Book Report: Easy. Whole. Vegan. + Bonus Recipe

Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Tempeh.Easy.Whole.Vegan.jpg

I just got my copy of Easy. Whole. Vegan. 100 Flavor-Packed, No-Stress Recipes for Busy Families by Melissa King. Do you know her? She is the voice behind My Whole Food Life. Her story is pretty amazing – she healed her children with a whole food, plant-based diet – and she as become a successful recipe developer, blogger and writer.

I first learned about Melissa’s work when I got DIY Nut Milks & Nut Butter and I have been making my own almond butter, peanut butter, macadamia butter, and tahini ever since. It is pretty amazing because I had been so intimidated and now I am a pro.

With this new book, Melissa focuses on easy recipes that the whole family will love. Many of the recipes are quick to prepare, some are slow cooker meals, and some you can make ahead of time. We are talking about Sweet and Spicy Warm Pepper Salad, Veggie Enchilada Soup, Apple Cinnamon Quinoa, Blueberry Chia Pudding, and Lentil Shephed’s Pie. There are also recipes for snacks and desserts. I don’t want to give it all away because this is one of the few cookbooks that I actually want to make more than half of the recipes. Seriously, that is high praise because usually I go through a cookbook and like maybe 2 recipes.


I made the Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Tempeh. And we loved it! I forget how much I love wild rice. This dish was good hot, right of the stovetop, and good cooled off later in the afternoon. Here is proof!


And I loved it so much, I got permission to share it! And seriously, go buy the book. It is really great!

Note: I have to admit that I didn’t exactly follow the recipe directions. I got the rice going. Sautéed the kale in pan with a little oil and garlic. And then I used the rest of the ingredients like a marinade and sautéed the tempeh until it caramelized. Then I tossed it all together.

Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Tempeh
Tempeh is one of my favorite plant-based proteins. Like tofu, it’s made from soybeans, but it differs in that it’s made by fermenting cooked soybeans. It also has an earthier flavor than tofu, so it happens to pair nicely with the wild rice in this recipe. The baby kale provides an unexpected sweetness, and the ginger adds a little spice to make this dish truly memorable. I suggest cutting the tempeh into smaller pieces to allow it to be better coated with the sauce.

Makes 4 to 5 servings
Prep and cook time: 50 minutes


  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1 cup (160 g) uncooked wild rice blend
  • One 8-ounce (227 g) package tempeh
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) mirin (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos (see Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)
  • 3 cups (50 g) baby kale or spinach, loosely packed


1. In a large saucepan, add the water and wild rice blend and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook for about 40 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

2. Add everything else except the kale and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add the kale and mix until it’s slightly wilted.

4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This will last at least a week in the fridge.


  • If you can’t find mirin, check the Pantry section on page 12 for a good substitute.
  • If you don’t use oil, you can probably omit the toasted sesame oil, but I think it adds great flavor.
  • If you avoid soy, you can use coconut aminos in place of the Bragg Liquid Aminos.

Credit line: Recipe from Easy. Whole. Vegan.: 100 Flavor-Packed, No-Stress Recipes for Busy Families © Melissa King, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

7 thoughts on “Book Report: Easy. Whole. Vegan. + Bonus Recipe

  1. Oh, wow! I am always hungry for a new cookbook! I go through the same thing, with often only being interested in one or two recipes. But, with your endorsement, I am going to check out this one for sure! This first recipe looks amazing. Bookmarked!

  2. so, according to the directions, it looks like the tempeh is just thrown in uncooked and warmed for 5-7 minutes? not sautéed first? in your leftover pic, the tempeh looks sautéed, nicely caramelized. 🙂 i think i would have to sauté first.

  3. ok, so i have to admit that i didn’t exactly follow the instructions. i cooked everything separately. i used the marinade as listed and cooked the tempe until caramelized. i cooked the rice and kale separately and then put it all together. but i see you think like i do which is read a recipe and then make it your way! try it and let me know your thoughts. the tempeh was fantastic!

  4. yes, lisa, you’re exactly right! i do not think this recipe would show well as written, nothing against the author at all. but for most people, tempeh is an acquired taste and it’s much tastier sautéed first. i think that’s probably important to mention. i’ll report back when i make it! i’ll probably comment on your insta, i follow you there. (i’m @ktkinoakland) thanks!

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