Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh BaconWhen Brandon and I lived in College Station for several years while he finished graduate school, we attended nearly every single football game played at Kyle Field. As a result, I have many fond memories of standing for a minimum of four hours while yelling my face off and getting relentlessly blasted by the hot Texas afternoon sun.

It might seem weird that I would agree to such activities, seeing how I didn’t attend Texas A&M, but I’m telling you, there must be something in the water. The spirit of Aggieland takes you over and the next thing you know, you’re out there screaming with all your might in hopes to pump the defense up for the next big stop. It’s a spirit that can ne’er be told.

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

My time spent attending those football games taught me a few valuable lessons:

1. If you drink too many beers prior to the game, you will pass out and die.

2. One student football ticket buys you enough standing room on the bleachers for a three-year-old…if you’re lucky.

3. If you don’t eat meat, dinner will be a bag of peanuts and a Sprite.

4. Texas sausage and/or barbeque companies often use pigs as a part of their logo.

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

The Aggies have a long line of sponsors that are displayed on the big screen as fans wait in anticipation for the game to start and I was always shocked when I saw a local sausage companies logo was a mama and her baby piglet cuddling affectionately.

Am I missing something here? What about that do people find appetizing?

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

My guess is that they’re probably trying to avoid making the mental connection. Crispy salty bacon and cuddling pigs are two separate entities, both of which bring happiness.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to separate the two so tempeh bacon is what’s on the menu for me. The taste is actually really similar to real bacon but I will admit the texture is completely different. Not in a bad way, just in a different way.

But it’s the perfect meat substitute for this salad. Juicy sweet strawberries with smoky bacon flavor and creamy goat cheese pecan crumbles on a bed of tender kale.

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

It’s a crave-worthy combo.

You can find tempeh bacon in the meat substitute section and it’s ridiculously easy to cook. I usually throw it on my cast iron grill pan on the stove for about 5 minutes on each side and shazaam! Delicious bacon flavah is at your fingertips.

If you’ve never had tempeh bacon then I hope you’ll give it a try sometime. Soon you’ll forget all about the real thing. ;)

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon


2 heads kale, destemmed and washed

6 ounces tempeh bacon, cooked

2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2 red onion, sliced

4 ounces goat cheese (sub avocado or pecan parmesan* if vegan)

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup white balsamic (could also use regular balsamic)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place kale into a large bowl and then combine ingredients for dressing in a measuring cup. Pour the dressing into the bowl and massage it in with your hands until evenly coated. Add the strawberries and onion and toss together.
  2. If using goat cheese, place it into a bowl with the pecans and mash together with a fork until it turns into crumbles. Mix so that the crumbles are coated with the pecans.
  3. Distribute the kale onto separate plates and top with tempeh bacon and pecan goat cheese or pecan parmesan. Then serve and enjoy!.


*To make pecan parmesan: toast whole or halved pecans then place into a food processor along with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt to taste. Pulse in processor until finely chopped.

Inspired by Iowa Girl Eats


Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon

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{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Isadora @ she likes food June 24, 2014, 7:48 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of drinking too much before the main event and passing out, ooops! I love pigs, especially baby pigs, way more than I love bacon and I would happily eat this tempeh over regular bacon any day! I love your goat cheese and pecan mixture too! I can’t wait to get a bite of this salad :)
    Isadora @ she likes food recently posted…Asian Tofu Salad Sandwiches {gf+v}My Profile

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) June 24, 2014, 8:05 pm

    This looks really tasty! I’m not usually a fan of kale salads, because I feel like I have to chew each bite of kale 100 times before I can swallow, but maybe I’ll try it on a different lettuce. I’ve never had tempeh so I need to give it a shot!
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) recently posted…Beet Pesto Pizza with KaleMy Profile

  • hillary | nutrition nut on the run June 24, 2014, 9:28 pm

    I love kale s-berry salads, and I love reading your stories more.

  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies June 25, 2014, 3:52 am

    I’ve searched this town far and wide, and no one carries tempeh bacon — I’ll just drool over these photos instead. Plus pecan parmesan sounds crazy delicious, I have to try that out.
    Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies recently posted…Avocado and Black Bean EnchiladasMy Profile

  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat June 25, 2014, 4:43 am

    This looks so tasty Sarah! I’m loving everything about it! Tempeh is still one of those foods I haven’t tried yet. I really need to do that though!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…WIAW #45 – Simple Green Protein SmoothieMy Profile

  • Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food June 25, 2014, 5:16 am

    Still never tried tempeh, but my sister loves it. I went to a DIII school for college, so tailgating consisted of getting drunk in the parking lot, then leaving at half-time to get Mexican food. I think a large school would be waaay more fun!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Lunches out are good for the soulMy Profile

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl June 25, 2014, 6:43 am

    Tempeh bacon is the BEST!! This sounds delicious!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…WIAW: June 25, 2014 (Recent Eats)My Profile

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 25, 2014, 7:09 am

    Ohhh kale… You will forever top my veggie hit list. But that’s not fair, is it? To write something off just because of one bad experience? I keep meaning to try kale again, but eeeee… I might need some alcohol in me beforehand ;)
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. why i won’t be working for a bikini body this summer.My Profile

  • Raquel @ My California Roots June 25, 2014, 7:19 am

    Ok, you totally blew me away with this. I used to be a baco-vegetarian, which meant that I would eat no meat unless someone was cooking bacon, to which I was so irresistably drawn to the smell that I couldn’t not eat it. Those days are long gone, but how I would LOVE to try this tempeh bacon. Yum! And then you put walnuts in your goat cheese. So brilliant!
    Raquel @ My California Roots recently posted…100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana MuffinsMy Profile

  • Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods June 25, 2014, 9:46 am

    Lovely salad! Tempeh bacon sounds delicious! I love your lessons learned.

  • Ashley June 25, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Strawberries, goat cheese and pecans? That is one awesome trifecta right there! haha I love kale salads – this sounds perfect for summer!
    Ashley recently posted…Watermelon Salad with Sriracha VinaigretteMy Profile

  • dishing up the dirt June 25, 2014, 7:44 pm

    I’m ready to pour myself a beer, watch a sporting event and whip up this amazing sounding kale salad. Love this recipe!!!
    dishing up the dirt recently posted…Blueberry Lemon Energy BitesMy Profile

  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness June 25, 2014, 8:41 pm

    First off, I absolutely adore football. I was just saying last weekend that I can’t wait for football season to start in August!

    Second off, that’s funny that you mention the mental connection between the animal and what’s on people’s plates… because I was just explaining my decision to be a vegetarian at a young age to a co-worker yesterday, and I was saying the exact same thing: that I never could disassociate the cute little pig with the ham on my plate. I never have been able to “just not think about it” as my mother sometimes says, especially knowing all that I know now about the meat industry. Ick. But onto yummy things, I’ve been digging strawberry kale salad lately too!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…KIND Healthy Snacks GiveawayMy Profile

  • Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ June 27, 2014, 2:07 am

    I don’t miss bacon but I am willing to five tempeh bacon a try. I’m starting to buy meat substitutes made with soy beans, so this might be my next step. “If you don’t eat meat, dinner will be a bag of peanuts and a Sprite”… I understand, there’s no enough vegetarianism going on around sport events, unfortunately.
    Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ recently posted…Baked Gooey Soba Frittata and a Bite of World CupMy Profile


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