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Salad recipes

Lentil and tempeh salad with tahini dressing

Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes
serves 4 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published September 20 2021
Updated September 21 2021


For the salad
1 cup lentils
1 large broccoli
4 cups edamame
400 grams tempeh, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 tsp olive oil
12 stems kale
4 several handfuls of microgreens
Yoghurt tahini dressing
14 cup vegan yoghurt
14 cup tahini
1 tbsp apple cider
12 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp tamari, plus more as required
Optional toppings
hemp seeds
2 avocado, sliced


To prepare the lentils, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the lentils then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook the broccoli by placing into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt. Cover and cook for a minute. Remove the broccoli, place in a strainer and run under cold water for a minute. Set aside. Cut into florets.

Add the edamame to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes.

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Add more tahini or water to achieve the right consistency—spreadable but not pourable. Taste. Add salt or vinegar to taste.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the oil and tempeh, and cook, until browned. Add the kale, but briefly, moving around the pan until the colour brightens.

To assemble, toss the lentils with the broccoli, edamame, tempeh, kale and microgreens.

Divide between bowls or onto a serving platter and top with generous servings of tahini dressing and finish with your favourite optionals.

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days.

A Vegetarian Gothic-inspired lentil, tempeh salad with microgreens and tahini dressing

This is a meal reminiscent of simpler times, pre Beyond anything celebrating the life-force of plants and delivering an abundance of plant protein—approximately 15 grams per serving. Meals that all come together in minutes that make for a vibrant, feel-good food are what I'm preparing most days. Meals like this re-frame the food at hand and remind us just how beneficial and powerful each ingredient we use can be.

Can you get enough protein eating a vegan diet?

In your quest to support high health, a balanced system, it's critical to understand how and where you're getting your protein sources and whether those sources are promoting longevity or disease. And with plant protein sources, you end up nourishing your body with the most bioavailable sources of micronutrients and fibre in our food system. For instance, leafy green kale and cauliflower, two ultra-detoxifying, nutrient-rich vegetables, contain around three grams of protein per cup. Iron is found in spirulina which also has 4 grams of protein per tablespoon. And vitamins D and K and calcium—all required for resilient bones, skin, and teeth are found in mushrooms and pea protein. I encourage everyone to become educated on the topic. The China Study is a great place to start. I read the full text when I was studying nutrition during my earlier twenties which informed much of my thinking regarding diet and longevity.

And more of our times, Amandine is currently reading Simon Hill’s The Proof Is in the Plants. Seen through the lens of science, his analytical approach pulls back the curtain on industry propaganda and reveals the often overlooked connection between human and planetary health. Simon has a Masters degree in Nutrition and the book is very much for everyone.

Protein is composed of 20 amino acids, 11 of which your body produces and 9 of which you can only obtain through food. The term "complete protein" refers to a food source that has all 20 of these amino acids, though it is not required that you obtained these all through a singular food source. I follow a vegan eating philosophy which is whole foods focused, with plenty of greens, ferments and as much fresh, locally sourced organic produce as possible. And there's always chocolate and coffee. So I don't feel in any way restricted in my diet. I know I am feeding myself what my body needs, and there are so many options these days! A plant-based diet also teaches you that you can find protein in some surprising places, for example, green peas and broccoli.

Vegan protein sources

And while your protein intake will depend on your activity level, height, weight and genetics, you only need to eat about 0.8g/kg of your body weight in protein, which a balanced plant-based diet more than covers. What are our daily go-to ingredients for powerful plant-based protein? We have several. You'll find ideas below that can boost your protein intake without centring your meals on animal proteins or foods that are trying to be.

Tempeh, 100g—17 grams

Tofu, 100g—12.5 grams

Edamame, ½ cup—9 grams

Lentils, ½ cup—9 grams

Quinoa, 1 cup cooked—8 grams

Green peas, 1 cup—8 grams

Nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons—8 grams

Black beans, ½ cup—8 grams

Chickpeas, ½ cup—7 grams

Almonds, ¼ cup—6 grams

Sourdough bread, 1 slice—6 grams

Hemp seed hummus, ¼ cup—5.8 grams

Buckwheat, 1 cup, cooked—5 grams

Oats, ½ cup—5 grams

Collard greens, 1 cup—5 grams

Spirulina, 1 tablespoon—4 grams

Chia seeds, 1 tablespoon—4 grams

Peanut butter, 1 tablespoon—3.5 grams

Hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon—3.5 grams

Broccoli, 1 cup—3 grams

Kale 1 cup—3 grams

Mushrooms, 1 cup—3 grams

Flaxseed, 1 tablespoon—3 grams

Vegan protein combinations

Green smoothies, whatever you’re feeling, combine hydrating greens and frozen bananas in a blender with chia seeds, a half tablespoon of spirulina and oats—that’s roughly 14 grams of protein. Add a scoop of protein powder and take it to over 40 grams. Amazonia RawFIT Performance Protein is my favourite with 31.6 grams of protein per serve.

Combine—chia seeds (4 g) + spirulina (2 g) + oats (5 g) + vegan protein powder (31 g) = 42 g.

Celebrate your health and vitality with a vibrant, plant-rich bowl but make it no-nonsense yet interesting. Most nights my partner and I combine lentils or quinoa with broccoli, kale, sprouts and pan-fried tempeh. And a generous serving of hummus. It’s incredibly satisfying.

Combine—lentils (9 g) + broccoli (3 g) + kale (3 g) + tempeh (17 g) + hummus (5 g) = 34 g

Tofu bowls like this savoury porridge and this karaage tofu have impeccable taste; the umami mushrooms are to thank. If you don’t have time to make all the components, marinated organic tofu from the grocery store will work, too.

Combine—kale (3 g) + edamame (9 g) + tofu (12 g) + quinoa or lentil noodles (9 g) = 33 g

Overnight oats. So good for breakfast or a snack. All you need to do is add chia seeds, hemp seeds and ground flaxseeds to a half cup of oats and almond or peanut butter, if you have it. Cover with oat or almond milk and let it sit in the fridge until creamy. You’ll find our regular oats here.

Combine—oats (5 g) + chia seeds (4 g) + hemp seeds (3.5 g) + ground flaxseed (3 g) + almond butter (3.5 g) = 19 g

Our lunch obsession, two slices of sourdough topped with hummus and avocado—we love it smashed with apple cider vinegar; finished with hemp seed oil and hemp seeds, it’s bright and herbaceous. If you have the time to make beans on toast, you’ll add an extra 9 grams of protein to your plate. Try these smoky baked beans or miso version. Both are equally delicious. Tofu scramble is a weekend favourite, Kala Namak salt (Himalayan black volcanic salt) is a pantry upgrade worth seeking out.

Combine—sourdough slices (12 g) + avocado half (2 g) + hummus (5 g) + hemp seeds (3.5 g) = 20.5 g + add beans (9 g) or tofu (12 g)

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