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Citrus Tahini Tempeh Salad

This dish is truly delicious and a creative way to enjoy our tempeh. I don't know about you but I love all different types of deli salads-tuna, chicken, egg and even mock chicken, tofu and of course TEMPEH salad. Typically these salads use no modest amount of mayonnaise, and simple crunchy vegetables such as onion, celery and carrot. Those are all fine and dandy but I wanted more umph. I'm a big fan of curry, walnut and raisins in my chicken salad and I almost added our new sauce-bury me in curry aioli, but I was craving other flavors. I made a tahini sauce instead of mayonnaise, fried up our Italian herb white bean tempeh and added some familiar favorites from the traditional style deli salad-plus some alternatives. Ingredients:

1 8-10 oz thawed Italian Herb White bean Tempeh(Tips on how to thaw below) 1-2 stalks celery

1 small-medium carrot

1 small yellow beet

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 sprig of fresh rosemary with leaves removed and minced or 1 T dried Rosemary

The juice of:

1 lemon, 1/2 grapefruit, 1/2 orange

1/2 cup tahini

2 cloves garlic

1 T chopped ginger

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1. Start to build your salad by chopping the carrot and celery and grating the yellow beet. I like there to be some bite so I chop into medium pieces. Add to a medium sized bowl as well as your cherries, rosemary, and cilantro.

2. To prepare the tempeh, cut into 1-2 inch cubes after it is completely thawed in a paper towel-approximately 3-4 hours out of the fridge or overnight in the fridge

This will absorb excess moisture and allow the tempeh to breathe. Get a fry pan nice and hot with a high heat oil such as grapeseed or avocado-preferably a neutral tasting oil. Add the tempeh and brown on most sides-5-7 minutes. Place on a paper towel lined plate and absorb excess oil. Set aside to let cool.

3. In a small blender, add the olive oil, tahini, soy sauce, citrus juice, ginger and garlic. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more citrust juice or water if you want a thinner consistency. You will only use about half this dressing in the salad. It's nice to have extra sauce on hand for other dishes!

4. Once the tempeh is cool, add to the bowl plus half the sauce and a little black pepper. Feel free to add a little salt but I found the soy sauce satisfied my salt demands.

5. Mix and enjoy!

I added this to a sprouted grain wrap but could be added to a bowl of greens with a squeeze of lime, or nice crusty sandwich bread.

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