salads are something i have always been hesitant to eat; considering that salad is what most people think vegans live off of, and i have had few that have been truly memorable, i almost never make them. until now. so as you all know, i’m a fan of the blog vegan yum yum, and i did a search of the salads listed and found a recipe for BLT salad. now, i have to admit, i used to loathe raw tomatoes but have recently come to love them, and considering that tomatoes make up 1/3 of a blt. . . . i had to make a blt salad! but, for as delicious as the original recipe looked (http://veganyumyum.com/2009/07/blt-salad/), i felt like it was missing something so i quickly amped it up with garlicky croutons, avocados, and homemade smoky sundried tomato tempeh. the blt salad was now a tlat/blat monster salad! i think the best thing about this salad is that its comprised of raw dino kale and spinach instead of lettuce; it’s so much more flavorful and chewy than romaine, without the sharp bitterness of arugula or another field green. this tasted best served the next day, but 4 hours in the fridge was enough to soften the kale. i’m still amazed at how truly friggin’ tasty this salad was. the next day it was even better because the dressing became infused with the smoky flavors of the tempeh and the garlic from the croutons-which stayed chewy and crunchy all at the same time. this is definitely going on the “picnic party” list for the summer. if you’re looking to make this gluten free, try omitting the croutons-or swapping the bread for a gluten free variety, and make sure your tempeh doesn’t have any gluten containing grains.
(tempeh, “lettuce”, avocado, tomato )
makes 4 dinner sized salads
2 bundles dinosaur kale (roughly 1 pound)
4 cups spinach
1 package lightlife tempeh, any flavor
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 large avocado
6 slices bread
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/4 c olive oil + 2 tbs, divided
6 sun dried tomatoes
1/2 c vegetable stock
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 c veganiase
2 tbs dijon mustard
2-3 tbs red wine vinegar
first, the tempeh
cut the tempeh into 3 long pieces, and then cut each length into 1/4” slices. using a kitchen scissors, snip the sun dried tomatoes into 1/4″ pieces. place the tempeh, SD tomatoes, stock, and liquid smoke in frying pan with the lid on. simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat, remove the lid, and continue to cook until the liquid has been absorbed. add the 2 tbs oil, and fry until golden and set aside.
preheat your broiler
tear your kale from its stem, and then chop it into 1/2 inch slices, this will help it tenderize faster. now take the spinach and roughly chop the leaves to the same size. mix the both together in a large serving bowl.
pit and dice your avocado, and halve your cherry tomatoes and add them to your greens.
whisk together the dressing ingredients adding enough vinegar to thin out the texture without being too watery. toss the salad with the dressing and pop it in the fridge.
take your bread and cut it into 1 inch pieces, and lay them out on a cookie sheet; make sure you arent fond of it as the broiler can warp it and wreck the finish. heat the 1/4 c oil and garlic in a small pan over a low flame until it begins to bubble slightly. if necessary, hold the pan above the flame. gently cook the garlic for 2 minutes without letting the garlic brown. now, drizzle the oil over the bread and toss to coat. pop the bread under the broiler, checking often, until brown and toasted-about 5 minutes tops.
by now the tempeh should be cool, so feel free to add it to your greens. toss the croutons into the salad just before serving.
of course i didnt have my camera handy, but i managed to snap a pic on the telephone.