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Archive for the ‘Tempeh’ Category

If you’re craving Americanized Mexican food, this is a wonderfully quick meal to toss together and makes a great portable lunch the following day rolled into a tortilla.  Garnish them up with freshly cut radishes, crisp romaine and heady cilantro, or grilled onions and green peppers.  You could, and I often do,  add some diced bell pepper, kale, carrots, zucchini or any other vegetable to the onions as they sauté and add yet more goodness to the mix.  It’s also wonderful garnished with some chili beans.

 

Tempeh Taco/Burrito Filling

Ingredients:

8 oz tempeh, ground to crumbles in a food processor [Careful not to overprocess and turn it pasty.]

1 medium onion, diced ~ ½ cup

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

8 oz tomato sauce

1 T chili powder [I used Ancho chili powder]

1½ tsp cumin

1 tsp Mexican oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes, depending upon your tastes

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

water

oil for sautéing the onion and tomato paste [I use a small dollop of coconut oil, macadamia nut or olive oil.]

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic until softened.  Add the spices and cook until fragrant.  Clear a spot in the pan and add the tomato paste.  Cook for a couple of minutes to rid it of the metallic flavor from the can.  Add the tomato sauce and tempeh.  Mix well and add water to the consistency you prefer, I used ~4 oz of water. 

Serve with chili beans and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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What are we thankful for this year?  For many things.  We are thankful for the presence of one another.  We are thankful for the fortune that those we love are healthy.  We are thankful that we have been graced with the ability to make better choices than at any other point in the past,  and that these choices have led to more compassionate lives with the prospect of a more healthful future.

Wild Rice and Millet Stuffing

I’ve always made a bread-based stuffing for Thanksgiving in the past but for whatever reason, I just wasn’t feeling the urge to do that this year.  Instead, I wanted to make something earthy and, to my mind, far more wholesome and sustaining.  It also happens to be gluten-free, which gives those with gluten intolerances another option for holiday dressings.  I thought the combination of wild rice and millet would make a beautiful duo when melded together with seasonal fruits and vegetables.  This dish set the tone for a gorgeous holiday meal.

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice

1 cup millet

2 stalks celery, finely diced

4 golden beets, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup hazelnuts

½ leek, sliced thinly

2 shallots, minced

6 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh sage

6 cups vegetable stock, divided

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Add the millet to a hot pot and toast for a couple of minutes.  [You will hear the seeds beginning to pop when they’re ready.]  Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the millet is light and fluffy.  This should take about 20 minutes.

In another pot, bring 3 cups of vegetable stock to a boil and add the wild rice.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the rice is soft.

Place the bite-sized pieces of beet and the quartered Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan.  Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables have caramelized.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan and add the celery, shallots, leek and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until softened.  Add the fresh herbs. [I like to tie mine together with kitchen twine so that removing the stems isn’t a hassle.]  Add the hazelnuts and dried cranberries and mix well.  Add one cup of vegetable stock and reduce heat to a low simmer.

When the millet is ready, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.  Drain the wild rice when ready, if necessary, and add to the bowl with the millet.  Mix in the contents of the pan, removing the herb stems.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Lastly, gently fold in the roasted beets and Brussels sprouts.

I served this in a roasted pumpkin.  If this is how you’d like to present this dish then you will need to get a medium-sized pumpkin and cut a round out of the top.  Clean out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon.  Place the hollowed out pumpkin and the top you removed on a baking sheet.  Place into a 400°F oven for about an hour or until the pumpkin has softened.  Remove from the oven and place upon a plate.  After that it’s just a matter of filling the pumpkin with the stuffing and serving it at table.

 

 

 

Tempeh, Walnut and Roasted Pear Loaf

Roasted pear purée was the key to giving this loaf an amazing seasonal flavor and moist texture.  The ingredient list reads like a Who’s Who of healthful botanical phytochemicals, polyphenols and antioxidants as well as omega-3s.

Ingredients:

16 oz tempeh

4 pears, divided

1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thinly

1 red bell pepper, diced

½ leek, sliced thinly

2 shallots, minced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

8 cloves roasted garlic

¼ cup ground flax seeds

½ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 T fresh rosemary, minced

1T  fresh thyme leaves

4 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut 3 pears in half and core.  Place them upon a baking sheet and roast for an hour.  Thirty minutes into the roasting time, add the garlic cloves [wrapped up in some aluminum foil with a small bit of olive oil].

