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Spinach with Smokey Tempeh And Pears

I really appreciate a smokey flavor in certain dishes and sometimes that includes a hearty salad. Luckily there are a few different ways to achieve this flavor. In this recipe liquid smoke helps to create a smokey flavor in the tempeh and this smokey flavor pairs well with the fresh, juicy sweetness of the pear in this salad.

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, it’s traditionally a soy product that is fermented for a controlled amount of time, allowing it to bind into a solid cake form. While it is traditionally made from soy, it is sometimes made from other grains, so it’s important to make sure you read the package to ensure the tempeh you are buying is gluten-free. Turtle Island Foods makes a good gluten-free tempeh.

I prefer tempeh to tofu because it has a heartier, drier texture than tofu and it has a slightly nutty flavor. Tofu can be a little mushy and wet if you don’t prepare it well, but it has it’s place in some of my recipes too.

Tempeh is easy to cook with and it can be used in a variety of ways. It’s also a good source of protein, fiber and other nutrients. Because of the way it is processed it is also easy to digest (if you can tolerate soy).

Spinach Smoked Tempeh Pear


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 8-ounce package of gluten-free tempeh
  • Enough spinach for 4 bowls
  • 1 pear, cored and diced


In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce and honey.

Crumble the tempeh into the marinade and mix well to coat the tempeh evenly. The tempeh should absorb the marinade.

Add the tempeh to a skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring and turning it occasionally until it is lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow it to cool to desired temperature.

Fill 4 salad bowls with spinach and top with smoked tempeh and pears.

This salad works well with a basic vinaigrette, or you can use your favorite gluten-free salad dressing.