This is Why We Live in L.A.

Curried Tempeh-Mango SaladJust another fantastic day here in L.A. and if it weren’t for the fact that my cat has a bladder infection (what??) and my husband has bursitis of the knee (huh??) and there’s a mouse that has decided to make my garage its home (are you kidding me?), I would say it was a perfect one. Upper 60s, clear and sunny, just a slight breeze. In December. Which is supposed to be winter time. But isn’t here in Southern California. Quite a difference scene than the one back in Minnesota where my friend Heidi is dealing with temps in the single digits. IN THE SINGLE DIGITS. I honestly don’t know how I lived in Minnesota under those conditions for 30 years. Oh wait. I do—I was much younger! I was thinking of Heidi today not just because of the wonderful weather we were having but because of the new dish I made…curried tempeh-mango salad. She’s a sucker for anything with curry and I believe she would have loved having this for lunch with us as we ate out on the porch, under filtered sunlight, in shorts, with a glass of white wine.

This salad is great in any kind of weather…hot, cold, and anything in between. Super easy to make but incredibly flavorful and very satisfying. I like to serve it on a bed of mixed greens with pita bread on the side. It’s also delish in a wrap or served open face on toasted whole wheat bread. Heck, you could even make it an appetizer with baguette slices or stuffed into wonton wrappers and baked. Man, the possibilities are endless. Much like sunny days in L.A.

Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad

Curried Tempeh-Mango (or Grape or Cranberry or Raisin) Salad (adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance)

  • 1 (8 oz.) package tempeh – I like to get the flax or multi-grain kind
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup mango, cut into ¼-inch chunks OR 1 cup red grapes, sliced lengthwise OR ¾ cup dried cranberries OR ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup raw almond slivers
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions

For the dressing:

  • 3 Tablespoons Vegannaise
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • Juice of 1-2 limes, according to your taste preference (I use 1½ juicy limes)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional…depending on how sweet your limes are)
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt

For the salad:

  • Mixed greens
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Extra mango slices

Break the tempeh into bite-size pieces and put in a saucepan. Cover with water and add the soy sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and allow tempeh to cool.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Stir in the mango (or whatever fruit you decided to use) and scallions. Add the cooled tempeh and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors develop and then serve atop mixed greens topped with slices of red onion and mango.