Sauté the leek, shallot, celery, bell pepper and mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the herbs and mix well.

Place the tempeh into a food processor and blend until well crumbled.  Add to the sautéed vegetables, mixing thoroughly.

Remove the pears and garlic from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Place the roasted pears and garlic into the food processor and blend until homogenized.  Add to the tempeh mixture on the stove.  Add the flax meal and bread crumbs and stir to combine well.  Season with salt and pepper.

Core the remaining pear and cut into slices.   Line the bottom of a oiled loaf pan with them, overlapping each piece with the previous one.   Spoon out the loaf mix atop the pear slices and fill the pan.  Press down with the back of the spoon to compress the contents well.

Bake for an hour.  Allow to cool slightly and then gently invert onto a serving plate, pear side up.

 

 

Persimmon and Cranberry Gravy

I served this over some steamed green beans with roasted chestnuts [pictured above] as well as spooning it over the tempeh, walnut and roasted pear loaf.  This tart, tangy and sweet gravy tastes wonderful with savory dishes.

Ingredients:

3 cups organic unfiltered apple juice

1 persimmon, peeled and cut into a large dice

4 cloves garlic, smashed

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Zest of one orange

1 T while balsamic vinegar

½ cup fresh cranberries

Sea salt

Directions:

Place the apple juice, vinegar, garlic, persimmon, orange zest and thyme into a pan and bring to a simmer.  Reduce volume by half [~20 minutes].  Add reduced contents to a blender and blend until homogenous.  Return gravy to the pan and add the cranberries.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the cranberries have popped [~10 minutes].  Season to taste with salt.

 

Raw Pumpkin Custard

The notion of a raw pumpkin pie has been tugging at my brain for a long time now.  Thing is, I wasn’t in the mood for a high caloric raw pie crust full of nuts and dates and such things after having such a large meal, so I opted to simply make the filling.  It’s all anyone ever really eats anyway, right?

Ingredients:

a small sugar pumpkin [mine yielded ~2 cups peeled pumpkin flesh]

one young Thai coconut [mine yielded ~1.5 cups coconut meat]

coconut water from the Thai coconut

6 medjool dates, soaked and pitted

¼ cup almond meal

4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 T fresh ginger, minced

1 tsp cardamom

½ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg

½ vanilla bean

1 tsp lemon zest

pinch of salt

agave syrup, to taste

Suggested garnishes:  raisins, almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds, citrus zest, freshly-grated nutmeg, cinnamon

Directions:

Seed and peel the pumpkin [I reserved and roasted the pumpkin seeds to use as a garnish].  Cut into a medium-sized dice.  Set aside.

Hack into the coconut [Great how-to video here], reserving the coconut water and flesh.  Set aside.

Add the pumpkin, dates and coconut flesh to a food processor and process until smooth.  Add the coconut water to aid the blending until you get a thick but smooth consistency, remembering that you can always add more liquid but can’t remove it.

Split the vanilla bean and remove the seeds with the back of a paring knife.  Add to the food processor along with the other spices.  Blend well.  Add the almond meal, ginger,  lemon zest and pinch of salt.  Process until smooth.   Add agave syrup to taste.  Place in the refrigerator to chill.

The almond meal will help to thicken the pumpkin pudding just as the coconut water will loosen its consistency.  You can adjust this to your tastes as you wish.

This is really nice served with a ginger cashew cream like the one I made here, and garnished with raisins, zests, nuts and seeds.

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For whatever reason, the health virtues of  rye have been popping up left and right in my reading material recently.  That prompted me to pick up some dark rye flour from Bob’s Red Mill the last time we were in Portland.  On the drive home I was contemplating how I could use the flour in a meal and I started thinking about what I used to love rye with.  The Reuben sandwich was the hands down winner.  So how could I transform this sandwich classic into an alternative meal?  With a smile on my face it occurred to me that I could make a dark rye pasta with caraway seeds…and the daydreaming just went on from there.

Russian Dressing Pasta Sauce

This is a wonderful sauce that can also be used as a salad dressing or sandwich spread when cooled.

