Coco-nutty Tempeh Salad with Fresh Corn Chowder

Sometimes there is just nothing quite like crunchy, toasted coconut. It is nutty. It is coco-y. It is delicious with multi-grain tempeh! I realized this morning when I peeked in the fridge that I had at least 3 gallon size bags of greens that really need to be eaten. So, without compromising the heartiness that you just have to have for the day's main meal, I made soup and salad tonight with a side of sweet potato fries (okay, they were Yam fries). Here's what we had: 

Everything was delicious! Here's a little more detail...

The coconut tempeh was first marinated in water with salt, bay leaves and garlic for a couple hours. Then I rolled it in a spelt/soy/spice batter, rolled it in shredded (unsweetened) coconut and fried it up in a little safflower oil. The recipe is apparently a staple on the menu at Fresh in Toronto. Paul and I ate there on our anniversary this month while we were visiting. Delicious food, and who knew? They have a cookbook so I can recreate all their stuff at home. Hurrah! 

I put the coconut on top of a yummy collection of greens from our CSA. It was our LAST share this week, so it was bittersweet-- but mostly bitter and crunchy. The mix included mizuna greens and what I think might be Daikon greens. Whatever it was, it worked. I threw in some raisins, chopped apricots, sunflower seeds and toasted walnuts. The dressing was thrown together and focused around my delicious grapefruit white balsamic vinegar from Fustini's in Traverse City, MI. I mixed that with a little tahini (not logical, but pretty tasty), some apricot jelly and a bit of lime juice and zest. 

The corn chowder was straight out of the cookbook and had a carrot/potato base with a little onion. Add veggie bouillon, fresh cut corn and some adobe soaked chipotle for spice, and puree your little heart out. I poured it over additional fresh cut corn and mixed in a bunch of chopped basil and coarse black pepper. It was really filling, and while the ingredients were pretty summery, the soup was warming and offered cold comfort (except it was 68 today...what is up with this weather??). 

And with that nice summery weather in mind, I just couldn't get out of dinner without cooking up some sweet potato fries. I swear I've been having them 3-4 times a week. Not odd, I suppose, if you're a vegan. Who knows? I used Isa's recipe, but I make this stuff all the time. Cut them thin, toss them in olive oil and add spices to taste. Isa suggests cumin and coriander. I like it with my adobe spice blend from Penzey's plus a little sea salt. Bake 'em, flip 'em, and bake 'em a little more. 

I'd do it all over again...and I highly recommend the coconut tempeh. So yum! 

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