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Vibrant and Veganfull (V&V) provides vegan recipes to support health and contributions to sustainability.  V&V also explores ideas and concepts to provide you informed choices for living more sustainably.


With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie

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Crisp Caesar Salad with Smoked Tempeh & Quinoa

Guess who's back? Back again? Jamie's Back. Tell a Friend... about another smoked recipe because I just can't get enough of all the amazing flavor combinations I created from plant-based ingredients (this time tempeh) that were smoked to perfection in clouds of pecan wood.


(And, you're welcome for getting that song stuck in your head by the way).


For all the haters, and naysayers out there saying vegan food is bland, boring, and just plain "bad," I dare you to try this recipe and still think that at large about what propels vegans to continue with this lifestyle. If the meals were truly bad, plain and boring, veganism wouldn't sustain; I promise you that!

Sustainability Spotlight: Instead of deterring entrants, plant-based products are adding converts to the ranks. According to Allied Market Research, the vegan food market size is expected to grow by ~10.5% total between 2019-2026. The market is not just increasing due to the desire for more healthy approaches to eating, but it is also being driven by the understanding that animal-based products in our current distribution channels and volumes of consumption are greatly degrading the Earth.


However, if plant-based alternatives to meat or dairy didn't taste good, no one would be buying them or converting to veganism. While these products DO taste better with better mouthfeel and more availability in the supermarkets. Remember, they are still processed foods at the end of the supply chain. I choose to consume these products with limitation and try to transform whole foods as much as possible into culinary masterpieces at home in order to reduce impacts of mass production as a whole which includes water consumption, waste production and air emissions. Yes, plant-based products (as I have touted on this blog, even!) do use less resources than animal products, avoidance of processed foods in general is of equal impact to sustainability.


So, while smoking my food isn't really sustainable, as I've admitted a few times, I am at least taking as close to a minimally processed food (tempeh that is in block form) and transforming the flavor myself in the smoking process. A Win-Loss that at least has me in balance in lieu of capsizing towards unsustainable practices entirely; so, I guess I'll have to take it!


Ingredients:

  • 1 block of smoked tempeh (smoke a block (cut in half) of plain tempeh for ~2 hrs @ 250 deg F)

  • Smoked Tempeh Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup filtered water

  • 1/4 cup Ponzu (or plain soy) sauce

  • 4 tbsp avocado oil

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp salt

  • dash of black pepper

  • 1 tsp each of the following:

  • onion powder

  • garlic powder

  • dried oregano

  • dried parsley

  • dried basil

  • Salad:

  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce (chopped)

  • 1 large handful of baby greens (I used baby butter)

  • 1 cup cooked & cooled quinoa

  • 3 celery stalks (trimmed & chopped)

  • 1-2 avocados (diced)

  • Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup veganise (or silken tofu)

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil

  • 3-5 roasted garlic cloves

  • 1 lemon (juiced)

  • 1 tbsp white miso paste

  • 1 tsp stone ground mustard

  • 1 tsp agave syrup

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all Smoked Tempeh Marinade ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

  2. Heat a large skillet over Medium-High heat and add 1 tbsp avocado oil. Once it shimmers, swirl to coat and crumble tempeh into the skillet. Stir to brown (~2-3 minutes).

  3. Add Smoked Tempeh Marinade to your skillet, and stir tempeh to coat pieces evenly. Cook another 5-7 minutes until all liquid evaporates (~5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  4. Combine all Salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.

  5. Combine all Caesar Dressing ingredients in a personal blender and blitz until completely smooth and incorporated.

  6. Pour dressing into the large salad bowl and toss salad ingredients again to coat well.

  7. Serve healthy portions of the salad in bowls and top with a generous amount of the prepared tempeh.

With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie


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