Ingredients:

1 onion, medium dice

3 oz tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 package organic firm silken tofu

1 T vegan worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic paste

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil for sautéing the onions

Directions:

Sauté the onions in a small drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the tomato paste and spread onto the bottom of the pan to caramelize.  Add the stock and whisk gently until the tomato paste is incorporated into the sauce.  Add the worcestershire sauce and chili garlic paste.  Mix well.

In a food processor, pulse the tofu until creamed.  Add a ladleful of the tomato sauce to the food processor and pulse.  Transfer the contents to the pan on the stove containing the tomato sauce and mix until fully homogenous.  Simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dark Rye Pasta

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup dark rye flour [Organic Dark Rye Flour]

1 cup semolina flour

1 tsp caraway seeds

4 tsp olive oil

12-16 oz of water [more may be necessary depending upon the moisture level of your flours]

Directions:

Add the flours to a food processor.  Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse.  With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the water and continue to do so until the dough pulls off the sides and clings to the center “S”-blade.  Remove the dough from the processor and place upon a flour coated surface.  If the dough is too tacky then incorporate in more flour until it is no longer tacky to the touch.  Knead the dough a dozen times or so and then shape into a flattened round.  Wrap in plastic and set aside to rest for 15-30 minutes.

Remove plastic and divide into two.  Run through the largest setting on the pasta roller twice, then repeat two settings higher.  Either cut with the fettuccine attachment or by hand into strips.

When ready to cook, gently drop into salted boiling water and cook until the pasta comes to the surface.  This should take between one and two minutes.

Pastrami-Spiced Tempeh

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 – 8 oz package tempeh, cut in 1/2-inch strips

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp smoked salt [I used an applewood-smoked salt]

1 T  sweet paprika

1 tsp corriander seeds

1 tsp brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1-1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp white peppercorns

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp dill seed

3 allspice berries

2 juniper berries

Directions:

Grind the whole spices in a spice grinder and then add the rest of the spices and sugar to the grinder and pulse to mix well.  Transfer to a gallon-sized zip bag with 1/3 cup olive oil and mix well.

Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes to remove its bitterness.  Set aside to cool.   Once cooled, add to the spiced oil in the gallon bag and even coat each piece, gently.  If you need more volume to completely coat all the tempeh pieces, add more oil.  Refrigerate as long as possible up to a few days.  The longer the rub sits upon the tempeh, the deeper the flavors will penetrate.  Gently flip the bag every few hours or so in order to evenly marinate the tempeh.

Brush off any spice clumps that may have formed on the tempeh.  If you do not do this they shall burn in the grill pan.  Place the strips upon a heated grill pan and sear.  Crumble into bite-sized pieces.

 

To assemble the dish you shall need:

1/4 cup crisp sauerkraut per person [I used It’s Alive’s Raw Sauerkraut with Dill]

fresh dill, for garnish

caraway seeds, for garnish

2 sliced green onions, for garnish

Place the cooked pasta on a plate and top with a generous amount of Russian dressing pasta sauce.  Add a layer of tempeh pieces.  Sprinkle with some sauerkraut, caraway seeds, sliced green onion and  fresh dill.

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These flavors went so well together and that burst of heat from the chili peppers is tempered by the sweetness of the glaze.   This is a great way to celebrate summertime green beans which are overflowing at  farmer’s markets this time of year.

 

Thai-Spiced Tempeh with Green Beans in an Apple and Lemongrass Glaze

Ingredients:

8 oz tempeh

2 cups organic unfiltered apple juice

1 lemongrass stalk, outer layer removed and reserved, inner stalk sliced thinly

⅓ cup thinly sliced leek or onion

1 Thai chili, seeded and sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup cilantro

1 inch-long piece of fresh ginger, finely diced

Juice of ½ a lime

1 T ground flax seed

1 T light miso

¼ cup ponzu [without bonito] or tamari/soy sauce

Sesame seeds to garnish

Directions:

Place the apple juice on medium heat.  Add the outer layer of the lemongrass to the juice and reduce by one half.  

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

While the juice is reducing, add the leek, chili, garlic, cilantro, ginger and flax seed to a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Add the tempeh, ponzu and lime juice.  Pulse and use a spatula to reincorporate any of the mix that has climbed the processor walls.  Let stand for 10 minutes so the flax meal can hydrate.

