VANCOUVER -- Here's how to make the celery and fennel salad with tofu or grilled albacore tuna featured on CTV Morning Live's Cook-Off.



  • 8 stalks of celery, sliced ¼" bias
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, sliced
  • ½ head radicchio, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley, rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup dates, diced
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup citrus dressing
  • Garnish: 30g toasted almonds, roughly chopped

Citrus dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. onion, minced
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
  • ¾ tsp. agave
  • ½ tsp. salt


Prepare a sauce pan with 2" of water with steamer basket, cover and heat over medium/high heat till simmering.

Wash fennel bulb, remove fronds and set aside. Quarter the fennel bulb. Working with one quarter at a time, place cut side against the cutting board and angle your knife to remove the dense, white core. Repeat with all four quarters.

Using a mandolin or knife, thinly slice fennel.

Place sliced fennel in steamer basket, cover and let steam for 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove from steamer basket and plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking.

While the fennel cools, prepare the other ingredients.

Wash and trim celery ribs. Slice on a 45-degree bias, into ¼" thick slices. Place in large mixing bowl.

Quarter radicchio and remove the dense white core (similar to how you prepared the fennel). Thinly slice. Place in bowl with celery.

Remove parsley leaves from steams and roughly chop leaves. Place in bowl with other ingredients.

Add chili flakes, reserved fennel fronds and chopped dates to bowl.

Remove fennel from ice bath and place in strainer to drain.

Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until combined. Measure ¼ cup of dressing and add to bowl.

Add drained fennel to bowl and toss all ingredients until combined. Garnish with toasted almonds.


Chili lime tofu ingredients

  • 1 package organic firm tofu
  • Full head of garlic
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or any other neutral oil you have on hand)
  • 2.5 tsp. sambal olek chili paste
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons agave
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2.5 teaspoons tamari


To roast garlic, preheat oven to 375 F. Slice bottom of garlic head off to reveal the cloves inside. Take a square of tin foil and place garlic pointy side down in foil. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Close foil around head of garlic and place in oven for one hour.

Remove tofu from package and drain excess water. Place tofu blocks on paper towels or a clean tea towel and gently squeeze out extra moisture. Cut each block of tofu into 4 even slices.

Remove garlic from oven and let cool. When you can handle safely, remove foil and discard, squeeze out roasted garlic from skin and place in blender.

Add all ingredients except tofu into blender and blend until smooth to make a marinade.

Lay tofu slices in an even layer in a container, cover with marinade, lid and place in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

To serve: preheat grill or grill pan until hot. Grill tofu on both sides until crispy and warmed through. Enjoy!

Grilled albacore tuna ingredients

  • 1 albacore tuna loin (about 1.1 to 1.5 lbs.)
  • Grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil – do not use olive oil here)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnish: Black sesame seeds


Preheat cast iron pan or grill until hot.

Rub oil over tuna loin on all sides and season with salt and pepper.

Oil cast iron pan or grill grates and place tuna over heat. Sear for 20-30 seconds per side and rotate and repeat until all sides are opaque. Watch the tuna closely here. We want to make sure we are not fully cooking the tuna as we will be serving it rare.

Remove from pan or grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Trim ends and save for a sandwich or another use, then slice tuna cross-wise into ½" slices.

Arrange over salad and garnish with black sesame seeds.