Tag Archives: tempeh

Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwiches (TLT)

THE sandwich we eat just about once a week in the summer…sometimes more frequently ūüôā I’ll let the recipe do the talkin’ this time.

Thanks to 101 Cookbooks for the base recipe.

1/4 C soy sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar, I use Tangerine flavored
2 T pure maple syrup
3 T adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers

8 ounces of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch thick strips

1 small basket of cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil olive oil
1 T pure maple syrup
scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 small head of romaine lettuce, cored, then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1-2 large avocados, mashed with a pinch of salt just before assembling
4 or 8 extra-thin slices of hearty whole grain bread, well toasted

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Whisk together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, maple and adobo sauce. Pour 1/3 of the tempeh marinade into an 8×8 baking dish (or something comparable) – you want a dish that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer – this way it will be fully enveloped by the marinade. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and keep in the refrigerator for a couple hours, overnight or until ready to use.

While the tempeh is marinating, go ahead and roast the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half and arrange them in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together the olive oil, sugar, and salt and pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated, finishing with each tomato facing cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet [I have also left them whole with no consequence].

When the tempeh is done marinating heat a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the tempeh slices for a few minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches if you don’t have a big enough pan. Set the tempeh slices aside until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

To assemble each sandwich take one slice of bread and slather a generous layer of mashed avocado or vegenaise. Place a small helping of the shredded lettuce on top of the avocado, a few tomatoes, then a few slices of the tempeh, and more tomatoes. Enjoy either open faced or topped with another avocado-slathered bread slice.

Note: we call these tomatoes “crack tomatoes” in our house…they freeze amazingly, so go ahead and make a triple batch. They taste great on tacos, in chili, tortilla soup, etc.

Tamarind Tempeh BBQ with Sweet Potatoes

If you haven’t already been ruined by the appearance of sweet potatoes in just about everything except for your toothpaste, do give this recipe a try. ¬†It’s bbq like all vegans truthfully do miss when no longer eating meat. ¬†Isa delivers another recipe that kicks total ass, it’s all things bbq should be…sticky, tangy and satisfying. ¬†Track down tamarind paste at an ethnic grocery or just stop working do damn hard and order it from Amazon.com already. ¬†It will be on your doorstep in two days which is actually less time then it would take you to drive around until you found it anyway. ¬†Happy lip-smacking.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (Indian spice)
  • 3 tbsp of agave or¬†maple¬†syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 12 oz Tempeh cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1.5 pounds sweet potatoes also cut into 3/4 chunks

Spray a 9X13 inch glass casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray. Avoid glass. In medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Make sure the tamarind is dissolved. Place the sweet potatoes and tempeh in the prepared pan. Pour the sauce over them and use your hand to coat well. Let marinade for an hour at least. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cove the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and toss out the foil. Flip the tempeh and sweet potatoes, making sure to scrape the bottom with a spatula in case anything is sticking. Bake for another 30 minutes, flipping everything once. The sweet potato should be tender but not mushy, the sauce should be thickened and coating everything. Serve.

Number of Servings: 4

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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‚Äôm kind of cheating here because when I serve this for dinner I call it ‚Äúsauteed,‚ÄĚ but when I serve it for brunch I call it ‚Äúscrambled.‚ÄĚ Either way, it‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď 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.

Tempeh, Poblano and Portobello Tacos with Honey Cumin Slaw

My third taco recipe of May is a blend of two of my fave recipes: Poblano & Portobello Tacos and TLT Sandwiches.  Sundays are typically a very hectic day at my house cramming all the stuff we should have done on Saturday AND Sunday into just Sunday, so I wanted leftovers for Sunday that I could reheat and not have to spend time on din-din.

Enter, the Tempeh, Poblano & Portobello Taco for dinner guests on Saturday. ¬†Most of this can be done in advance and kept warm in a 200 degree oven until company arrives. ¬†This recipe looks long and drawn out, but it’s mostly done in stages so you don’t even notice it.

