Leafy Salad with Creamy Tahini Oregano Dressing, Baked Tempeh + Sundried Tomatoes

Makes 2-3 Servings

  1. Marinate the tempeh. Add all ingredients for the marinade to a small mixing bowl, and whisk. Add tempeh, toss to coat, and let tempeh sit at room temperature in the marinade for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350.

  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until mixture is smooth, adding water a couple Tbsp. at a time as needed to reach desired consistency.

  3. Drain the tempeh. Lightly drizzle baking sheet with about 1 tsp. of olive oil. Spread tempeh out onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake another 10-15 minutes until tempeh is slightly brown around the edges.

  4. Chop up your head of lettuce into big, leafy pieces. sprinkle each with a squeeze of lemon juice, and mix to lightly coat the greens. Then, drizzle with desired amount of dressing, and toss to coat.

  5. Top greens with shredded vegetables (if using them), tempeh, cheese crumbles, sundried tomato, and freshly cracked black pepper. A sprinkle of micro greens or fresh herbs, such as shredded basil or dill, would also be a lovely addition.

    **Note: dressing will last in a sealed container in the fridge for a week. Use in salads for the week, in grain bowls, or drizzled over roasted vegetables.


For the Dressing:
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4. c. tahini
1.5 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1 small clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 lemon
1.5 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (can use cider or red wine vinegar as well)
1/2 tsp. honey, agave or cane sugar (optional)
Pinch of salt

For the Tempeh:
8 oz. tempeh, cubed
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. paprika or smoked paprika
Splash of hot sauce or 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch of salt + pepper

For the Salad/Assembly:
1 head leafy lettuce, such as butter lettuce
2 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes, sliced
Lemon wedges
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp. feta, chevre, or vegan parmesan

Optional additions: 1/2 - 3/4 c. shredded vegetables such as carrots of beets, nuts or seeds such as cashews or hemp seeds for topping, fresh chopped herbs such as basil or dill

Food processor or high powered blender
1 small mixing bowl + whisk
Baking sheet

15 minute prep
10 minute active cook time
60 minute inactive cook time

Vegetarian, vegan option, dairy-free option, refined-sugar free. For nut-free, omit the cashews + replace with hemp seeds.

Venzi’s Notes

This past Saturday, we got home from a week long vacation to the west coast and Mexico. It was lovely, the scenery was beautiful, and we had a blast. My favorite part of any trip, however, is the FOOD. I research for months in advance to find the best places, and we eat really well. It’s not all junk — we traveled to several farms and ate farm fresh meals many of the days, and believe it or not, I somehow managed to eat veggies and greens with meals each day! And even if I hadn’t, that would have been okay because vacation! But I also ate icecream every day and foods richer than I typically do on a daily basis. When I got home, all I craved was fruit and salad — so I made this recipe!

I don’t “diet” after I travel because I believe it’s okay for me to eat what I want to eat, especially when I travel. When I get home and listen to what my body really wants, I typically tend to choose vegan foods for several days following. This salad is completely vegan friendly if you need it to be and packed with protein and healthy fats. It’s so fresh, delicious, creamy and satisfying. If you don’t prefer tempeh, some cut up chicken or tofu could be marinated and then baked or pan fried in the same marinade I used here for the tempeh. Fish would also be lovely, though I am not personally a fish-eater! (I’ve tried to like it, but unfortunately, I just don’t).

The best part is the leftover dressing and maybe even leftover tempeh. I used the salad dressing to prep my lunch salads for the week and topped my salads Monday and Tuesday with leftover tempeh. Love making recipes that also make meal-prep easier.

If you’re not feeling this salad as a meal, the lettuces and other fresh veggies tossed with the creamy dressing, sundried tomatoes and some fresh feta would also make a wonderful side salad. Enjoy!