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.
This is a great lookin dish and an awesome way to use Tempeh!
Sorry to hear that our chicken strips aren’t quite at full “YUM” status but we’d love to know how we could improve our products. We’re constantly working towards creating better tasting, meatier versions of our products and fan feedback is the best way we can make these improvements.
Thanks again for sharing this recipe and we look forward to following along with more of your tasty adventures in Charlotte!
Wow, I’m amazed at how fast you saw and responded to my blog post!
And since you asked … one of the problems I have with the chicken strips is that they become very tough VERY quickly! So it’s difficult to use them in casseroles, stir fries, curries, soup, etc., so I can really only use them on a salad or in a wrap.
I think part of the problem may be the box says “keep refrigerated,” but Whole Foods carries them in the frozen section. I’ve suspected that might be affecting the texture. Once I tried putting the frozen box in the refrigerator, but then the strips became soggy and watery as they defrosted. I’ve talked to Whole Foods and told them they were freezing a product that said “keep refrigerated,” but they did not make any change. Perhaps this is something you could look into?
I love tempeh, so this will probably be amazing!
If you love tempeh, then you MUST try this!
Planning to do so soon. Just bought the celery seed and some buns last night!
Have you used celery seed before? It tastes more like celery than celery! It’s great in pasta salad and fruit salads, and my mom used it in chicken salad and tuna salad.
Never have. But my husband filled the bulk spice bag to capacity, so I’m going to need more recipes that use it!
You’re in luck … I’m working on a tempeh tuna fish salad melt, which also uses celery seed!
We finally made this last night… easy to put together and very tasty! Husband was musing about a tuna version, so we’ll be looking forward to your next recipe. 🙂
Thought to share: we buy Butler soy curls in bulk and I just got to the bottom of the big bag, where the curls are nowhere near ‘chick’n finger’ shape (seriously, the ones at the top of the bulk bag are always huge, which is handy). The bottom of the bag has maybe just under a pound of ‘shards of curl’.
Well… once soaked, they looked JUST like tuna from a can. I’m going to try to make a ‘tuna salad’ out of them this weekend. Not sure if you use soy curls, but if you do: there you go. If you don’t: they’re awesome!
Oh, that’s great! I’ve had soy curls (at Bean) but have not yet cooked with them. I’ll have to try it! I did make a pretty good “tuna melt” with the tempeh (kelp and dill pickles really made it taste like tuna) but the texture was a little off.
Bean was the first place we ever had soy curls! Now, we cook with them regularly. Really versatile. I was going to use nori to make the salad tuna-like. Hadn’t thought of kelp–unless that’s actually the same thing (probably)!
I think they’re both seaweed, just different kinds or different colors!
Bean has introduced me to a lot in the way of new vegan foods – soy curls, jackfruit, Harmony Valley hamburger mix … Thanks Chef Charlie!
Good to know!
Oh, we ate at Bean several days in a row when we were last in Charlotte. Love that place.
Your stuff looks so GOOD. You need some ads to help pay for your blog or contribution or sponcers, may b like public radio. People could sponcer for a day or a week to celebrate various occassions
I’m avoiding ads at the moment because (1) I think ads can be incredibly irritating; I’ve stopped following some otherwise very good blogs because the ads were so distracting, and (2) they would have to be just the right ad, a company/product that shares my values of ahimsa, health, and protecting the earth. Eventually, as my blog grows, it will be easier to attract companies with similar values.
Sponsorship is an interesting idea. Would you like to be my first sponsor? 😉
Oh, and thanks for saying my stuff looks GOOD. An omnivore saying vegan food looks so GOOD is a huge compliment! 🙂
Can’t wait to give it a try! I just found a homemade veganaise recipe too!
Oh, homemade veganaise is soooo good!
Oh goody! I am glad to try it out! Maybe I will post the recipe soon…
This looks yummy!
It really is!
I made this and it was delicious!! The only thing I did was to pulse the chunks of tempeh in the food processor a couple times first to make them really small. I followed everything else to a T and even added a small handful of chopped almonds (extra fat for keto). Thanks for the great idea!!
So glad you liked it! And that’s a great idea, to use a food processor!