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Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Chili Tempeh

Photo Credit: The Joyful Hearth

Running out of plant-based dinner inspiration?  This wild rice based salad has been a favorite of mine and with the addition of a maple and chili glazed tempeh, it’s been elevated to full on main-course status.  Tempeh is a fermented food and natural probiotic, the fermentation process actually increases its protein content, as well as boosting vitamins and minerals!  Tempeh has a firm texture and earthy flavor and can take on many flavors and textures.  In this case, tempeh is crisped up in coconut oil and takes on a subtelty sweet and spicy flavor.

Tempeh is known to reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms and promote muscle recovery.  In addition to these amazing benefits, tempeh has the same protein quality as meat and contains high levels of B5, B6, B3 and B2.

Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Chili Tempeh (Adapted from the Joyful Hearth)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice blend, uncooked

½ tsp. sea salt

2 T. organic olive oil

2 cups butternut squash, diced

2 T. coconut oil

8 oz package of LightLife Tempeh

2 T. maple syrup

2 T. tamari or coconut aminos

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ cup dried cranberries or blueberries

1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 orange

½ cup parsley, fresh chopped

Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add wild rice blend to a pot and cook according to directions (add salt). Toss the butternut squash in the olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until fork tender but not mushy. Set aside.

While squash cooks and rice steams, cook the tempeh. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Heat coconut oil in sautee pan and medium high heat. Place tempeh in the hot oil in a single layer and cook for until golden and crisp on each side (approx. 1-2 minutes per side). Add the maple syrup, tamari, and chili mix to the sauté pan and toss to coat the tempeh.

In a large bowl, fold the cooked rice, butternut squash, maple coated tempeh, pecans, cranberries,

In a bowl, whisk the maple syrup, chili powder, and tamari together. Add the lemon juice & zest and the orange juice & zest. Add salt and pepper as needed and garnish with fresh parsley.

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