I was worried that I wouldn’t have a chance to get this marvelous salad up before the weekend. Fortunately, I’m posting it just in the nick of time. I threw this together last weekend, sort of on a whim, inspired by stuff I had at home (one bag of kelp noodles that survived the move; a block of tempeh that came with us, too; fresh cabbage and carrot, kale). The dressing was originally going to be my carrot miso dressing (a CR classic!) but over time I was inspired to make something a little sweeter and more like a vinaigrette.
Full disclosure: the dressing is probably the best thing about this salad. And, whether the ingredients therein appeal to you or not, make the dressing. I’ve now served it over several salads, including a soba noodle salad that the boyfriend and I all but demolished last night, and it’s terrific.
That said, it’s hard to argue with a salad that’s so rich in texture. Crunchy kelp noodles and cabbage, chewy and hearty strips of lightly seared tempeh, sweet dressing, slightly bitter kale. It’s all pretty great.
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup orange juice (fresh or bottled)
- ½ cup carrot juice (fresh or bottled)
- 2 tbsp mellow white miso
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 pitted dates
- For the salad:
- 8 oz (1/2 package) kelp noodles, rinsed and snipped with a scissor into small pieces (see this post for instructions)
- 2 cups tightly packed, shredded red or white cabbage
- 2 cups tightly packed, grated carrot
- 1 cup tightly packed, curly kale, finely chopped
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp hemp or sesame seeds
- For the tempeh:
- 8 oz. tempeh
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Tamari as needed
- To prepare the dressing, blend all ingredients together in a blender till smooth. Dressing will make about 1¼ cups.
- Mix all salad ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Slice the tempeh into thin strips (about ½ inch thick). Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium pan till hot, then add as many pieces of tempeh as you can. As soon as it starts sizzling, add a nice dash of tamari. Allow it to brown on one side (shouldn't take long--2 minutes or so), flip, and brown on the other side. Add more oil and tamari as needed.
- Toss the salad with as much dressing as you like. I like this salad (and all salad) to be generously dressed, so I'd suggest ½-2/3 cups. To serve, top the salad with the seared tempeh strips and a sprinkle of seeds.
That tempeh recipe? It’s kind of my go-to, when I don’t have time to marinate fancily. Sometimes I’ll use coconut oil and just spray the tempeh with Bragg’s while it’s cooking. So easy.
Hope you enjoy this one. It’s perfect for a weekend lunch!
In other news, part of why this was a busy week was that I’m getting set up to do my nutrition counseling in a real life workspace here in Manhattan. I’ll be working out of a friend’s wellness practice in Chelsea, and I couldn’t be more excited. As readers know, I see clients via Skype, phone, and over email, but I love the opportunity to work with folks face-to-face, too.
If you’re in the New York metro area and you’ve been thinking of seeing a nutritionist who is familiar with plant-based diet and understands eating disorder histories–or you’re simply looking to improve your diet, enhance your health, lose or gain weight, and feel more vibrant–say hello at [email protected] I’d love to see you.
Happy weekend, friends,