Nutrition, Plant-based Eating

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad with Vegan Ranch

I used to habitually mow some Wendy’s spicy chicken.

It was my favorite high school after-soccer, after-work, before-class, just-because, swing by the drive-thru meal.

Back then, my nutrition knowledge was akin to my current knowledge about how to change a tire: poor to non-existent.

And I suffered for it. I had bad skin, frequent migraines and headaches, gastrointestinal issues (read: backed up), broken capillaries galore, weight fluctuations, and a general, low-energy blah feeling.

But in graduate school, everything changed.

I gave up meat, learned how to cook, and decided green vegetables weren’t food non grata. I swapped out my old, unhealthy staples with healthier options and felt substantially better for it.

But I mourned. Oh, I mourned.

I was connected to my favorite food- it was the last meat I ate before officially transitioning to a non-meat eater. It was a palpable loss (you know the feeling).

How would I replace it?

Enter: Tempeh. vegan buffalo salad

I know, I know. I just posted about tempeh’s health benefits. But I thought this recipe was so tasty, I had to share. The spicy flavor and texture reminds me of my Wendy’s favorite.

It isn’t exactly as easy as swinging by the drive thru, but your body will thank you for it. Don’t like tempeh? Think I’m beyond bizarre for writing about it again?

I am. That’s ok, and you can still use this recipe with black beans, chick peas, your favorite meat or meat substitute…Just make sure to cherish the apple-ranch-Frank’s Red Hot combo.

Nom Nom.

buffalo tempehDr. P and I had enough for a good-sized dinner meal, and I also had leftovers for lunch the next day. We didn’t have any tempeh left, though, since it was so delicious. But add a bit of sunflower seeds or almonds for crunch and protein and voila!¬†leftover salad

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad with Vegan Ranch

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings depending on helping of salad

Serving Size: 2 cups salad and 3 oz tempeh

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad with Vegan Ranch


  • For the salad:
  • One block tempeh, sliced in 1/4 inch strips
  • One medium green apple, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • One bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • One head romaine lettuce, cut or shredded to your preference
  • 1 cup cherry tomato, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded carrots and shredded purple cabbage
  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • Pam or Canola oil spray
  • Optional: additional vegetables such as sliced red radish, cucumbers, zucchini if you like
  • Vegan ranch:
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond, rice, or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. loose parsley
  • Black pepper to taste


  • After cutting tempeh into strips, marinate in bowl with enough Frank's Red Hot Sauce to cover. Let sit while you prep the salad.
  • Chop all veggies and place in large salad bowl.
  • For ranch, put all ingredients in bowl and whisk together. Add more spices, parsley or liquid until desired consistency is found. Set aside.
  • Heat pan on medium and spray with oil to lightly cover. Using tongs, take marinated tempeh strips and add to heated pan. Heat 2-4 minutes and turn over with tongs. Set tempeh aside on paper towel to cool while you prepare plates.
  • Mix all ingredients with dressing in bowl and go to town.
  • Nom noms.


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