Second Time’s a Charm – Tempeh Curry Salad

It’s funny, with there being so many different dishes out there, more than one could ever hope to cook or eat in one lifetime, it’s easy to forget about the ones you’ve tried before.  You find an interesting recipe, maybe you make some improvisations, maybe you don’t.  Maybe it comes out great, maybe it comes out decent and you have some thoughts for “next time”  Then you forget about it, lost forever in the past.

Tempeh and Peas

This is one of those dishes.  I made a curry dish from Totally Vegetarian and, well, I was not knocked over by it’s awesomeness.  It wasn’t bad, but if I was a restaurant, I would not come back to me and order this (if that makes any sense).  SO, back to the drawing board.  Whole Foods has this awesome curry tempeh dish they have sometimes at their hot bar and apparently if you add mayonnaise it becomes a salad, which blows my mind.  I shall be calling club sandwiches salads from now on.  I gotta say, I was quite happy with how this came out.  It was delicious and the whole wheat couscous I paired it with worked quite well.  I encourage you to try this and next time someone tells you to eat healthier, whip this sucker out.

Curry Tempeh Salad

Tempeh Curry Salad
For the curry, I used one teaspoon hot, two teaspoons sweet and for me it was perfect. However, I am quite the spice-wuss.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion; chopped
2 garlic cloves; minced
1 teaspoon ginger; minced
1 tablespoon curry; any kind
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 cup tamari (soy sauce in a pinch)
1 cup fresh peas (or thawed and drained)
8oz tempeh; chopped into small quarter inch pieces
1/2 cup mayo (I used vegan, but any should work)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Under medium high heat, saute your onion in a large pan with the olive oil until translucent and slightly browned. Reduce the heat to medium and add your garlic, ginger, curry and mustard; stirring to mix well and prevent burning. Once fragrant (1-2 minutes), add your tempeh and tamari. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the tempeh has been heated up and the liquid has either mostly been absorbed or cooked away.

Add your remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cook for a few minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately or cold; both ways are delicious. Enjoy.

Happy food photo day, everyone. I’ve been doing a lot with tempeh and other faux meats lately and I’m not entirely sure why. This is another dish from Totally Vegetarian, though I must admit this one did not knock my socks off. With tempeh and it’s brethren, the proper proper flavors are crucial to taking that block of bleh into something delish.

Tempeh Curry

If you were a student at Virginia Tech, chances are you spent some time at the Squires Student Center in the north eastern area of campus. It’s home to the University Unions & Student Activities (the organization in charge of all student organizations as well as many campus wide events), the music department and a good place to meet and hang out. Squires was also at the edge of campus, a short walk to downtown Blacksburg. One of the downtown places to catch a quick and tasty bite is Souvlaki. They have excellent pita wraps with cucumber sauce called Tzatziki. Mmmmm….

Tempeh with Cucumber Sauce

For some reason I was thinking back to my times at Tech recently and the regular, uneventful moments. The ones where it’s you and a few of your friends hanging, not really doing anything. Maybe watching TV, maybe having a drink, maybe grabbing a bite. Souvlaki’s was one of those placed I did that.

So in the interest of bringing back old memories I decided to have a go at making my own vegetarian version of their souvlaki pita. Now they have a vegetarian item on the menu, but back then I was more of a meat eater so I threw tempeh into the mix. The result? Pretty tasty but not Souvlaki. There’s no denying that meat is a great flavoring agent for the ingredients it’s added with. Give it a whirl, though. I enjoyed it.

Tempeh Pita Sandwich With Cucumber Sauce

Tempeh Pita Sandwich with Cucumber (Tzatziki) Sauce
Uses the larger hole sizes on your grater so the cucumber shavings don’t slip through the colander’s slots.

2 small pita pockets; cut in half
5 oz english cucumber; peeled and roughly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup greek yogurt (or make your own)
Juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove; minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill; chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 onion; chopped
5 oz tempeh; crumbled

Toss the cucumber in a colander and hand mix in the salt. Press some of the liquid out and throw in a food processor. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill and process till smooth.

Saute the onions for a couple minutes then add the tempeh and continue to saute for a few more minutes, adding more oil if necessary. Remove to a bowl and add the cucumber sauce until you reach your desired consistency. Fill your pita with lettuce, tomatoes and anything else you like in your pita sandwich before adding the tempeh. Enjoy.

More faux meat madness! Am I a one-trick pony? Perhaps. It has been a while since I made stir-fry and I was jonesin’. Traditionally I go for the savory and salty over the sweet but I decided to mix it up this time. One convenient thing (or arguably, bad thing) about tempeh is there’s no need to marinate because it won’t really accomplish anything.

Some Wok Smoke Goodness

This dish is loosely based off a recipe in a book a friend of mine gave me a few years back. It calls for some less common items like Kaffir lemon leaves which I’m sure are great, but a little too rare and exotic for me. We like quality food here but hunting high and low for an ingredient I’ll never use again before it goes bad just seems like a waste of time, money and sanity. So some DC-style modifications were in order. What do you think?

Honey Orange Tempeh Stir-Fry with Broccoli

Honey Orange Tempeh Stir-Fry with Broccoli
adapted from Wok Works

8oz tempeh
7 teaspoons oil (2 tablespoons, one teaspoon)
1 garlic clove; minced
1 teaspoon ginger; minced
a head of broccoli; chopped into small 1/2 inch pieces
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lime
Juice of one lemon
7 teaspoons soy sauce (2 tablespoons, one teaspoon)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice wine

Steam your broccoli for 4 minutes and immediately dunk in cold water to stop the cooking process. Towel dry. Heat your wok, add two tablespoons oil and (carefully!) swirl around. Add your broccoli and stir fry for 1 minutes. Add your garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds; tossing continually to prevent burning. Add all your remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Continue to cook until liquid reduced to a thick sauce (five minutes, tops). Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy.

My sister recently returned from a year in Marshall Islands working with World Teach. Before that she lived in Alaska for several yearss. With all this traveling, she hasn’t been in the area much, so it goes without saying that our mother was quite ecstatic about her arrival. But she’s not in town long. In a matter of days she’s off to Chicago to prepare for graduate school. Because of this and Father’s day, I decided to spend the weekend in Richmond seeing family and catching up.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Tempeh

I’ve been trying to spend more time experimenting with different varieties of vegetarian dinners; those outside my traditional niche of soup, salads and roasted vegetables. I’ve never done much with the faux meats (tofu, tempeh, seitan), but hey, gotta broaden those horizons. I wanted to start with something that reminded me of what I use to eat when as a kid (this is Edwin’s family post).

When I was growing up, there were certain meals we’d always have. Mondays were spaghetti night, Fridays were pizza night (and TGIF!) and not every week, but pretty often there’d be sloppy joes night. I loved sloppy joes night. We never had it with hamburger buns. We always ate it with regular sandwich bread and french fries on the side. So. Good.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Tempeh

So here’s my attempt at replicating that old classic with tempeh and NO can of manwich. Will it fool anyone into thinking it’s the real deal? No. Is it good? Definitely.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes with Tempeh

1 onion; chopped
3 cloves of garlic; minced
1 red bell pepper; diced
1 celery stalk; diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
8 ounces tempeh

Sweat the onions, garlic, red bell pepper and celery under medium low heat in a large pan for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the herbs, sugar and spices along with the three cans of tomato. Raise the temperature to medium and stir for a few minutes. Add the tempeh and continue to cook until everything is heated through. Serve and enjoy.