It all started with an innocent-looking buffalo chicken wrap.
On a sunny Thursday several short weeks ago, I was having a major white girl problem. I needed a kombucha…like, bad. So when 11:45am came around, and I could no longer deny my vicious craving for that yummy mushroom bacteria drink, off I went to Madison’s newest food cart, Good Food, which happens to be the only seller of kombucha within the greater Capitol Square area.
It was immediately upon my arrival that I saw it on the menu: a locally-raised, organic Buffalo Chicken Ranch Wrap. I ordered my raspberry kombucha and tried to deny my obvious lust for such a delicious-sounding midday meal, but something deep in my Everythingtarian gut told me that I needed that wrap.
I bought it and devoured its messy deliciousness in approximately three minutes.
A mere five days later, the craving struck again.
This time, it was a massive buffalo chicken sandwich from The Tipsy Cow on a Tuesday night. And again on a Friday. And Saturday. Suddenly, everything was coming up buffalo! Just last night, it was spicy Gardein buffalo wings. With celery. And blue cheese dressing for dipping. But those two things were both givens, no?
For almost a month now, my foodie thoughts have been all-consumed with getting one more drippy lick of that spicy, it-hurts-so-bad-but-tastes-so-good lip-burning buffalo sauce.
Out of nowhere, it seems I’ve become a spicy gal.
But wait! I swear my favorite food is ice cream! It even says so on my About Me page.
And my second favorite food is French toast! Slathered in maple syrup, preferably. Maybe with some sweet fruit compote and a light dusting of powdered sugar?
Listen to me, I’ve always been a sweets gal!
Scones. Candy. Cookies. Macaroons. Muffins. Cupcakes. Just roll me in sugar, fry me up real nice in a vat of oil, and I’ll do a happy sugar-fueled dance for you.
Why is tempeh showing up on this blog? Don’t you remember I wrote a whole post on how I can’t stand this fermented soybean product that looks more like vacuum-packed brains than actual edible food stuffs? I don’t care if it is easier for my stomach to digest or a good source of vegan protein, get the tempeh off my screen!
What is going on here?!?
Okay, that’s better. We’ve got buffalo sauce. There’s cherry tomatoes. I can surely get down with those sweet, round orbs I like to refer to as nature’s candy. And onion. Onion is always a cooking staple. Mild jalapeños? Well, in the midst of my spicy obsession, I’ve started to eat those tongue-tingling nuggets straight out of the jar. And of course, I always love me some Wisconsin Cheese.
And since I am hoping to lose some fun chub, let’s put it all on a salad for good measure?
Ya know, to eat those nutritious things called vegetables?
Spicy Buffalo Tempeh Salad with Wisconsin Blue Cheese
1 T canola oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 (8-oz.) package tempeh
1/2 cup, plus 4 T prepared buffalo wing sauce
8 cups baby spinach
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
8 ribs of celery, cut into approximately 16, 4-inch sticks
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the oil and onion. Cook until onions are just translucent. Add the crumbled tempeh and cook, stirring occasionally, until tempeh is lightly browned. Add 1/2 cup of the buffalo sauce, and cook until mixture is heated.
On a large plate, layer 2 cups baby spinach, 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 2 T pickled jalapeños, 4 sticks of celery, 2 T blue cheese, 1 T of sunflower seeds and drizzle with 1 T reserved buffalo wing sauce. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings
This salad is so good, I devoured it for lunch today and thought about how all the flavors mingled in a spicy tango dance on my tongue all afternoon. Then, I decided there was no other possible option than to have it for dinner tonight as well.
If all goes according to plan, I will enjoy this slice of spicy salad heaven again tomorrow for lunch AND dinner.
Pass the buffalo sauce.
Tell me, tell me: sweet or spicy? Sharing is caring!