Savory Tempeh Salad with Turmeric Lime Dressing

So I just turned 28.

Is it just me or does anyone else ever catch themselves texting while driving after grossly overspending at Target on their way to happy hour on a Monday and have the heart attack inducing self doubt creep in like, “who lets me adult??? WHO? And WHY??!”

Despite these intermittent moments of sheer panic, I am actually faring quite well overall in the adult department. I am 100% ready for all of the exciting adventures up ahead that comes with getting a little bit older (the good, the bad, and let’s face it- the incredibly expensive).

And even though I may feel like a walking, talking normal sized human being, on the inside I’m totally wearing an adult diaper. I said on the inside. 

I was potty trained years ago.

Another year older or not, I still love eating the rainbow. And for good reason- all these bright, colorful, juicy fruits and veggies are teeming with healthful antioxidants and phytochemicals. This salad serves as proof; including a ton of colors in your bowl is not only delicious, your body is craving it. And don’t skimp on this salad dressing; there is so much scientific research out there proving that when you pair healthy fats like tahini with the greens in your bowl, it actually assists your body with absorbing the lycopene and beta carotene from the veggies.

YAS, ya heard me right- a little bit o’ fat helps the veggies go down.

So, friends, if you’re skimping on the dressing because you like, think it will throw a wrench in your plans to show off your butt in your new Lululemon (did I spell that correctly?) yoga pants, you’re doing it wrong.

Slather on this dressing nice and thick like, y’all. (IDK why I just got country, but I think I was trying to drive home a point.) ANYWHO…the tempeh in this recipe is delightfully smoky and savory- it’s marinated in a flavorful, umami bath and then cooked to crunchy perfection. The creamy dressing drizzled over the top takes this salad to the next level of taste and texture, and I highly recommend using it also as a sauce and/or in place of your nightly bath bomb. Just kidding. Maybe.

Sesame Tempeh Salad with Turmeric Lime Dressing

Makes: 2 salads

For the salad:

  • 1 block (8 ounces) tempeh
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • Ground black pepper
  • Mixed greens of choice
  • Radishes, sliced thinly (I used purple and watermelon)
  • Snap peas, sliced
  • Cucumbers, sliced thinly (I used lemon cuc’s)

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2″ piece fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 a fresh lime (~ 1 tablespoon)
  • Sprinkle of black pepper
  1. Chop tempeh into small cubes. The smaller the better, as this means more surface area for the marinade to soak into.
  2. Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and a sprinkle of black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Place tempeh cubes inside a plastic sandwich bag, pour in the liquid mixture, and shake gently. Let sit on the counter and marinate for about 1 hour. During this hour, give it a few shakes once a while to let the liquid penetrate as much of the tempeh as possible. While marinating, preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease lightly.
  4. When tempeh is done soakin’ arrange cubes on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until brown. Flip cubes over or just give the pan a vigorous shake and roast another 7-8 minutes, until cubes look browned all over.
  5. While the tempeh is baking, whip up the turmeric lime dressing. Simply place all dressing ingredients inside a blender and puree until very smooth. If the dressing feels to thick (you want a consistency that is a little thinner than ranch dressing), add another tablespoon or two of soy sauce or water.
  6. Remove tempeh from oven when done and let cool for 3-4 minutes. Pile mixed greens in your bowl, then add radishes, snap peas, and cucumber slices. Add tempeh and drizzle with dressing. Dig in.

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