You've heard of egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad, but have you ever heard of tempeh salad? I can't say I knew it existed until I was eating a tempeh wrap the other day and the idea to turn it into a cold, creamy salad hit me. Piled high on my favorite sprouted bread, this was one of the best lunches I've had in quite a while!
This reminds me of chicken salad, but with chunks of tempeh instead. My biggest problem with most "salads" like this is the amount of mayo that is normally mixed in. So when making this tempeh salad, I swapped in my beloved avocado instead of mayo. Mashed avocado is just as rich and creamy as mayo, however much healthier, and tastier in my opinion :) I used diced carrots and celery to add a crunchy texture, sun dried tomatoes because they are yummy, and copious amounts of garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The end result was a perfectly seasoned sandwich filling that I can also eat plain with a spoon!
Why tempeh? I have touched upon the health benefits of tempeh in the past, but I want to break down why tempeh is not only a delicious vegan protein, but also a very nutritious option. Tempeh is made by fermenting soy beans. The fermentation process adds many nutritious benefits including enzymes, b-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, various strains of probiotics. It is also a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, as well as a concentrated source of plant protein that is comparable to the amount of protein found in meat; it even aids in digestion. With a meaty texture and the ability to absorb almost any flavor you put on it, it makes for a filling and flavorful meal!
I made this sandwich on toasted sprouted bread with raw spinach, extra avocado, and mustard. Next time, I'm going to put this in a spelt tortilla! Whatever way you choose to eat this, it is tasty and very satisfying. Change up your lunch routine and spread the word...tempeh salad deserves some recognition!
yield: 4 servings (or 2 large servings)
1 8 oz block tempeh, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 Tbsps sun dried tomatoes, diced
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp spicy mustard (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Steam the tempeh cubes for 15 minutes. I use a small pot with about an inch or two of water, bring it to a boil, then put the tempeh in a strainer that sits on top of the pot with a lid on it. Remove from heat after 15 minutes and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes to cool down.
2. While tempeh is steaming, dice the vegetables. Mash the avocado and add lemon juice and garlic powder to the diced vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. After tempeh is cool, roughly chop the pieces and mix in with the avocado mixture. Serve on toasted bread, wraps, salads, or with crackers. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.