Creamy Lime and Mint Tempeh Salad

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Last week was busy with lots of planning, meetings, and pulling things together as our plans for near-future fundraisers are beginning to materialize.  I know I keep saying this, but stay tuned!  I have some very exciting news that I will be ready to share with you very very soon!

On Friday last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen while she was visiting Seattle from Iowa.  I have been following her blog for about three and a half years.  Being able to meet with her in person and tell her about Cupid’s Landing was very exciting for me!  Cadry is friendly and light hearted, and conversation came very easily.  We got lunch together at Plum Bistro.  Plum is a local franchise of all-vegan restaurants, mostly in Seattle except for Quickie Too in Tacoma.  Each of their restaurants is different, while still featuring similar menu items.  Plum Bistro is the most upscale installment in the franchise.  While the prices are definitely on the high side, the food is fantastic and worth every penny for a special occasion.  I ordered the chipotle grill salad.  It had a bed of greens with arugula and chives.  There were big slices of tomatoes and grilled tempeh.  The dressing was a tangy, creamy, and savory chipotle sauce.  It was delicious, and I scraped every bit off my plate!  After lunch, we visited a new all-vegan apparel store in Seattle called Drizzle and Shine.  This a cute, chic little place with some really nice clothes, shoes, jewelry, and more.

Cadry
Cadry and me at Drizzle and Shine

That salad must have subconsciously planted a seed in my mind.  While planning a meal for a hot day, I remembered a recipe of mine that I made once a few years ago.  The salad originally contained just greens, soy marinated tempeh, and a creamy lime and mint dressing.  Today when I made it, I decided to add baby arugula and diced tomatoes.  It didn’t occur to me until afterwards how much that salad at Plum Bistro made an impression on me!

This dressing is cool, smooth, creamy, simple, and refreshing.  It is fantastic for those hot summer days when you don’t want to be in front of an oven or spend too much time preparing a meal.  In this particular salad I like to keep the flavor of the dressing simple because the salty flavor of the tempeh is strong enough on it’s own.  The amount of servings this makes depends on how much greens you use, and how many pieces of tempeh you put on each plate.  The tempeh and mushroom portion of the recipe can easily be doubled.

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Creamy Lime and Mint Tempeh Salad

Ingredients:

For the Tempeh:
  • 8oz tempeh
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp raw sugar or agave nectar
  • 1 block tempeh
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
For the dressing:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • ~1 cup water
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • two cloves of garlic
  • dash of: black pepper, dried parsley, salt

For the salad:

  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Baby arugula
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced small
  • green onion, sliced

Directions:

  1. Make the marinade by combining soy sauce, garlic, and sugar/agave.  The way you slice your tempeh depends on preference, and how it comes packaged.  I prefer to aim for wider, thinner slices.   Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with a small amount of oil and the marinade.  Add the tempeh and mushrooms.  Allow each slice of tempeh to lay flat in the skillet.  Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side.
  2. Blend the cashews and water.  Add more water if necessary to reach desired thinness.  Add remaining ingredients and blend.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  3. Roughly chop the lettuce.  Combine in a bowl with arugula.  Use as much or little of each green as desired.  Assemble each individual salad by putting greens in a bowl or plate, and top with tomatoes, tempeh, mushrooms, green onions, and dressing.
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