Freekah, Kale and Peach Salad! Topped with Crispy Tempeh bits, Goat Cheese & a Maple-Dijon Dressing.
Big, bold, make it a meal salad. That’s exactly what we’ve got here. A hearty, nutrient packed bowl that will make you remember just how much you enjoy a good salad.
Last weekend I attended a casual BBQ with friends; the kind that spontaneously appear after a few people mention that their hungry and suddenly you are surrounded by hot food and cold drinks. This salad was a spur of the moment throw together of what was currently in my pantry and fridge. Little this, little that, a nice reminder that when nature is involved, salads pretty much make themselves.
I was shockingly surprised how well the flavors melded together, almost like I intentionally planned on the pairing instead of everything just falling into the bowl. Sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy. All the elements of a good salad were present, then kicked up a notch with a maple-dijon vinaigrette.
Swoon. It’s no surprise then that you’re looking at what I’ve been consisting on ever since. My meals since Saturday have rotated between this kale salad, tomato sandwiches, and egg toast. Rinse and repeat. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I cook tempeh like this every couple of weeks and keep the leftovers in the fridge. It’s the perfect balance between smoky and sweet and I toss the crumbles with hot pasta, roasted vegetables, and of course- salads.
It’s one of my favorite ways to eat tempeh and it almost reminds me of tiny, bacon-like bits. Just crumble the tempeh, saute with maple syrup, ginger, garlic and soy sauce and you’re good to go.
The best part about this salad? The bite after bite reminder that salad doesn’t- and shouldn’t- be boring. Play with flavor, play with texture. As you start to build your cooking confidence, salads are a great place to start. They’re almost, almost foolproof. Taste, season as you go and you are sure to come up with a knock-your-socks-off meal.
Of course, the real beauty of salads is the good feeling you get while eating them. Who doesn’t feel like an inner goddess when their chomping down on kale? Or juicy, sun-ripe peaches?
If you don’t have freekah, don’t sweat it. While I love the toothy texture, quinoa, brown rice, millet, or any other grain will work just fine.
Whatever you end up putting in the salad, just make sure you make the dressing from scratch. It’s hands down the most impressive way to elevate any vegetable and even a simple oil and vinegar pairing is better that what you can find in the store. Just don’t forget a generous pinch of salt!
Toss and enjoy!
- ¼ cup cracked freekah
- 1 package Tempeh
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. fresh, grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 4-5 cups of shredded kale
- 3 large peaches, sliced
- ⅓ cup toasted pecan pieces
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- Maple Dressing:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Place cracked freekah and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. Set aside to let cool slightly.
- Using a box grater, crumble the tempeh to bite size bits. If you don't have a box grater, finely chop the tempeh instead.
- Heat a large, non-stick skillet (I used my trusty cast-iron) over medium heat. Add the olive oil and add the tempeh crumbles, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic and maple syrup. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often until golden brown and crispy. Set aside to let cool slightly.
- Place the shredded kale in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, and apple cider vinegar together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle ½ the dressing over the kale and massage dressing into the kale until slightly soft and well-coated.
- Add in the sliced peaches, toasted pecans, goat cheese, tempeh bits, and cooked freekah. Lightly toss with remaining dressing and serve.