Harvest Kale Salad with Sweet Mustard Tempeh
and Saffron-Orange Tahini Dressing



by Ann Gentry, Vegan Family Meals, Real Food for Everyone

Kale gets really sweet and delicious when it has been exposed to frost; therefore, winter kale such as lacinato (also known as “dinosaur kale”) is ideal to use in a raw salad. Be sure to cut out the spine from the leafy part, as the spine can be too tough to chew. Beets and sweet potatoes are a fantastic combo that roast beautifully. However, this salad is a great opportunity for you to roast whatever vegetables you have on hand—regular potatoes, winter squash, or even carrots would also be lovely. The Sweet Mustard Tempeh has great flavor, in part from the marinade, which requires a bit of advance preparation. Incorporating a plant protein like tempeh makes this salad a satisfying and wholesome meal.


Roasted Vegetables:
2 medium garnet yams (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 medium red beets (about 14 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup raw tahini
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands (optional)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch lacinato kale (about 10 ounces), stems removed and leaves cut into 1/8-inch strips (about 4 1/2 cups) 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Sweet Mustard Tempeh (recipe follows), warm or at room temperature
Spicy-Sweet Roasted Almonds (recipe follows)


Roasted Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the yams and beets in a large bowl with the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and roast, tossing after the first 20 minutes, until the yams are tender and browned, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely

Dressing: Whisk the orange juice, tahini, vinegar, garlic, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the saffron in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Assembly: Toss the kale, spinach, cucumber, and bell pepper in a large bowl with enough of the dressing to coat. Add the tempeh and the roasted yams and beets, and toss again, adding more dressing if necessary. Transfer the salad to a platter. Garnish with the almonds and serve.

Sweet Mustard Tempeh

The tempeh needs at least an hour to marinate. This is a good do-ahead step, either the day before or make it your first order of business when you come into your kitchen to begin preparing the meal.

3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil
1 (8-ounce) package grain-based tempeh, halved horizontally, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Whisk the tamari, mustard, maple syrup, water, garlic, and oil in a 9- to 10-inch sauté pan to blend. Add the tempeh and turn to coat. Arrange the tempeh in the pan so it is in a single layer and submerged in the marinade. Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Set the sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook until the tempeh is hot and the marinade has reduced, about 15 minutes. Serve the tempeh warm or at room temperature.

Spicy-Sweet Roasted Almonds

Makes about 1 cup

1 cup raw whole almonds
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the almonds, maple syrup, oil, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large bowl to coat. Spread the almond mixture in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until the almonds turn golden and the syrup begins to thicken and coat the almonds, about 15 minutes. Let cool. (The almonds and coating will become crunchy when cool.)


Yield: Serves 4

Recipes: Vegetarian, Kale Salad, Tempeh, Parve, Kosher

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