Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kale Caesar Salad with Tempeh Bacon and Tofu


Sometimes I just crave a  nice salad.  Not one of those side salads you get at a diner when your friends drag you out and it's the only vegan item on the menu.  I am talking about a nice, hearty, filling, and tasty salad that you feel completely satisfied afterwards.  Thus was my inspiration for this dish today.  Also, without the tempeh bacon, tofu and croutons this would make a great raw salad.

Kale Caesar Salad with Tempeh Bacon and Tofu 
Serves 4

1 head of kale
3/4 cup of cashews (soaked overnight)
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of agave
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1/4 -1/2 cup of water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of crushed seaweed or arame (optional)

1 12oz package of tempeh
2 tablespoons of liquid aminos
1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/2 cup of water

1 14oz package of extra firm tofu
Salt and pepper to taste

2 slices of bread (I used multigrain)*
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of basil
1 tablespoon of garlic powder

*Gluten-free without croutons (or made with GF bread)

Firstly, mix your marinade for the tempeh and place thinly sliced tempeh strips into marinade for at least an hour but preferably overnight.  Also, be sure to soak your cashews overnight as well.

Begin by washing and slicing your kale into bite size pieces.  Place aside to dry.  Make your dressing by blending all ingredients from cashews to seaweed.  Begin with 1/4 cup of water and add more as needed until you achieve your desired consistency.  Massage the dressing into the kale with your (clean!) hands and set aside to fully soak in.

Slice bread into cubes and then toss them in olive oil in a small mixing bowl.  Add seasonings and mix well.  Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile cut your tofu into equal rectangle pieces and pan sear on a non-stick pan for a few minutes until golden on both sides.  Season with salt and pepper to taste as you cook them.  Remove tofu and place is oven to remain warm if desired.  Now pan sear your tempeh strips for a few minutes on each side until nice and crisp without becoming burned.  When both sides are ready, pour tempeh marinade over tempeh and continue to cook until the liquid is all absorbed.  Place in oven to stay warm as well if desired.

Serve yourself a generous serving of kale and top with tofu, tempeh, and croutons.  Would also be great with some sliced avocado on top. Enjoy!

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