We bought this sourdough. Like crazy delicious, I could eat half this loaf right now, locally baked sourdough bread. And Jazz really wanted BLT’s. And that’s good. That’s fine. I mean, if you’re Jazz. And everything you eat turns into solid muscle (I mean seriously….c’mon!). Recently, I have been very mindful of what I eat. I’ve upped the protein, upped the vegetables and started doing some strength training. All of this has made me more aware of my hunger signals and more importantly aware of the difference I feel in my energy when I am putting good food in my body on a regular basis (like the difference between flopping on the couch after work from exhaustion and making dinner, cleaning the house, and writing a blog post after work and then feeling like I could go for a run). And while a delicious crispy tempeh bacon BLT, a little mayo and some ripe organic tomatoes on the sourdough from heaven would have been divine, I knew it would throw a wrench in how well I’ve been feeling. So I compromised (at least so I thought). I made a salad version of the sandwich love affair I was hoping to have.
And then it was so good.
Ok, let’s be straight. A salad…will never….be as good as a sandwich. Just like froyo will never be as good as ice cream. But you, guys, there is some seriously good froyo out there. And it’s better for you. So, tit for tat and all that.
It’s like annoyingly healthy.
It’s crammed with flavor.
And I felt great afterwards rather than weighed down and fraught with guilt.
The tahini lemon dressing that goes with this is so simple. You only need one bowl so clean up is a breeze. I love using kale in this salad because it balances out the tempeh and tomatoes so well. And I didn’t even mention the pièce de résistance, the FRESH BASIL. Don’t worry, I didn’t deny myself entirely. I took half a slice of the dreamy sourdough and made mother crunching croutons with it! So [insert profanity] good!
I hope you like it. And I hope it makes you feel really good about yourself. Because that’s what I’m here to do. And if not that, then hopefully my acting like an imbecile will help you realize that things could be worse.
Vegan “BLT” Salad
2 cups kale, washed, destemed, and torn into bite size pieces
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp tahini
1/2 a clove of garlic, finely grated
6-7 slices tempeh bacon, crisped up in a cast iron or sauté pan
1/4 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup cucumber, diced
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
1 slice of sourdough (or bread of choice)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium size bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. With clean hands (I know this sounds funny, but trust me it works) massage the kale for about 30 seconds. Get rough with it. This will really soften up the raw kale and make it a little easier to eat. The lemon juice will make it nice and tender.
2. Let the kale sit while you prep the rest of your salad. Put a little bit of butter on either side of your sourdough. Cut into cubes and place on a small baking dish, like a cake pan. Place in the oven and allow to cook 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the croutons are baking, chop your veggies and basil.
3. Pour the tahini over the greens. Grate in a little garlic. If you don’t like a strong garlic flavor just use a little. Toss in the tomato, cucumber and basil and toss to coat. Place in a salad bowl and top with diced bacon and crunchy croutons. Eat now!