Need a new lunch idea for school days (or still at work days)? You know the usual brown bag suspects — tuna, egg, chicken salad, pb and js — well this tempeh deli salad might be just the dish to shake up your mid-day meal.
Tossed into a pita, scooped atop leafy greens or plopped onto a piece of whole-wheat toast for an open faced sandwich, this tempeh deli salad is vegan and healthful, but most important — it's delicious and fresh.
What is tempeh exactly? This fermented soybean cake originated in Indonesia and is still used in a variety of dishes within the country's cuisine — think of it as a nutty, hearty, blank canvas that needs sassing up. This recipe may be the easiest way of eating the protein-packed bean cake. In fact, it requires no cooking and can be assembled in about 5 minutes, so it's perfect for the too-hot days of summer when just looking at the oven can induce wiping sweat off the brow.
Deli-Style Tempeh Salad
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons Veganaise (or other non-dairy mayo you prefer)
2 tablespoons mustard (I like French's here, but dijon will work)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the salad:
16 ounces tempeh, chopped into small cubes
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (or navy/pinto beans would work as well), rinsed under cold water
1 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as Italian parsley, dill or basil (whichever you prefer)
Whisk together all dressing ingredients until combined. Place garbanzo beans, tempeh, carrot, and sunflower seeds into a medium-sized bowl, and toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, stir in fresh herbs, reserving a few for the very top of the salad.
The tempeh is very good right away and keeps well for a few days in the fridge.
• Megan's Tempeh Reubens
• Sweet Potato and Tempeh Stew
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)