Even though it’s cold outside (a very frosty -12 C feels like -26 C with the windchill today here in wintery Southwestern Ontario), and my natural impulse is to wear pajamas in front of the fireplace all day long, I haven’t yet felt the yen for the proverbial comfort food.
Or rather, I should say that I want comfort food, but re-envisioned. I want foods that are the right balance of rich, healthy, and light, if that at all makes sense. What appeals to me right now are meals like raw vegetables with a creamy tahini dressing, or an inviting lentil soup with delicious miso for that umami flavour.
But, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Let’s talk about this recipe. This spinach salad with roast potatoes, avocado, and maple tempeh is inspired by (and, truthfully, closely follows) a recipe from the Thrive Cookbook, a fantastic cookbook with vegan recipes that aim to help everyone transition to clean eating. The recipes are tagged as either raw, transition, protein-rich, gluten-free, and/or super nutrient dense, so you can pick your level of ‘clean eating’ (the goal being to provide options for people all along the spectrum of eating). All of the recipes are healthy, though, and all look delicious. (If you want another fantastic clean eating cookbook, check out Clean Food)
In this particular salad, the spinach keeps things light and fresh (Popeye said it best: “I’m strong the finish, cause I eat my spinach”), and the toppings are suitably delicious, substantial, and warming, making this a salad fit for a clean eating winter queen.
Plus, in winter, when everything starts to take a more gargantuan effort than ever before, using a few prepared items (the maple tempeh and the vegan mayonnaise) makes things just that little bit simpler.
And man, is this salad ever good. Warm, creamy, full of protein and healthy fats, with a bit of that excellent spinach crunch. Top notch.
Creamy Spinach Salad with Roast Potatoes, Avocado, and Maple Tempeh
- Author: Thrive Cookbook (with tweaks by Backyard Owl)
- Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free (depending on your brand of tempeh), soy-free (depending on your type of vegan mayonnaise), nut-free, grain-free, naturally-sweetened
- organic baby or regular spinach, washed well – your desired amount
- smoky maple tempeh (I use the Tofurky Tempeh brand)
- one avocado
- roast potatoes (potatoes, olive oil, pink salt)
- For the Dressing: mix 1-2 tablespoons of soy-free vegan mayonnaise with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup – depending on your taste preferences
- Optional: splash of lemon juice, sprinkle of smoked paprika
- Roast potatoes. Scrub two to three large organic potatoes and dice into cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon pink salt, and roast in a 425F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown)
- Either in the same oven, or in a frying pan, prepare tempeh – broil for 8 minutes in the oven, or gently fry in a skillet until lightly golden.
- Preparing dressing: whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
- Toss spinach with dressing.
- Peel and slice avocado, and add to salad.
- Arrange tempeh and roast on top of spinach, and finish with the optional splash of lemon juice and smoked paprika. Enjoy!
© Backyard Owl