Oh, how I miss Portland when I’m away. Plenty of restaurants with tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers, and beans and lentils to top salads or add into burritos. Though I am not vegetarian or vegan, I have found over time that I prefer to cook less meat. I will order it when I’m out to eat, and I love to cook fish, but cooking a piece of chicken or beef to add protein to my meal doesn’t have the same appeal to me unless it’s part of a larger recipe.
Paradox Cafe is one of those places that gives me inspiration to go meat-less, on SE Belmont. With options like cranberry-hazelnut 4 grain pancakes (vegan) or hummus and spinach on top of warmed flatbread (my best friend’s favorite), you can’t go wrong. My staple there is the thai stick spinach salad (vegan), with crispy tempeh, fresh spinach, toasted almonds, tomatoes, green onion, mushrooms, cucumber, and bell pepper with their Thai dressing. Amazing. I recreated what I could from this recipe with a sesame garlic twist.
Sesame Garlic Tempeh Salad (serves 1)
- Fresh spinach
- 4-6 sesame garlic marinated tempeh strips
- 1/2 red pepper
- 4-6 baby carrots
- Sesame garlic dressing (recipe from Whole Foods here)
If you can get your hands on some marinated tempeh strips, it makes a huge difference. I got mine from Turtle Island Foods (an Oregon company!) at Whole Foods. It is really difficult to marinate yourself because it is so dense, but if you need to, soak your tempeh in the dressing for a day in the fridge. Cook it in a pan almost like bacon until it gets crispy and browned on both sides.
Chop your carrots and red pepper into strips and your tempeh into squares if you want. Arrange everything on a plate or in a container for work lunch! I love the new Glad To Go containers, because you can keep the dressing separate so your salad doesn’t wilt.