I'm not normally a big maker of salads. Big time lover of them, yes, but not a big-time maker. Although I've always silently acknowledged this fact about myself, I've done little to try and understand it. See also: any other single characteristic I've ever exhibited in my entire life. Woe is me, though, the onset of my first humidity-happy, East Coast summer has been very convincing in favor of salads. The idea of anything but the lightest and coolest of cuisines is difficult to stomach--waka waka waka.
Salads are excellent dumping grounds for leftovers, cravings, and all kinds of seasonal goodies. Anything that happens to strike my fancy at the grocery store can easily be negotiated into a salad by weeks end, a quality that I'm particularly fond of in a dish due to my bad habit of wandering into corner stores and emerging hours later the proud parent of 8 pounds of strange vegetables. Also, keeping myself in supply of fresh spinach and mesclun mix is as easy as 1-2-walk to the corner store and buy a container for only two dollars-3. The rest is a revolving door of ingredients and fly-by-night fancies. This tempeh and avocado concoction was dreamt up as I scavenged my recently cleaned (i.e. everything thrown away) fridge for a satisfying lunch. It's definitely light, but full of good proteins and veggies for a filling and utterly delightful dish.
You Will Need:
8 oz. tempeh
1/4 an avocado
1/2 med. sized tomato, diced
1/4 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup sliced carrots
Handful of sliced almonds.
A few tbls. of vinegar
Tempeh preparation takes longest, so best to do it first. Dice up the tempeh into 3/4 inch cubes and lay them out on a baking sheet. No oil or prep is necessary. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or somewhere in the vicinity), and slide the baking sheet in. Check in on them periodically, turning to make sure all sides turn golden. Once they are crispy and brownish, they're ready to go.
Rinse your spinach and toss it with the chickpeas, diced tomato, carrots, and almonds. Place this part in a bowl and lay some avocado slices over it. When the tempeh is done, throw that on top and drizzle vinegar to taste over the whole she-bang. I say this every time but: delicious!