Components:

  • 3 packages portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced then roasted
  • 4 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced into strips
  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced into strips
  • 2 boxes grape tomatoes, roasted
  • dairy or nondairy cheese
  • tortillas of your choice
  • dairy or nondairy sour cream
  • cubed avocado
  • lime wedges
  • store-bought salsa (I used Newman’s black bean and corn)
First things first…the prep for the roasted veggies is not difficult, they pretty much do the work for you…it’s magic, but takes time to get that roasty goodness, so plan accordingly. ¬†Before you dive in, read below to prepare your dressing for the slaw and your marinade for your tempeh, get those two things started and then get your veggies goin’-you will want your tempeh to marinade for about 30 minutes before you bake it off.
Roasted peppers from a jar or the frozen food section are adequate, but who the hell wants to be knows as the adequate taco maker? ¬†Not this chic. ¬†Plan ahead and then deny the time it takes to make these the right way like every other reasonably awesome at home chef. ¬†Easy peasy. ¬†Preheat a grill or your oven to super hot (for the oven we’re talking like 450 and open up the windows just in case). ¬†Preheat your oven to 450 and roast the mushrooms and tomatoes indoor while you soak up some vitamin D outside grilling your peppers. ¬†Since it’s summer, grill them your peppers, then you won’t have to disable your smoke detectors to get the perfect charred pepper. ¬†Take clean, dry peppers and drop them on the grill, wait for smoke and or charring and then turn until every side is burned but yet still moist-ish (yeah, it is a word now). ¬†Transfer these little beauties to a bowl, cover in plastic wrap and then wait until they are cool to remove the charring. ¬†After this is done, you will be left with succulent, sweet and smokey roasted peppers. ¬†Resist eating them all before company arrives. ¬†All that goodness and NO oil needed.
Take your washed and dried tomatoes and chopped mushrooms, place on baking sheets in the oven (use the ones with sides to contain the liquid or you will have a fire, and jerky instead of roasted veggies).  Spray with a little cooking oil, pop in preheated oven and wait.  The tomatoes are done when their skins are bursting.  The mushrooms are done with them are still glistening from moisture, not dry like rawhide.  Watch those, they will burn and then you have mushroom chips.  Gross?  Or maybe a new blog post..hmmm.

Tempeh “Meat”

  • 2 bricks tempeh (any flavor), steamed and sliced into strips

Marinade

  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 T maple syrup or agave
  • 6 T chipotle en adobo
Toss all marinade ingredients into a food processor and whirl away. ¬†Pour over the top of the tempeh strips that you have nestled into a 9×11 baking dish and let sit for 30 minutes or longer. ¬†When your oven roasted veggies are done from above, reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees and slide the tempeh into the oven. ¬†Bake until the marinade has become basically a syrup. ¬†Watch it though, don’t let it burn. ¬†It will look very dark. ¬†Reduce oven even further to 200 degrees leave in tempeh, then toss back in the tomatoes and mushrooms to keep them warm until guests arrive.

Honey Cumin Slaw

  • 1/2 large green cabbage, shredded (could also use a bag of cole slaw mix)
  • 5-8 radishes, grated and patted dry
Combine both items in a large bowl.  Just before service, top with dressing below.  Serve on top of or along side tacos.

Dressing

  • 1/3 C fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T vegetable, grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T honey or agave
  • 1 tsp cumin

Easiest.  Dressing.  Ever.  Combine items in a Ball jar, give it a good shake and let it sit for 30 minutes before topping slaw above.  Serve immediately.

Finally, assemble tacos with your choice of tortilla (I prefer corn), roasted peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, tempeh, dairy or nondairy cheese, avocado, dairy or nondairy sour cream, salsa, slaw, squirt of lime and prepare for leftovers.

From this recipe, I was able to get dinner on Saturday night for four, TLT’s from the leftovers with the help of some bread from the freezer toasted for two for Sunday night dinner, two lunches of black bean/mango bowls on Monday, and finally…dinner on Monday night for two, roasted veggie quesadillas. ¬†Not bad for a bunch of simple ingredients, a little prep work, and some help from the freezer.

Sweet Potato Marinara with Vegan Tempeh Black-Eyed Pea Balls

I promise the process of this lengthy recipe is well worth the effort.  Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the genius behind cookbooks I regularly chastise you for not owning.  Just buy them already.

At any rate, this recipe is adapted from her marinara recipe (there are like 8 of them in her book) and her “meatball” recipe. The good news is, this recipe makes A TON of “meatballs” and they can be successfully frozen and reheated without too many issues. ¬†Just be sure to freeze them first, then bag them otherwise you will get mush (yes, I got mush once, so I’m saving you the trouble). ¬†The recipe as written fed Mr. Wonderful and I dinner one night, lunch the next day and the other half was frozen for a quick dinner later in winter when we are hibernating; so it’s a ton of food. ¬†Take note, you have been advised (and warned).