Roll into marble-sized balls and place upon a non-stick baking sheet or Silpat.  Lightly spray with coconut oil and bake for 30 minutes until browned.

When the tempeh is halfway finished, put some water on to boil in a steamer.  Steam the green beans for 5-7 minutes until cooked through but still crisp.  Remove the lemongrass stalk from the apple juice reduction and stir in the miso.   Add the green beans and tempeh and toss gently.

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I wanted something that felt more “old school” for dinner the other night and the notion of spaghetti and meatballs fit the bill, albeit with some serious modifications.  After having decided to use tempeh as the bulk of the “meatball”, I next wanted to make sure that I packed them full of nutritional value and loaded them up with vegetables and a couple of fruits [tomatoes and raisins] to boot!  I also chose to oven-bake them rather than pan fry to keep them on the virtuous side of the dinner line.  These were awesome over quinoa pasta, but I can see them being great in a sandwich piled high with sautéed onions and peppers and dripping with marinara sauce as well!

 

Tempeh and Vegetable “Meatballs”

[Makes 8 nice-sized meatballs]

Ingredients:

8 oz package tempeh

4 roasted Roma tomatoes [could sub with 4 whole canned Roma tomatoes]

1 onion, finely diced [1 ¼ cup is what I ended up with]

¼ cup carrot, finely diced

½ cup kale, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

1 T ground flax seed

1 T raisins, minced

1 T fresh oregano, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

½ tsp red pepper flakes*

olive oil, for sautéing the vegetables

* [Optional if you want some extra heat]

Directions:

If roasting your own tomatoes, halve them and lightly spray with olive oil.  Place in a 400°F oven for an hour or until the tops have caramelized.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until softened.  Add in garlic, carrots, celery and kale.  Sauté until the vegetables have softened.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, add tempeh and roasted tomatoes.  Pulse a few times.  Add flax seed, raisins, oregano [both fresh and dried], salt and pepper.  Pulse until well combined but do not over process.  You want a crumbly texture, not a paste.

Transfer the tempeh mixture to a bowl and add in the bread crumbs, pine nuts and cooked vegetables.  Mix well and set aside to rest for 10 minutes in order to give the ground flax time to hydrate.  Roll into 8 meatballs.

Place in an oven-safe dish and lightly spray with olive oil.  Place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the outside of the meatballs have browned.

 

 

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Cherry Barbecue Tempeh with Long Beans and Carrots

There is something elementally satisfying about a great barbecue sauce.  This dish will be a favorite, for both its ease and its flavors.  Plus, it’s rich in tart cherry juice that is so good for you and helps to relieve your aches and pains after a long day.

Ingredients:

One package tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 bunch Chinese long beans, snapped into bite-sized pieces.  [If you cannot find long beans, green beans would work perfectly as well.]

4 carrots, cut into a thick julienne

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Sliced almonds, for garnish

For the Sauce:

1 cup hoisin sauce

2 cups tart cherry juice

¼ cup white miso

¼ cup sake

¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste

¼ cup tamari sauce

2 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan and bring to a low simmer.  Add the tempeh and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Steam the green beans and carrots for 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked yet still retain a bite.  Transfer to a large bowl and combine with the sauce and tempeh.  Mix gently.  Garnish with sesame seeds and almonds.  Serve over brown rice or udon.

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Teriyaki -Tempeh Fried Rice

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked/leftover long grain brown rice

1 package tempeh

½ a pineapple, cored and cut into ½ -inch slices

4 spring onions, chopped

2 baby bok choy

½ cup edamame

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly

2 cups teriyaki sauce

1 T ginger, cut into a small dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions:

Cut tempeh into bite-sized pieces and marinate overnight in the teriyaki sauce. 

Transfer the tempeh with the teriyaki into a pan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover.

Grill the pineapple until it has sear marks.  Break into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

In a large pan or wok add a bit of coconut oil and stir-fry the spring onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant.  Add the bok choy and bell pepper.  Once they soften slightly, remove and set aside.  Add more coconut oil if necessary and place the pan back on the heat.  Add the rice and edamame and stir-fry until hot.  Add the tempeh with teriyaki and almonds.  Return all the cooked vegetables and pineapple to the pan.  Stir until well mixed.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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