! Going to a potluck this weekend? Then take this dish to avoid going hungry when you’re surrounded by tables full of meat, dairy, breads, and cakes.

A Jamaican Vacation

When my husband and I were in Jamaica earlier this month to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, we ate a delicious tofu salad that served as the inspiration for this recipe. We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Hotel in the Rose Hall district of Montego Bay. I learned that Iberostar resorts are surprisingly conscious about food allergies and sensitivities, and they make a point of having plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes for vegans and vegetarians. (We ate fresh papaya and mango every morning for breakfast—yum!)

I spoke at length to Chef Nickesha Smith who was responsible for the vegan options, thanking her for the attention that they put into serving those of us who are often underserved in hotels and restaurants. She introduced me to Chef Tian Dixon who developed a lovely tofu salad that I’ve modeled my version after.

Cooking Tips

If I had learned to use the mandolin slicer that was given to me as a gift, I might have reduced the prep time, but alas, I did not! Next time I want to employ a time-saving device, I will begin learning how to use it a little earlier.

When developing this recipe, I made a small amount to serve four. However, you could easily double the amount and serve it as a dinner entrée. Or you could serve it as tofu and vegetables over quinoa or rice.

Please note that I cooked this dish in a nonstick pan because tofu is infamous for sticking to stainless steel. I’m not a fan of most nonstick cookware, but this Danish brand, the Stratanium ScanPan, is said to be completely safe. The company promises that no metals or chemicals will leech into the food.

Although many of us across the country will think of this holiday weekend as a kickoff to the summer, let’s also remember that Memorial Day is in honor of those who have died serving our country over the centuries. May each of us do our part to protect our sacred democracy in 2024.

PS Here’s another delicious Tofu Salad recipe, which is reminiscent of egg salad.

Chef Nickesha Smith at the Iberostar Grand Hotel in Montego Bay.



Preparation Time: 45 minutes or less
Serves 4

1 16-ounce cake of extra-firm tofu
1 small red onion
1 small red bell pepper
1 small yellow bell pepper
1 large zucchini
2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or ¼ teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon mineral salt

1. Press the tofu by placing the tofu block on a heavy dinner plate and covering the block with a second plate. Weight the top plate by placing a heavy object, such as a cookbook, on it. Press the tofu in this way for 20 to 30 minutes while you prepare the vegetables. Afterward, pour off any water and dice the tofu into ¼-inch squares.

2. Finely dice all the vegetables and set them aside in separate bowls. Heat 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil in a large nonstick pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and brown for 5 minutes. Stir, turning as much of the tofu as you can, and brown for another 5 minutes. Let the cooked tofu drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to the pan with half of the onions. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add the peppers and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Finally add the zucchini along with the tamari, reduce the heat to medium-low, stir, and cover for 5 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.

4. While the zucchini is steaming, pour 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil and the tablespoon of olive oil into a mixing bowl. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and salt. Add the tofu and vegetables along with the remaining raw onions. Stir to coat the tofu and vegetables with the oil and seasoning. Add more sesame oil and salt to taste. Serve immediately or chill first.

Ayurvedic Note: Although this dish is fine on occasion for all doshas, people with severe arthritis are advised to avoid eating peppers and all nightshades.


Tofu can be difficult to digest for vata types, so add more garlic and ginger and/or a pinch of asafetida (hing) to the dish when sautéing the onions.

Avoid raw onions as they are over-heating!

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