I know I’ve briefly mentioned it before, but I tend to do the majority of my cooking on the weekends and eat leftovers all week. Vegan cuisine, especially soups, curries and bean salads, lend well to leftovers because they only taste better after they have marinaded.
Sometimes I crave a nice, fresh hot meal, too. It can be difficult to make a complete meal if you are famished after a long day at work…. unless, you have the forethought of making all the components ahead of time!
I found this delicious salad at Post Punk Kitchen. I know it looks like another crazy multi–component salad: roasted beets, smoky tempeh croutons, a warm maple mustard dressing. Trust me, the best dishes get you to bring out the best of each component. Work on the weekend for each component, then bring it all together mid-week.
First, you need to roast your beets. Glorious roasted golden beets. Next, steam your tempeh, then get it marinading. Tempeh has a bad leftover track-record, which is why I planned on making this salad fresh during the week. I left the tempeh in the marinade until I took out a portion to freshly panfry for the salad. For my last salad, the tempeh had been marinading for 5 days. The maple mustard dressing is a snap to put together as well.
So, when you come home from work, and it is late, and you don’t want to think, now you have all the components for a wonderful salad. Take out your nonstick frypan and fry your tempeh. Meanwhile, get out your beets. Toss them into the frypan with the tempeh if you’d like (or not). Pull out your greens and get chopping. Using Swiss chard or kale instead of Romaine? Finely chop the stems and throw it in with the tempeh, too (or not). Warm the dressing in the microwave (or not). Add to your leafy greens. Add your beets if they aren’t in your frypan. By this time, the tempeh should be almost done…. when it is, plop it on top of your greens.
Ten minutes, tops. I promise.
Sit back and enjoy your fresh salad.. every day of the week.
Roasted Yellow Beet Salad With Warm Maple Mustard Dressing and Smoky Tempeh Croutons
For the beets:
4-6 golden beets, peeled (1 lb)
1. For the roasted beets, preheat the oven to 425F. Peel and slice/chop the beets into medium-bite-sized pieces, but put all the pieces back together again. Wrap in tinfoil and roast for at least an hour. Roasting times will depend on the size of your beets. They are ready when they are easily pierced with a fork. Be careful when handling the hot beets, because they can easily leak. Set aside to cool.
For the Smoky Tempeh Croutons:
8 oz tempeh
Olive oil or cooking spray
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cups vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1. Begin by steaming your tempeh: Place the tempeh in a microwave-safe dish with half a cup of water. Cover it with a lid and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes. Drain any excess water. When cool enough to handle, chop the tempeh into 12-inch cubes.
2. Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add tempeh pieces and marinade until needed (at least an hour).
3. Preheat a large cast iron pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove tempeh from marinade and saute in a little olive oil or cooking spray. When they’re browned (about 7 minutes) splash in some extra marinade and toss to coat. The beets can go in here, too. And any stems from hardier greens. Remove from heat.
For the Maple Mustard Dressing:
1/4 cup stoneground mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
Mix everything together in a bowl. When ready to serve, microwave for 30 seconds or gently heat in a pan over low heat.
Needed to serve:
4 oz Romaine, chopped, or your favorite greens
Place the greens in a super large mixing bowl. Drizzle in the dressing and use tongs to coat. The greens will wilt slightly.
Transfer salads to 4 plates. Place slice beets snugly against the greens. Scatter on tempeh croutons overtop.