More Fun Summer Salads, Best Ever Vegan Queso, & Recipes for Quinoa, Tempeh & Butternut Squash!

 Mixed Greens with Orange Ginger Dressing: For the dressing: Blend 1 orange (I used a whole peeled orange, chopped small), 1/2 peeled and diced cucumber chopped small, 1-2 pitted Medjool dates, and 1/4 tsp freshly peeled & minced ginger. Use a high-powered blender or a food processor to blend ingredients until smooth. Best to use right away.

To make the salad: Toss salad dressing with mixed greens, carrots, pumpkin seeds, sliced avocado and mango.  

For even more bulk cook up a batch of quinoa, pronounced “KEEN-wah”, a protein-rich seed that cooks like a grain and has an earthy, nutty taste. 

To make quinoa: Pour 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed) + 1 1/4 cup water in a pot and bring to boil. Turn down to simmer, place lid on top & cook 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork & serve. Should last for 5 days in fridge. 

What to do with quinoa aside from mixing in salads: Quinoa is great served with tofu curry or tucked in a burrito…

 …Or simply mixed in a bowl of beans & greens with guacamole (mashed avocado with a touch of salt, pepper, salsa & fresh lemon or lime juice)… …Or make a vegan cheeze sauce! 😊Vegan Cheez Sauce: Step 1: Soak 1 cup raw cashews between 2 hrs-overnight. Step 2: Drain & rinse cashews then add to blender along with 2/3 cup veggie broth, 2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes (such as Braggs or Kal), & 1.5 TBS chickpea (or mellow white) miso paste. Step 3: In a small pot or pan saute (about 5 min): 1 chopped red or yellow onion, 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, 1/4-1 whole chopped de-seeded jalapeno (depends on how spicy you want it or leave out for no spice) + 1 chopped red bell pepper– Saute with a small amount of veggie broth to keep it oil-free. Stir in 2 tsp cumin & 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional). Step 4: Add saute mixture to blender. Step 5: Blend or process in a food processor until smooth. Should stay fresh in fridge about 5 days.

More recipe ideas for the cheez sauce

  • Top over nachos, like these potato wedge nachos from Oh She Glows or nachos with seasoned tempeh crumbles from One Ingredient Chef.
  • Pour over a baked potato with steamed broccoli or with kale like this recipe from Kara Lydon’s blog, Foodie Dietician.
  • Mix in a bowl of lentils (pic below) or Cookie & Kate’s black bean soup…  
  • …Or pour over fresh, steamed or roasted veggies!  

Roasted salted garbanzo beans (aka, chickpeas) also make a nice crunchy protein addition to any salad. To roast chickpeas: Drain & rinse 1 can, pat dry, and spread on a baking sheet with salt to taste. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. Turn stove off and remove from the oven once they have reached your desired crunchiness.

Now back to a salad recipe…🌻Tempeh Salad with Creamy Tahini Dressing: For the dressing: Process in a food processor (or using a standard or immersion blender), 1 garlic clove (fresh, roasted or sauteed for 1-2 minutes in a small pan), 2 TBS sesame tahini, 1/4 cup water, 2 TBS lemon juice (fresh), 1 TBS chickpea or mellow white miso paste, 1 TBS nutritional yeast flakes and salt to taste. Should last in fridge about 5 days. 

To make the salad: Divide each bowl with massaged kale (simply massage kale with clean hands until wilted), leftover tempeh cubes (see below for how to bake tempeh), chopped carrots, avocado slices, sunflower or pumpkin seeds + almonds or walnuts then drizzle tahini dressing on top. 

Butternut squash, kale & tempeh also make a great combo for a salad! Read on to learn how to bake tempeh and to roast a butternut squash

How to bake tempeh: I usually take the tempeh & break it 1/2, place it on foil, & marinate it with 2-4 TBS tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) & a pinch or 2 of oregano flakes, garlic powder, onion flakes, & cayenne. Bake in oven at 425 for 15 min then flip & bake 10-15 min more. 

What to do with tempeh: 

  • Slice it for sandwiches (think TLT from FatFreeVegan).
  • Dice it for a vegan curry such as this coconut kale & sweet potato curry from Cookie & Kate.
  • Make a bowl of chopped tempeh, beans, & greens with the cheezy cashew sauce recipe above. 
  • Roll thinly-sliced tempeh strips in a tortilla along with quinoa, steamed spinach, a saute of onion & red bell pepper strips + a slather of hummus or guacamole.
  • Crumbling tempeh and adding to a vegan chili gives it a nice meaty texture. This chili from Post Punk Kitchen resembles my chili but I would leave out the beer and maple syrup & add 1 tsp mustard powder. 😊

Cooked butternut squash (In season in the Fall):How to roast butternut squash. Did you know you can peel a butternut squash with a vegetable peeler? Chop off ends & cut in half using a sharp good-quality chef’s knife & peel skin off with a vegetable peeler. Slice length-wise & scoop out seeds. Dice into bite-sized pieces & roast on parchment-lined baking sheet at 400 for 25 minutes or until tender. 

So many ways to use butternut squash!

  • Blend into curry-spiced soup like this one from Runners World.
  • Mash and use as a topping for vegan shepherd’s pie
  • …Or even over bean dip.
  • Add butternut cubes to any stew or chili recipe.

Back to a third salad recipe:

The featured image of mixed greens, fresh peaches and raspberries 

would be great with any berry dressing of blended berries, cashews, dates and water or with the creamy tahini dressing above. 

More salad recipes from around the web:


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Martha says:

    Thanks for sending me the link, Kelly! I keep learning from you! Mom


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