Course Salads
Difficulty Moderate
Pulse Type Beans
Specialty Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Recipe Contributed By The Year in Food

Share This Recipe

The Perfect Salad Bowl

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour



  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 8 oz tempeh, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp paprika, smoked
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder, chipotle
  • 1/4 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/4 tsp salt, sea


  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp coriander, seeds; crushed (optional, but delicious)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper, freshly cracked
  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, and chopped
  • 1 pint tomatoes, cherry; halved
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • sunflower seeds, toasted
  • cilantro, fresh; optional, for serving


  • Make ahead: Rinse and soak the beans in cold water overnight.
  • Drain the beans, rinse them again, and add to a large pot. Cover with water by about 2-3 inches. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and any other aromatics you might enjoy, such as thyme or parsley, carrot, celery. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until the beans are plump and cooked through, about 1 hour. Cool the beans in their cooking liquid. Salt to taste. Strain from the liquid and set aside.
  • While the beans cook, make the tempeh. In a small bowl, mix together two tablespoons olive oil with the paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, and sea salt. Toss with the tempeh to coat thoroughly.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tempeh and cook without stirring for about 3 minutes, so they can begin to brown nicely. Toss, and continue to cook until they’re browned on a couple sides, about 5-7 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Break each ear of corn in half. Stand lengthwise on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the ear. Set aside.
  • In a small mason jar, add the garlic, the lime juice and zest, the honey, and the coriander seeds (if using) and whisk with a fork. Add the olive oil in a stream, continuing to whisk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store covered, and shake vigorously before serving.
  • Divide the kale equally into each bowl. Add 1/4 of the corn to each, followed by 1/4 of the cherry tomatoes, 1/4 of the tempeh, 1/4 of the green onions, and 1/2 cup of the cooked pinto beans. Finish with 1 tablespoon of toasted sunflower seeds.