Apple Cider Vinegar Tempeh Salad

One of the main complaints people have about soy (tofu, tempeh, etc.) is that it’s always trying to be something it’s not. That’s a complaint I hear about vegetarians a lot, too — why try and make something taste/feel like meat when it’s not meat? To me, it makes sense. You would season chicken or beef, so why not season tofu the same way. It’s just easy.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tempeh Salad @hiddenfruitnveg

As for why you’d make something taste/feel like meat, that’s something I’m still grappling with. Especially because something with a similar texture to real meat actually creeps me out to the point where some meat substitutes are just out for me. So for this recipe, I didn’t try to make the tempeh anything it’s not. No seasons that I think will make it taste like chicken, just flavors I thought went well with the subtle bitterness that tempeh can have. Just wanted to celebrate this rogue chunk of tempeh I found in my fridge.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tempeh Salad @hiddenfruitnveg

This would make a fantastic sandwich or lettuce wrap, but I also just enjoyed scooping it up with crackers. It’s sweet and tangy plus it has a little crunch — you really can’t go wrong anyway you want to eat it. And like most scoopable salads (sandwich salads? I can never figure out what to call stuff like this…), it tastes even better the next day.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tempeh Salad @hiddenfruitnveg

Apple Cider Vinegar Tempeh Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4 servings

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ c mayo (for vegan, I like Just Mayo) or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • ¼ c sunflower seeds
For serving:
  • Flax Seed Artisan Nut Thins or Multi-Seed Artisan Nut Thins
  • Lettuce or bread to make wraps/sandwiches

  1. Roughly chop the tempeh (I like it in longer, skinny pieces). Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 60 seconds (heating will help get rid of some bitterness and help the tempeh absorb the sauce).
  2. Make the sauce by whisking together the vinegar, mayo, agave, nutritional yeast, basil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss the sauce with the tempeh, carrot, and sunflower seeds. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Serve as desired.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

At first it will seem like there’s too much liquid in the sauce, but the tempeh will absorb it as it rests.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 240 Fat: 18 Carbohydrates: 12 Fiber: 1 Protein: 12

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins. All opinions are my own.

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    Stefanie Oct 06, 2015

    Should I steam the tempeh beforehand or cook it first?

      Kelly Oct 06, 2015

      Unless your tempeh explicitly says it needs to be cooked, just follow the recipe as-is.

    Izzy Aug 10, 2015

    I agree, one of the reasons I don’t like meat very much is because of the texture so I would never purposely want to make something like that! But, unseasoned chicken is about as appetizing as unseasoned tofu, so it always makes me mad when people say tofu is boring and has no taste! I love apple cider vinegar and am so intrigued by this tempeh salad!!

    Joanne Aug 06, 2015

    I have a really hard time eating seitan because the texture is so similar to meat! It just grosses me out. But tempeh, I do love. I feel like it tastes nothing like meat…which is why I like it!