Since when did salads become all about vegetables? Gimme some (tempeh) bacon and cheese please!
If the toppings are your favorite part of a salad - and I presume most people fall in that category - then you'll love this recipe! Piled high with smoky tempeh bacon, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs and juicy cherry tomatoes then drizzled with a herbed vinaigrette, this salad packs a lot of big flavors.
While you could definitely use regular bacon in this recipe, I used tempeh bacon since I like to look for little ways to eat more plant-focused meals. Tempeh is one of my favorite meat substitutes. If you've never tried it before, tempeh is made from fermented soy beans that are then pressed into a cake. It may not sound tasty, but it has a slightly meaty flavor and texture that makes it a much more appealing than tofu for those with more carnivorous tastes.
You can either purchase tempeh bacon at the store where they sell tofu, or make your own by marinating thin slices of tempeh in soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and smoky spices.
Funny story. When I was making this salad to photograph, I ran out of room for the chickpeas and avocado. It's kinda like when you're making a poster and you run out of room and have to squish in those last letters. So those ingredients didn't make it to the picture, but if you're making this at home, obviously presentation doesn't really matter as much!
Tempeh BLT Salad
- 8 ounces tempeh, halved lengthwise then each half sliced into 12 thin slices (for a total of 24 slices)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salad greens
- 2 small cucumbers, chopped
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 ounces gorgonzola cheese
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
- First, make the tempeh bacon. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, molasses and spices. Lay the slices of tempeh flat on the baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Next, cook the tempeh bacon. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add tempeh bacon slices and fry a couple minutes per side until lightly golden. Remove from the skillet, and chop when cool enough to handle.
- To make dressing, whisk together all dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble salad by topping greens with tempeh bacon, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, cheese, chickpeas, avocado and olives. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.
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