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5-Spice Tempeh Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

Posted by 2eatwellRD
February 09, 2015
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Use tempeh in this warm salad with a cool avocado ranch dressing - makes the perfect lunch or light dinner meal.

This warm tempeh salad is an easy go-to meal. The spices give off a ton of flavor and the creamy avocado ranch dressing packs a cools punch. It’s perfect for a week-day lunch or a light dinner meal

~by Danielle Omar, MS, RD

Tempeh is an ingredient that takes a bit of getting used to. It doesn’t really look appetizing and it's a little intimidating but once you get passed that it’s quite the cool ingredient.

I’m not the kind of vegetarian who can’t stand to touch meat or cook with it. I also don’t mind foods that are trying to act like meat. I think meat provides a heartiness to your plate that can be missed when eating a mostly plant-based diet. Tempeh is great to cook with because it helps to add that meat-like texture to many vegetarian meals.

So what is tempeh? It is soybeans that have been naturally fermentated by a process that binds the soybeans into a cake-like form. It’s produced with significantly less processing than most soy foods (think soy milk, soy burgers, TVP, soy dogs, etc.). Fermented soy is great because it helps us to digest soy much more efficiently and it increases the absorption of the good stuff that's in soy, the isoflavones genistein and daidzein. This gives tempeh antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood pressure-lowering properties, and we can all use a little bit more of that, right?

So how do you use it? I use it crumbled (as I did in this 5-Spice Tempeh Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing) or I would slice it up, toss it in a marinate and then sauté it. Both ways are delicious, if done correctly. I've had my fair share of charred tempeh, and it is not delicious. In fact, here’s a valuable tip: don’t walk away from the stove while sautéing your tempeh.

This warm salad is an easy go-to meal. The spices give off a ton of flavor and the creamy avocado ranch dressing packs a cools punch. It’s perfect for a week-day lunch or a light dinner meal.

Use tempeh in this warm salad with a cool avocado ranch dressing - makes the perfect lunch or light dinner meal.

This 5-Spice Tempeh with Avocado Ranch Dressing is the perfect warm weather meal. Serve in lettuce wraps for dinner!
Use tempeh in this warm salad with a cool avocado ranch dressing - makes the perfect lunch or light dinner meal.

5-Spice Tempeh Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

Yield

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 big handful mung bean sprouts (or any sprouts you can find)
  • 2 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

Directions

  1. Blend salad dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add crumbled tempeh and let cook for 3-4 minutes or until tempeh is browned.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add all the spices to the pan and mix well to coat the tempeh. Then add the black beans and the water/broth and let simmer on low for 3 minutes more.
  4. Lay two leaves of lettuce onto a salad plate. Top with sprouts. Spoon tempeh mixture onto sprouts.
  5. Top with cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with avocado dressing. Toss everything around a bit with your fork and enjoy

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2eatwellRD

2eatwellRD
Danielle Omar is the author of the INSPIRED VEGETARIAN Feature on HealthyAperture and is a Registered Dietitian, clean-eating coach, cookbook author, and raw foodie wannabe. She is a passionate food and nutrition educator and founded her private nutrition practice to support busy men and women on their journey to becoming their healthiest self. An avid cook, she also enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog. She is the author of Skinny Juices, 100 Juice Recipes for Detox and Weight loss. Danielle’s expert nutrition advice has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fitness, Shape, and Women’s Health magazine, as well as national television, including The Food Network and NBC Primetime.
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