Southwestern Tempeh Salad

If you know me at all, you know I love my salad.


And if you know me really well, you also know that that I make a GIANT pot of it every Sunday night and eat it all week.  Okay I guess only my roommate knows that.  It takes up like our entire fridge.  Basically, she’s a saint.


A couple weeks ago I visited my brother in San Diego and on Saturday night we decided to cook together instead of go out to eat. He told me he and his wife have recently been cooking primarily vegetarian dinners and they have been working off a great site called  Naturally, I was pretty stoked to hear this and so we cracked open a couple beers that my brother brewed (yes, he is that cool), cranked up Led Zeppelin, and got down to bidness.


This recipe was inspired by the delicious dinner that we made in his kitchen.  The tempeh is marinated in soy sauce and sriracha, doused with lime, and oven baked into a spicy crispy salad topping.  And don’t think for one minute in real life I actually take the time to sprinkle sesame seeds on my food before I woof it down. HA. Oh the joys of a recipe blog.


If you’ve never cooked tempeh before, this is a great recipe to start with.  It’s easy, cheap, and oh sooo yum.  Try it out to impress your carnivorous friends.  They’ll be like, “whaaaaat the…wait, this sh*t is sickwitit.”


Southwestern Tempeh Salad

makes 3 servings of tempeh, and 7-8 servings of salad

  • mixed greens and veggies for salad (I use 3 hearts of romaine, 1 red bell pepper, 2 carrots, and 1 cucumber)
  • 1 cup sweet yellow corn
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 package tempeh
  • 3 T soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1 T Sriracha (or 2 T if you like it spicy like me!)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Start by getting the marinade ready to rock n roll.  Give the garlic a good mincing, then combine it with the soy sauce, Sriracha, lime juice, maple syrup, pepper, and cumin in a small bowl.  Make sure all ingredients are whisked together and fully incorporated into each other.
  2. Take the tempeh out of the package and crumble it into a small baking dish (mine is 9.25×5.25×2.75). Then pour the marinade over it, making sure each crumble gets drenched.  Mmmm.  Let it soak for at least an hour!
  3. While the tempeh is a soakin’ you can assemble the salad.  The salad items listed above make for a pretty huge salad, but when you’re done eating the tempeh you can use it for other meals.  Efficient right? That’s how I roll.  I shred the lettuce, dice the red bell pepper, thinly slice the cucumber, and shred the carrots into a large bowl and toss it all together.
  4. Add the corn to the salad.  If using caned corn, simply drain and add in.  If frozen, prepare according to the bag and then add it in.  If you’re using fresh corn, cook however your little heart desires and then throw it in.
  5. After sufficiently marinated, bake the tempeh at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  It should be browned and a wee bit crispy.  Sprinkle sesame seeds over it if you’re feelin classy. Then scoop out some salad into a bowl, add some bites of tempeh, slice avocado over it, grab whatever dressing be chillin’ in your fridge, and chow down. Que bueno:)

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