Salad with Strawberry-Lime Tempeh

Last Saturday the Farmer’s Market was just exploding with strawberries!  I snatched up 2 quarts of the bright red, glistening berries for snacking and cooking all week. I also picked up a big bag full of fresh spring lettuces that had been all mixed together. So, a salad with strawberries was definitely in order for the week.

I took the berries, along with some lime and chili, and ground them into a marinade for tempeh – to create the protein base for this salad. The tempeh broiled in the oven, while the leftover marinade became the dressing for some lovely mixed lettuce, toasted pumpkin seeds and some cheese, if you so desire. You could also use tofu, or your protein of choice.

These days I purchase much of the produce I eat from the farmer’s market. Especially all my fruit. Fresh, local fruit that’s allowed to ripen on the “vine” (or tree, etc…) and trucked in the day it’s picked can’t even be compared to it’s grocery store counterpart. Strawberries are no exception. You’ve never even tasted a strawberry until you’ve had a small, plump, sweet berry, pink all the way through. Seriously. Try it. Sooo worth it!

Today’s Food Matters Project is “Mexican Fruit Salad with Broiled Fish”. This is my take.

Salad with Strawberry-Lime Tempeh

1 pint strawberries
juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno, seeded
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
8 oz. tempeh
enough salad greens for 2 big salads
2 T. pumpkin seeds
2 oz. cheese (I used cheddar, feta or goat would be delish)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Combine most of the strawberries, lime juice, jalepeno, salt and oil in the food processor or blender, and pulse until it turns into a chunky liquid. Set aside.

Cut the tempeh in quarters. Slice each piece like a hamburger bun to make eight skinny slices. Lay them on a baking sheet and brush them on both sides with the strawberry mixture. Let them sit for 10 minutes, then brush them again with the strawberries and slide them in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping and basting once or twice. You will use about half the marinade for this.

While the tempeh bakes, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to pop. Slice the rest of the strawberries.

To serve, combine the salad greens, seeds, sliced strawberries and cheese if you’re using. Drizzle with the leftover marinade and top with a few tempeh pieces.

serves 2 as a full meal, 4 as a side

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