“Here is the salad you’ll turn to time and time again, the perfect crowd-pleasing salad meal for vegans, omnivores, and everyone in between: a big leafy bowl of tempeh bacon, kale, avocado, and tomatoes bathed in a tangy vinaigrette,” Salad Samurai author Terry Hope Romero says (you might know her from her co-hosting stint on Post Punk Kitchen‘s now-defunct TV show or from her earlier books, including Veganomicon). “It’s light and healthy fast food from your own kitchen! Awesome any season, it’s especially habit forming when tomatoes are at their summer peak. Fast track this salad with the help of store-bought tempeh bacon, or make it a deluxe bacon frenzy topped with Coconut Bacony Bits.”
De Capo Lifelong Books
- 8 ounces store-bought tempeh bacon
- 1 pound curly kale
- 1 red onion, sliced into half-moons
- 1 pint red cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- Coconut Bacony Bits (below) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Slice tempeh bacon into bite-size pieces and cook as directed until browned on both sides. Tempeh bacon can also be prepared the night before and warmed just before serving.
- Strip the kale leaves off the stems, tear or chop into bite-size pieces. Wash and spin the kale dry, then transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour half the dressing over the kale and massage the kale for a minute.
- Add the tempeh bacon, red onion, tomato, avocado, and remaining dressing to the kale. Use tongs to combine and coat everything with dressing. Serve immediately and pass around the Coconut Bacony Bits if using!
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons liquid aminos (such as Bragg’s or coconut liquid aminos) or tamari
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (preferably hickory)
- 2 heaping cups large, unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the tomato paste, maple syrup, liquid aminos, and liquid smoke until smooth. Pour in the coconut flakes and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly stir together, completely coating the flakes with the marinade.
- Spread the flakes in a thin layer on the parchment paper and roast for 15 to 20 to minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flakes are completely dry and slightly glossy. Cool completely before packing in an airtight container and store in a dark, cool place. Consume within 2 weeks for best flavor.
- Coat the flakes with the marinade and spread them in a single layer on a solid dehydrator sheet. Dry for 8 or more hours as per manufacturer’s directions.
From Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.