Chik'n Salad



It seems I have become a once a week blogger!  I'm not sure what I do all day, but the computer is upstairs and I mostly live downstairs and I never think to come up and do a quick post.  My apartment in Austin was so small that the computer always beckoned so I wrote alot more.  Oh well.  I keep telling myself that this time is really an extended vacation. I bet two months from now I'll be so busy that I will wish for some down time. In the meantime I try to spend as much time with family as I can since I won't be full time here for long.  

So today's recipe might not interest you, but I think you should give it a try.  If you read much about nutrition you will see some conflict about the benefits of soy.  Soy acts like an estrogen in the body.  Past studies have shown that women in Asia who traditionally eat soy have less breast cancer than non-soy eaters. In typical American fashion you can buy all sorts of supplements to get concentrated soy, because if a little is good, more must be better.  Unfortunately the soy used in the supplements, protein bars and protein powders is not the whole soy bean, but soy protein isolates…..the protein part of the soy removed from the rest of the bean.  Not good.  This concentrated, unnatural kind of soy is not good for the body.  Baby formula with soy protein has been shown to cause early puberty in girls and delayed puberty in boys.  You can read about the problems with unfermented soy products here.  It is scary!  If you read the labels of many packaged foods you will find soy isolates, and soybean oil in most of them.  It is best to avoid those products.  (The bottom of the referenced web page tells you about the benefits of soy.) The best way to eat soy is to eat it in the whole form (like edamame or black soy beans) or  fermented soy like tempeh, miso, or natto.  Tempeh is cooked soy beans mixed with a culture and incubated for a day.  You can read about tempeh and it's health benefits here.  It is one of those strange foods that is not part of the American diet.  We made some in school and it was so delicious.  You can buy tempeh in the refrigerated health food section of most grocery stores.  It is not something I advocate eating in large quantities but I think it is good to eat occasionally.  The general rule of eating a wide variety of natural, whole foods to get a wide range of nutrients applies here.  

image from

image from

Tempeh is a little bitter. Steaming it for about 20 minutes gets rid of the bitterness.  So steam it first, and then use it however you like. You can cut it into cubes, marinate and add to stirfry.  Crumble it into a tomato sauce and serve over pasta.  Add small chunks to a soup.  I chose to make a "chicken" salad. This is like the version I made with chickpeas, just substituting the tempeh for the chickpeas.  I have a recipe for you, but really you can just subsitute it for chicken in any chicken salad recipe.  One with grapes and pecans would be nice.  Now, to be honest, it doesn't taste like chicken.  It has a nutty flavor and the texture is softer than meat.  So keep an open mind and you will love it! 

My boys find some sun….

My boys find some sun….

I will be back with a more traditional recipe next time. I have planned a delicious apricot/stone fruit puffed pancake, a three squash quinoa salad, and a pasta with broccoli rabe and mushrooms.  Something for everyone. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying some sun! 

Tempeh Chik'n Salad

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: steam salad entree gluten-free vegan vegetarian tempeh

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1/3 cup dill relish
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp mayonaise, vegan as desired
  • 1 heaping teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cut the tempeh into large slices about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile mix pickles, onions, and celery in a medium bowl. When the tempeh is cool, use a fork to crumble into pieces. Add the bowl Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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