Rocket Salad with Balsamic & Agave Tofu (or Chicken)

If you're looking to find a great dinner salad or just a new recipe to try, this is the one! I start out with a bed of rocket (arugula) and top it with a combination of vegetables, avocado and nuts. You don't have to follow my toppings exactly, just use your favorite ingredients and every time the salad will get that much more exciting. Yes, a salad can be exciting (in my weird world) and I change it up each time by adding a new topping or trying a new dressing! I do, however, highly suggest using arugula, because the salad will not be the same without that key ingredient—if you must substitute, go with spinach or mixed greens. In less than 30 minutes, this flavor-filled dinner will not disappoint even the most discerning palates...even the saladphobes. I use tofu for this recipe, but I made chicken for my poultry-eating roommate and she loved it! Rocket is one of my favorite salad greens; not just because it's low in calories (just two calories per half cup serving) and high in vitamins A and C, but because of its strong, delicious flavor, compared to romaine, for example. This recipe serves two.

img01019-20100524-1944 Marinade 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1-inch cubes or 2, 4- to 6-ounce servings of chicken breasts 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 2 T soy sauce 1/2 T agave nectar 2 T extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves of garlic smashed A Pinch of fresh or dried Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and Marjoram. (Feel free to use any of your favorite herbs or leave them out completely if you wish)

Salad 1 bag wild arugula salad 1/4 cup julienned carrots 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup sliced (in halves) grape or cherry tomatoes Sliced red onions or scallions to taste 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/8 cup pine nuts 1/2 avocado cut into slices 2 servings of goat cheese (see package for serving size)

Salad Dressing 3 T olive oil 1 T balsamic vinegar 1 T agave (or honey) t sea salt

Directions Mix marinade in a shallow bowl or small tupperware and add tofu. Let sit for about an hour. In a medium-sized skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add tofu (with marinade) and sauté for about 10 minutes or to your liking. While the tofu is cooking, mix the olive oil, agave and sea salt in a small bowl. Put salad ingredients into a large bowl (leaving out the avocado and goat cheese), and toss. Put salad on two plates and add avocado, goat cheese and tofu to the top. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste and you've got yourself a gourmet salad!