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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

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    A Look Back.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh.

Let the Thanksgiving cooking begin!  And not a minute too late, as the holidays are sneaking up on me faster than I can cook and photograph.  This is the first of several recipes I really wanted to share here this year.

Thanksgiving is without a doubt my absolutely favorite holiday, and I can’t think of anything better than a day spent entirely focused on food (okay, and the National Dog Show at my house).  We have been vegetarian for five years (!) now, and still every year I find that someone is worried about “what we will eat” at the dinner table.  Come on guys, it’s all about the side dishes, right?

I could live on a plate of mashed potatoes and cranberries alone, but it’s definitely good to have a few more complete dishes to round out the vegetarian menu.  For those of you concerned with serving a vegetarian or vegan entrée or protein at your Thanksgiving table – this one is for you.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

It might look like a simple salad, but it’s an entrée that will leave you more than satisfied.  Delicious wilted kale accented with all sorts of tasty things like fresh pomegranate seeds, salty olives, and sweet dried cranberries.  But the additions of chewy wheatberries and tasty tempeh move this salad from side dish to the center of the table. 

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries and Tempeh

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 block tempeh
  • splash of orange juice
  • 1 cup cooked wheatberries (or 1/2 cup dry)
  • 10 oz kale, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup Spanish olives
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange muscat vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • gorgonzola crumbles (optional)


If you don’t have cooked wheatberries already, you’ll want to get those started first. I cooked several cups in my rice cooker (and tossed the leftovers into the fridge for lunches), but you can also just cook them on the stovetop.

Festive Kale Salad with with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Add 1/2 cup dry wheatberries to 1 cup water in a sauce pan, and simmer until the wheatberries are tender – around 20 minutes. Season with salt, drain, and set aside.

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Cube tempeh into bite sized pieces. In a non-stick pan, sauté tempeh over medium high heat in order to get some good color and browning.

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Add a few splashes of orange juice to deglaze, and stir frequently. Season with salt, and set aside once it is finished cooking.

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While the tempeh cooks, go ahead and prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop the olives and de-seed your pomegranate.

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For this kale salad, you want the kale to be chopped very finely. I used a bag of pre-shredded organic kale (from Trader Joe’s) and I still chopped it to be quite a bit finer.

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Add the kale to a large sauté pan, along with 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt, and cover with a lid. You aren’t trying to cook it to death, just wilt it, so stir often and uncover after a minute or so.

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Once the kale has wilted and softened a bit, remove it and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped olives, dried cranberries, drained wheatberries, pomegranate seeds, and cooked tempeh. Add the zest of one orange over top.

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In a small bowl, whisk together the orange vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to make the dressing.  I use this vinegar from Trader Joe’s!

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Pour over top of the salad mixture, and stir well to combine.  Add any additional salt to taste.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily GarnishFestive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Serve at room temperature, and garnish with gorgonzola crumbles if you love them  as much as I do.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

I love this salad because it can be a perfect side dish to a bigger meal (like say, Thanksgiving!) but it can also stand on its own as a complete dish. 

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

All the bright citrus and sweet flavors of orange and cranberry pair so well with the salty olives and tangy gorgonzola.  This salad has a lot going on, but definitely in a good way.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

This is the perfect dish to serve if you’re entertaining vegans (leave out the cheese!) or vegetarians and don’t know what to make, and it is just as good the next day as leftovers.

Several more recipes coming next week!  It is most definitely the most wonderful time of the year, and absolutely my favorite food to cook.  Happy Friday, friends!

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Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh.

This is something I’ve been making consistently for over a year now, and each time I make it I think to myself – have I still not shared this one on the blog yet?  I’ve thought and talked (to Casey) a lot about this space and where I see it going.  And while I know food has been far from the focus for a while now, it’s still something that has remained really important to us.  I’d really like to get back to sharing some of our kitchen creations with you!

Now that my weekends are no longer spend puttering in the garden, mowing the grass, and simply sitting out in the sunshine, I’m feeling myself being drawn back into more cooking.  My goal going forward is to spend a little chunk of the weekends documenting a recipe for each week, and with Casey’s help I should be able to do that most of the time. 

My current focus and enthusiasm is centered around sharing some new Thanksgiving recipes.  I did a whole slew of them back in 2011, but the past two years we’ve mainly just cooked those same recipes over and over again.  And while they still remain some of my favorite dishes, I’m ready to try something new this year. 

This particular dish has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but was something I made for the family last week – and I thought it was long overdue that I share it with you. 

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

When I first dipped my toe into vegetarian cooking (and eating!) I wasn’t a huge fan of tempeh.  I found the taste to be somewhat bitter, and no matter how I tried to cook it (sautéed, baked, etc.) it always came out dry and crumbly.  And then on a trip to DC two years ago, I had this insane tempeh sandwich at Teaism that was so unbelievably juicy and delicious, and I made a vow that I was going to master tempeh myself.  And with this recipe, I feel like I did. 

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (4 to 6 servings)

  • 2 packages tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


If you are new to tempeh, don’t be scared of the outward appearance.  The pieces often have some dark grey or even black discoloring.  This is normal and doesn’t mean it is rotten.  It is sold in large slabs, but I found that the key to getting it soft and juicy is cutting it into small bites prior to cooking – that way all the yummy sauce and flavor coats all sites of every bite!

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Start by cutting the tempeh into bite-sized cubes. I always make two blocks at a time because there are four of us eating it, and I want there to be leftovers for the next day, but you can always halve the recipe to make just one.

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Add the tempeh to a small glass baking dish, and arrange evenly in one layer.  Mince the garlic, peel and mince the ginger, and add to a small mixing bowl. Add orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, and whisk it all to combine.

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Carefully pour the mixture over the tempeh, and set aside for at least an hour to marinate. If possible, leave out on a counter or a kitchen shelf (outside of the refrigerator), as marinating is most effective at room temperature.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Once you are ready to eat, heat a dry non-stick pan or skillet to medium high heat. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the tempeh from the baking dish, and add to the pan, leaving as much marinade as possible behind in the mixing bowl.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

You want to get a bit of color on the dry tempeh before cooking it in the sauce, so cook over medium-high heat for about ten minutes, stirring often, as the cubes get a bit of browning all over.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Once there is enough color, turn the heat down to medium (around 5 on my electric stovetop!) and pour the rest of the sauce into the pan. It will sizzle and bubble due to the heat of the pain – keep stirring to coat all of the tempeh.

Now you just want to slowly let the sauce reduce. This is where you have to watch carefully. You don’t want it to be thin (like it was as a marinade) but you also don’t want it to completely cook away. Stir frequently for a few minutes as the viscosity of the sauce thickens, and remove from heat once it looks more like a sticky syrup – thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without running right off.

Serve immediately, or store for leftovers. I find this is just as good the next day!

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

I will be honest and tell you that these pictures were sort of thrown together at the last minute.  I’d planned to make some sesame broccoli on the side to photograph nicely with the tempeh, but just as I pulled it off the stove Cullen woke up from his nap with a 102 fever!  Yikes!

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

So don’t mind my messy photos, and promise me that if you are new to tempeh – or if you’d sworn it off in the past – you will give this recipe a try.  It is one of our weekly favorites, and it’s such a great source of healthy vegetarian protein for the whole family. 

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Enjoy – and have a great weekend!

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