accidental transcendental lentil salad

I just had a religious experience with the most wonderful salad I think I have ever prepared for myself.

I thought I had a love for my favorite fruit salad (various fruits atop a bed of fresh baby spinach, sliced almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette) but by far, the salad I just ate reigns supreme. This salad was magical. I’m not sure if it was my low expectations or the sheer magnificence of the salad itself, but I was just floored.

It all started with a trip to a local health foods store to pick up some more seitan (obsessed with the stuff). I’ve been reading about tempeh and having never eaten nor prepared it, a package of sesame garlic tempeh caught my eye. I thought I’d play it safe and purchase an already-marinated product to see if I even like the stuff before preparing a marinade from scratch. I also stumbled upon several amazing vegan products, all outside of my budget for the month. But it’s good to know that they have such a wonderful selection! Will definitely be checking it out next time I go grocery shopping.

I digress. The sesame garlic tempeh was calling to me, so I bought it. I brought it home and hemmed and hawed and thought, well what am I going to do with the stuff? I had intended on making a big fat salad for dinner to try to negate all the bad stuff I’ve put into my body this weekend. I wanted to start the week on the right foot and what better time than Sunday night? Somehow I recalled a package of lentils I bought weeks (maybe months) ago that have been sitting in my cabinet. And then I remembered a salad dressing recipe I’d been meaning to try–Tahini Soy Dressing from my friend at Crash Test Vegetarian. Everything started clicking. I have so much fresh produce in the fridge from all the cooking I did this weekend. I wanted a big fat lentil salad!

I made the salad dressing this afternoon and refrigerated it. The only change I made to the recipe was using Braggs liquid aminos in place of soy sauce, only because I am fresh out of soy sauce and keep forgetting to pick it up. I prepped a few fresh romaine leaves, one tomato, half of a green pepper, and I had some leftover fresh broccoli florets from the pizzas I made last night. I cooked the lentils, then rinsed with cold water. I fried the tempeh strips in a teensy bit of oil. I was nervous because I’ve never eaten anything that had tahini in it. I started to worry, what if I don’t like it?

I sat down to enjoy my big salad. Slathered it in the dressing. The outcome was a magical sensation in my mouth, my tastebuds were so happy! I can’t imagine anything better. The pre-marinated tempeh slightly distracted from the main flavors of the dressing, so I would recommend marinating your own tempeh in the dressing rather than purchasing the pre-marinated sesame garlic. But, it was still damn tasty. And since I wasn’t too hungry when I sat down to eat (I was only really eating because it was dinner time, I felt like cooking, and I’m trying to get into the new daylight savings schedule), I have a wonderful salad packed for lunch tomorrow. Nom!

Excuse the poor quality of the images, my camera is fresh out of battery power and I can’t seem to locate the charger, so these are cell phone pics. From every imaginable angle…

yes, that is the dressing…in a little espresso cup. have I mentioned all of my dishes are hand-me-downs? I don’t really have anything to pour dressing from.

I’m now enjoying a steaming cup of chai. I’ve had such a wonderful Sunday! I normally dread Sundays, especially the day we lose an hour, but I’ve had just a wonderful day full of cooking, a nice walk, some home yoga (haven’t been to an actual class since my book club ended) and relaxation. Happy Sunday, all.

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2 thoughts on “accidental transcendental lentil salad

  1. Izzy says:

    Sooooooo glad you liked it!

    I wish I liked tempeh. Can’t get past it’s texture.

  2. thewronggirlwrites says:

    I’ve had tempah only once, in a spicy taco concoction, and it was delicious. This too looks delicious. I now have to make quinoa and black beans, rocky road cookies and a big fat lentil salad!

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