Tempeh Black-Eyed Pea Balls

  • 12 ounces of tempeh (1.5 packages)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Black Pepper (several pinches)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt

First, steam your tempeh. ¬†Frankly tempeh isn’t that appetizing unsteamed. ¬†This is probably why you avoid using it, you had that one bad experience where you just used it straight from the package and it was gross. ¬†Give tempeh another try-steam it before you use it. ¬†Off soapbox, back to cooking. ¬†If you have a steamer, great, use it. ¬†If you don’t or, if you are like me, and have no idea how to use the steamer you have because you use it like once a year, forget it and grab a glass microwave safe dish. ¬†For you steamer elitists, once the steamer is ready, break the tempeh into bite-size pieces, and steam for 10 minutes. ¬†For you rugged folks, break tempeh into small hunks, drop it in the bowl/dish, cover with water and zap it on high for 5 minutes or so, then leave in there for another 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the beans. They should be well mashed, with no whole beans left, but not totally smooth, like a puree. Add the herbs, minced garlic, spices, soy sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and mix well. ¬†Isa says don’t use a food processor here, but if you aren’t a total ass about it you can use it, just DO NOT PUREE the mixture or you will be sorry. ¬†Remember at the end you are trying to achieve hamburger-like [gag] meatball consistency.

When the tempeh is done, add it to the mix, and mash well. It’s good if it’s still steaming, because it will help all the flavors meld, before baking. When the mix is cool enough to handle (a few minutes), add the bread crumbs and salt. Unlike raw cookie dough which is amazing out of the bowl, do not eat these before you bake them, they don’t taste that yummy. ¬†They become delicious with the addition of heat.

Make “meatballs” using a 2 tsp of the mix, roll the mixture into walnut size balls, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I’ve said this twice, don’t forget the parchment paper). ¬†Isa recommends to spray the balls liberally with cooking spray, and cover loosely with tinfoil. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the balls, and bake for 10 more minutes, uncovered. ¬†I didn’t bother with the spray or the cover. ¬†I baked them until they looked done, shook them once or twice while they were baking, then removed them before they were all dried up. ¬†This is why I like cooking and not baking so much. ¬†Lots more room for error.

So if you are still with me after all of that, marinara sauce coming your way next.

Basic Marinara

  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (24 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
I also added: 
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, washed, chopped and browned
  • 2 cups sweet potato, diced and steamed

Preheat a 2-quart pot over medium/low heat. Saute the mushrooms in the oil for until browned, add garlic and red pepper flakes into the oil, saute for about a minute-warning do not stand over the pan when you add the red pepper flakes unless you are wearing a gas mask.

Add thyme, oregano, and pepper, and saute for a minute more, adding a splash of water if necessary. Add the tomatoes, steamed sweet potatoes, salt, and stir to combine. Cover the pot, leaving a gap for steam to escape, and cook for 10 minutes. Salt if necessary. ¬†This is ready to serve over pasta and “meatballs” above.

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Meatless Any Day of the Week

When I discuss being a vegetarian with people, usually they say things like “I could NEVER live without eating meat”. ¬†I would never be so bold as to say, everyone should be a vegetarian or vegan, but perhaps you could find it within you to give the “weeknight vegetarian” concept a try. ¬†Shoot for 2-3 nights in the regular week, to go meat-free. ¬†This might be a practice you observe currently and just don’t really recognize it. ¬†Why don’t you give it a shot? ¬†Start with this simple and fast weeknight recipe, Sesame-Honey Tempeh & Quinoa Bowl. ¬†You won’t miss the meat AND you can incorporate that “quinoa ¬†stuff” that you bought a while back after seeing it on Oprah, into this meal. ¬† Recipe courtesy of Eating Well Magazine. ¬†Mr. Wonderful says: “WOW, that red quinoa sure is nutty. ¬†Is that sesame?” ¬†Why yes it does, and yes it is. ¬†Mr. Wonderful approved.

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There are two components to the recipe a slaw and the tempeh:

Sesame-Honey Tempeh & Quinoa Bowl

Slaw

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I prefer the red quinoa, but any will do)
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Tempeh

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 8-ounce packages tempeh (see Note), crumbled into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 scallions, sliced

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare quinoa: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 10 to 14 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
  2. To prepare carrot slaw: Meanwhile, combine carrots, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. To prepare tempeh: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
  4. Combine honey, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened and coats the tempeh, about 1 minute.
  5. Divide the quinoa among 4 bowls and top each with 1/2 cup carrot slaw and 3/4 cup tempeh mixture. Sprinkle with scallions.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Tip: To toast sesame seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Ingredient Note: Look for tempeh near refrigerated tofu in natural-foods stores and many large supermarkets.

Per serving: 536 calories; 27 g fat (5 g sat, 9 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 13 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 5 g fiber; 588 mg sodium; 899 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (182% daily value), Magnesium (46% dv), Iron (32% dv), Folate (27% dv), Potassium (26% dv), Calcium (21% dv), Zinc (19% dv).