Talkin’ Tempeh

I recently found an article, it’s an oldie but a goodie.  I liked so much I thought I reproduce a part of it for you, my faithful followers.  I get bored of tofu this and tofu that and sometimes I just want something toothsome and jerky like.  This texture usually helps make my TLTs a little more BLT if you know what I mean.  Tempeh while it’s my newest taco go-to…it’s still an odd vegan duck.  Here are some ways to break it in a little, making it less weird and more yum.  Give it a try.

Methods To The Madness
Tempeh is so so versatile, it takes to just about any cooking method you throw its way. Here are a few methods, along with recipes, to get you started. But feel free to use some of your favorite marinades in place of these. All of the following recipes are for 8 ounces of tempeh and serve 2 to 4 people.

Basic Baked Tempeh
This marinade of basic pantry ingredients works well with any of the cuts of tempeh. Try sandwich slices or serve slabs over a salad or alongside mashed potatoes, gravy and greens.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Here’s what you do:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place tempeh slices on sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once. Spoon extra marinade over tempeh a few times during baking.

Hot Sauce Grilled Tempeh
This tempeh is excellent served with sauteed greens and mashed sweet potatoes. Use a cast iron grill for best results indoors.

  • 8 oz tempeh, in slabs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, if you like a little extra heat)


Here’s what you do
:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat a greased grill pan over medium-high heat. To grease it, brush lightly with olive oil or if you have a spray bottle of olive oil, that works, too.

Grill each side for 5 minutes, until dark grill marks appear. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

Sauteed Tempeh With Chard
I’m kind of cheating here because when I serve this for dinner I call it “sauteed,” but when I serve it for brunch I call it “scrambled.” Either way, it’s wonderful paired with roasted butternut squash. For this recipe, cubed tempeh is perfect.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 4 large leaves Swiss chard, or any leafy green, torn into pieces

Here’s what you do:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add red bell pepper, and red onion and drizzle in remaining tablespoon of oil. Saute for about 5 minutes, veggies should be softened but still have a bit of crunch.

Add garlic and thyme, saute for two minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add swiss chard and saute just until wilted. Serve immediately.

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles
These are perfect for topping pizza or serving over pasta. No need to steam the tempeh for this recipe.

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried margoram or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Here’s what you do:
In a saute pan, crumble the tempeh and add enough water to almost cover it. Over high heat, steam the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain the remaining water, add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Tempeh Bacon
Tempeh bacon is great alongside scrambled tofu and home fries, served over a salad or make a TLT with some vegan mayo – Veganaise grapeseed mayo is a favorite. Use tempeh strips for this.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • To cook: 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Here’s what you do:
In a wide shallow bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Add the tempeh slices and marinade for about an hour.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Pan fry the tempeh in oil for about 7 to 10 minutes, flipping occasionally and adding more marinade as you cook. Tempeh is done when it is browned and crispy to your liking.

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