This recipe is adapted from the very charming book “Cookin’ Southern – Vegetarian Style,” by Ann Jackson, which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow.
I’m not sure what made me try this recipe, since I usually hate tempeh. The texture drives me wild. Possibly it’s because I so fell in love with this little cookbook, I decided to take a chance after Ann wrote:
“When I call this addicting, I’m not kidding. It is completely delicious. It’s good in avocados, tomatoes, sandwiches, and more. I have made this and eaten the whole thing before it even got to the fridge … Please try this one.”
Ann’s right. This is addicting and alarmingly close to real chicken salad – that Southern summertime staple.
(What? You think Southerners stand over a hot stove, frying chicken and dodging hot grease, in THIS heat and humidity? Only if they’re doing it early Sunday morning, for a church luncheon. The rest of the summer, Southern cooks put the chicken on to boil, leave the kitchen, then toss the cooked chicken in the fridge and revisit it for chicken salad later.)
Now, I like vegan “chickpea” chicken salad – but, to be fair, it really doesn’t taste much like chicken. Or anything at all remotely like chicken. There, I said it. Tempeh comes much closer in terms of taste and texture.
And vegan chicken salad made with Gardein? (YUM) or Beyond Meat? (not quite so yum)? This recipe is a lot less expensive – and a lot less processed.
Like I said, I adapted this recipe slightly, to better fit the way my mama made chicken salad. Feel free to adapt it a bit, to make it more like the chicken salad you remember from your non-vegan days.
Like Ann Jackson says, please try this one.
Addicting Tempeh Vegan “Chicken” Salad Ingredients:
8 oz. package Tempeh (I used Light Life Organic)
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1/2 large Sweet Onion, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
1 teaspoon Celery Seed
3 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Sea Salt, or to taste
A couple of good grinds of Black Pepper
Directions for Addicting Tempeh Vegan “Chicken” Salad:
Steam the tempeh for 25 minutes. This is SO important! The tempeh will just be tough and taste nasty if you don’t. If you have a steamer insert, like I do, check on it in 10 minute intervals to make sure the water doesn’t all boil away.
The next step is to chop the tempeh into chunks. Since it’s been steamed so long, this should be easy. The soybeans should be falling apart from each other.
Once you have the tempeh separated into small chunks, add all the dry ingredients, then add the Vegenaise.
CHILL in the refrigerator for several hours.
I like this best on whole wheat toast, or piled high on buns.