Eat Well Apr. 26. 2022

Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh

Apr. 26. 2022
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

It’s so easy to see why kale is king with this Simple Kale Caesar Salad recipe! It’s a unique, delicious way to enjoy kale any time of the year. 

Who doesn’t love a new twist on an old classic? If you’re a fan of Caesar salads, you’ll have to give this recipe a try. It’s one of my go-to favorite recipes, I’m so excited to share it with you all!

We’re all about prioritizing the combination of enjoyment and nourishment here at Nutrition Stripped. And this recipe is a beautiful example of just that!

Using the Foundational Five to Create This Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh

In case you’re new to the NS Community and the Mindful Nutrition Method, the Foundational Five system is part of how we teach you to build balanced meals. It makes it easy for you to give your body the nourishment you need while having the flexibility to enjoy the foods you love without stressing about food.

The Foundational Five is made up of five elements of nutrition including Protein, Fat, Non-starchy Carbohydrates, Starchy & Sugary Carbohydrates, and the Flavor Factor (which brings vibrancy, deliciousness, and enjoyment to your meals). 

You can download our free guide that walks you through our Foundational Five system for creating balanced meals that you can use to meal prep or cook fresh this week!

Kale Nutrition Benefits 

Extremely Nutrient Dense 

Kale is jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K! Plus, it’s got some calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and even copper.

A Great Source of Antioxidants 

Kale is also packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are particularly important for fighting off those free radicals in order to ultimately help prevent and fight disease. 

Ingredients Needed To Make This Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh

  • Massaged kale
  • Raw cashews
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Dijon mustard
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Coconut aminos
  • Coconut oil
  • Organic tempeh
  • Maple syrup

How To Make This Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh

First, simply add all of your dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Next, prepare your tempeh in a stovetop skillet until golden brown. 

Lastly, combine all of your salad ingredients (except for the dressing) in a large bowl and toss until all ingredients are combined. Once combined, drizzle your creamy caesar dressing over top and combine one last time until the salad is evenly coated!

Tips For Making This Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh

There’s a tip you should keep in mind that will help you save time when assembling this salad.

Prep Your Ingredients In Advance

Looking to speed up the prep time a bit? You can prepare your tempeh and blend your dressing in advance so you have a little less work on your hands when you decide to assemble your Simple Kale Caesar Salad.

Just don’t add the dressing until right before you’re going to eat! This will ensure you preserve the texture and turgor of the kale. 

FAQ About How To Make This Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh

What if I don’t like Tempeh?

Don’t sweat it! Tempeh isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. Simply opt for your favorite protein instead, you can use the same seasoning and just swap the tempeh out for tofu or chicken breast.

Foundational Five Balanced Meal Breakdown

Non-starchy Carbohydrate

Starchy and/0r Sugary Carbohydrate

  • Maple syrup


  • Raw cashews
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Organic tempeh


  • Raw cashews
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil

Flavor Factor

  • Coconut Aminos
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Dijon mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

The Recipe

Serves 4



1 cup massaged kale

For The Dressing

1 cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup water

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

Fresh ground black pepper

Sea salt to taste

Splash of liquid Coconut Aminos, optional

For The Tempeh

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1, 15-ounce package of organic tempeh, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 clove of garlic, minced

Pinch of sea salt


Step 1

Simply add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 2

On medium heat in a skillet, add coconut oil and thinly sliced tempeh. Lay strips evenly in the skillet. Next add the maple syrup, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt and gently stir to evenly coat the tempeh in coconut oil and maple syrup.

Let tempeh cook flat on each side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. This cooking process should take about 12 minutes total.

Step 3

Combine massaged kale and Caesar dressing, and stir to combine. Top with tempeh strips. I like to squeeze fresh lemon on top and more black pepper just before serving.


Are You Going to Make This Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh?

Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped and hashtag it #nutritionstripped when you make this Simple Kale Caesar Salad with Maple Pepper Tempeh!


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