Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Kale tempeh salad with Tahini Dressing.

I can’t believe this is my first time sharing a tempeh recipe.

Before moving to BC, 5 months ago, I had only ever had tempeh once, at a potluck with dietitian friends. For some reason, I never bothered cooking with it at home.

Then we travelled across Canada and tried many new vegetarian restaurants. After trying tempeh in different dishes, I knew I needed to start cooking with it at home. My favorite way to eat it so far? In a salad with tahini dressing. It’s so good, it’s making me crave salads every day.

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is ready in less than 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for last-minute weeknight meals.

Here’s how it’s made:

Start by chopping the kale (small bite sizes makes it much easier to eat!). Then massage it with oil. I know it sounds a bit strange to massage kale, but this helps tenderize the leaves, which are otherwise tough to eat. You can then let the kale marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Again, this helps make the kale easier to chew.

Next, prepare the tempeh. Simply heat oil in a non-stick pan, cook the tempeh a few minutes and then add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. The tempeh will then absorb the liquid and they’ll be perfectly cooked and flavorful. It takes less than 10 minutes to cook!

While the tempeh is cooking, you can prepare the simple tahini dressing, and then assemble the salad. Add the tempeh and the tahini dressing to the prepared kale. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and hemp hearts. Eat!

I hope this doesn’t sound too complicated, because it’s really not! I’ve been eating this salad several times a week and there’s no stopping me. I hope you’ll love it too.

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tempeh Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Massaged kale with balsamic sautéed tempeh, tangy tahini dressing and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and hemp hearts. This salad is done in less than 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for quick weeknight dinners.

Course Salad
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups kale, stem removed, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Nutritional yeast, for topping (optional)
  • Hemp hearts, for topping (optional)

Tempeh

  • 1 bloc tempeh, cubed
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

Tahini Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water (or more as needed)
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated

Instructions

  1. Chop kale into small bite size pieces. Massage with 1/2 tablespoon oil using your hands, until evenly coated (about 1 minute). This helps tenderize the kale. Set aside.

  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the tempeh and sautée for 2 minutes or until lightly golden. 

  3. Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and paprika (if using). Toss the tempeh until evenly coated and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side

  4. While the tempeh is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the tahini and vinegar. It should form a thick paste. Whisk in the garlic and water, adding more water as needed to thin.

  5. Assemble the salad: Top the massaged kale with the tahini dressing and tempeh. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and hemp hearts if desired. 

Recipe Notes

Serve immediately or store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. As kale is tougher than most salad greens, it can be eaten the next day without getting soggy, however, it is better when served immediately.

We usually have a small portion of tempeh left. If you don't use the whole block, store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge and use in salads, sandwiches or other meals.

If planning your meal in advance, you can marinate the tempeh 2 hours before cooking or the night before. You will need to use more soy sauce and balsamic vinegar to cover. When ready to cook, simply add the tempeh to the non-stick pan with oil and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side.

If you try this recipe, make sure to tag your photo #unsweetenedcaroline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Don’t forget to also tag me @unsweetened.caroline on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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