Green Curry Kale & Crispy Coconut Tempeh

green curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first mess

green curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale prep // the first mess
My phone number has a Toronto area code. Still. This handyman/all-around skilled person that’s been working on our house pointed it out to me the other day. I used to have this underlying idea that some day I would go back, and for no real reason other than the possibility of it. After an emphatic conversation with a friend last weekend, I know that over time I’ve been embracing the quieter aspects of my home here. Way beyond being just okay with it.

Our kitchen is renovated to the point of serviceable now and this is the first thing I made in it. Kale, go figure. (except we totally had pizza + some chocolate chip cookies too) I massaged it with lime juice and olive oil to soften and then added cilantro leaves to the point where they became part of the salad itself. The dressing is coconut milk based, so, very fatty on the palate and very satiating. I bash up lemongrass, green onions, ginger, lime peels, coriander and green chili in a mortar + pestle until I get a bit of a paste going. This gets stirred into the coconut milk with an extra hit of lime and even more cilantro (cilantro haters, this salad is not for you haha). The leaves are bathed in that flavourful mix.

The last touch is small dices of tempeh crisped up in coconut oil. Mark said they were kind of like meaty croutons and I agree. This is a really easy and  tasty way to prepare tempeh if you’ve been feeling hesitant (which I totally understand because it’s a fermented soy cake that looks like brains). I’m going to try it crisped with garlic and smoked paprika for a Caesar-ish salad topper next time.

Happy weekend to you all. I’ll be back with some (raaaw!) dessert next week :)

kale // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first messgreen curry kale + crispy coconut tempeh // the first mess
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: For the dressing component, I got real physical and just bashed everything up in a mortar and pestle. This may be sufficient for some, but depending on the intensity/freshness of your ginger and lemongrass, you may want to blend all of the dressing components instead, or do the whole thing up in a mini food processor and do yourself a little strain afterwards. Taste as you go and judge from there.

1 bunch of kale, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
3 green onions, sliced + divided
3 big handfuls of cilantro leaves, divided
2 limes
olive oil
salt + pepper
2 inch piece of lemongrass (the bulb-ish part at the bottom of the stalk)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2-1 thai green chili (depending on your tolerance)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2-1 tsp tamari soy sauce
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, stirred
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
1 standard package of tempeh, cut into small pieces
sesame + hemp seeds

In a large bowl, toss the kale leaves, green parts of the sliced green onions (you’ll be reserving the white parts for the tempeh + dressing) and two handfuls of cilantro leaves. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the salad, add a bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper. Toss everything together to combine, massaging the oil/lime juice into the kale leaves in order to soften them. Set this portion of the salad aside.

Cut 3 little strips of zest off of the remaining lime and cut them up rough. Throw them into a mortar and pestle. Add in about half of the leftover green onion whites. Slice the piece of lemongrass, ginger, and chili and add those too. Finally, add the coriander and a bit of salt. Start bashing the ingredients together until you have a chunky paste. I like to squeeze a bit of lime into the mortar to help aid this process along. Once you have a decent paste, scrape it into a measuring cup and stir in the coconut milk along with the tamari. Chop up the remaining cilantro and and stir it into the mix as well. Check the dressing for salt, pepper and acidity level at this point. Adjust to your liking and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add the remaining green onions and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pieces of tempeh + some salt and pepper. Toss/stir the pieces of tempeh around here and there until all sides are browned and lightly crisp, about 8 minutes. It should sizzle and pop. Add a squeeze of lime at the end and toss them to coat.

Spoon the coconut dressing over the salad and finish with the crispy coconut tempeh pieces. Garnish the salad with sesame/hemp seeds and serve.

28/03/2014 (Last Updated: 28/03/2014)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salad, side dish, sour, spring, summer, umami, vegan, winter
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