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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you tempeh?

I never used to like tempeh. I bought a package of it (many years ago) and froze it; I used it as an icepack, but never ate it, and threw it out. Then, my sister made me a recipe from the famous Vegan With A Vengeance, (tempeh sausage crumbles with white bean gravy and biscuits) and I've never looked back.

To be fair, tempeh is kind of a weird substance. It's made from fermented soybeans and other things and looks kind of weird. But trust me, it is delicious!

This is what I had in my house today, and how I majorly altered the aforementioned recipe to suit us for dinner:

1 package tempeh
1 can white kidney beans
1 leek
2 carrots
3 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic

First, chop up the tempeh:

Add it to a pot, and cover it with water. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, mix together your spices:



1 Tbsp. fennel seed

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. marjoram

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. dried sage

Then chop up your veggies. (I usually have some onion for sure, but we were out right now, so I used the leek. Feel free to experiment!)
Throw that in with the tempeh, and add a bit more water or veggie broth. (I used some "better than bouillion" to add to the water. You'll probably have about 1 1/2 cups total over the course of the recipe.)

Now, you can serve this over many things. The original recipe uses biscuits. I usually do it over rice, but we were a bit low on that too (see? I need to go shopping sometimes too!) so today I cooked up 6 oz. of pasta. (my tip? I weigh it before I cook it, so I know what the actual servings are; a good way to have pasta but not eat 4oo calories of it in one sitting!)
Oh wait! I also ran out to the garden and got this:


You should really have some fresh sage for this recipe; it's like the only thing I use it for except stuffing at Thanksgiving, but totally worth it! Also had some fresh green beans (that were HUGE!) that I didn't want to overcook, so I saved them for last.


After the veggies are starting to get tender, throw in the spices. Also add:

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

the fresh sage, all chopped (about 10-12 leaves; most of mine were kind of wimpy, so I just did a whole sprig of it)

1/2 tsp. salt



In Isa's recipe, she blends up the beans and a few other things (olive oil and water) in a food processor. I like to have as little clean up as possible, so I just throw in the drained and rinsed beans, then smash them up a bit in the pot with a potato masher.


As you can see, it's still really lovely. Either serve it over your choice of carb, or mix it together like I did here. Magnifique!

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