When I set about creating this recipe, my original idea was to make a salad with my Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. I then decided to use tempeh, rather than cauliflower, because I want to have something hearty and “meaty” to contrast with the lightness of veggies. I sat down and wrote the recipe so that it was very similar to my cauliflower dish – battering the tempeh and baking it in the oven. But then I went to the kitchen to make it, and realized that there was no way in heck that I was going to turn on the oven on, as it was about 95 degrees outside. Even with the air conditioner going, turning the oven on seemed like absolute torture. On the fly I decided to marinade the tempeh and pan-fry it instead. I made the right choice.
If you’re sensitive to tempeh’s fermented taste, steam the cubes before marinating it. Steaming will help get rid of the fermented flavor, and it will also help the tempeh soak up more of the marinade.
Cashew Ranch Dressing is a cool and refreshing complement to the fiery spice of the marinated tempeh. This salad makes for a perfect light summer meal.
- For the Buffalo Tempeh:
- ¼ cup vegetable stock
- ¼ cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s or Cholula
- 8-ounce package of tempeh, cut into bite-sized cubes
- For the Cashew Ranch Dressing:
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (more if needed)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons fresh chives or dill
- 1½ teaspoons fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- For the Salad
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 carrot, julienned or shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage, julienned or shredded
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- Place the tempeh pieces in a single layer on a large plate or in a shallow baking dish. Whisk the stock and hot sauce together and pour the mixture over the tempeh. Gently toss to coat. Let it marinate for two hours or overnight.
- Heat a large skillet or pan over high heat and place the tempeh in the pan, reserving the remaining marinade.
- Cook the tempeh pieces, flipping often, until they are golden brown. If the tempeh sticks, use the reserved marinade to deglaze the pan.
- While the tempeh is cooking, mix together the dressing ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. If it’s too thick, add a little more non-dairy milk, on teaspoon at a time.
- In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and celery. Top with the tempeh and dressing, and garnish with the chopped chives. Divide among two bowls.