Asian Tempeh





When I was around 19 years (wow that was 35 years ago). I discovered tempeh at my local health food store. My favorite way to have it back then was as follows..... After boiling the tempeh, I would let it cool then I would cut the tempeh in half. Then I'd cut those 2 rectangle shaped pieces in half so I would have 4 pieces. Finally, I would hold steady a piece of tempeh with the palm of my hand and with a knife, slice through it like I was splitting open a bagel. I used to just let those thin pieces of tempeh sit in a soy sauce based marinade, in a seal container, in the fridge. Then whenever I felt like having some I would put a piece or two in a frying pan. Once it was fairly cooked on both sides, I would add a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of it. I was just a vegetarian back then now I would only eat vegan cheese. I'd put a lid on the frying pan and wait till the cheese melted. This dish reminds me of those days. 

This great recipe comes from The Holistic Chef I reduced the ginger to 1/2 teaspoon from 1 teaspoon because I thought that amount would over power the other flavors. Added some chili paste. Even though in my picture of Asian Tempeh the tempeh pieces are fairly large, I now cut them much smaller so they absorb more of the marinade. Didn't didn't bother with putting them on skewers to pan fry them. I served them on rice and garnished it with thinly sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. The morning after trying this recipe I woke up feeling sad because I had no leftovers to look forward to.  


1 package tempeh (250g)*
3 Tbsp olive oil 

Marinade:

1/4 cup soy sauce (gluten free)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp garlic, grated
1/2 tsp ginger juice or ginger, grated
1 tsp chili paste (I use sambal oelek, add more to taste to make it spicy)

toasted sesame seeds (garnish)
green onions, chopped (garnish)


Add unwrapped tempeh to a boiling pot of water. Reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Then allow to cool. Meanwhile make marinade.

In a small bowl, mix marinade ingredients together, set aside. Cut cooled tempeh into small 1/4 inch cubes. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook until browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side, turning over with tongs.

Pour marinade into frying pan, lower heat and simmer, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning tempeh occasionally so that they soak up the marinade evenly. (The marinade will thicken as it simmers). Remove from heat and plate over rice. Drizzle remaining liquid over tempeh. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Good for 1 1/2 weeks in refrigerator.

* The reason you should steam or boil pre-packaged tempeh before using it is it helps to remove some of its slightly bitter flavor. Secondly, it helps to soften and moisten it. And finally, cooking it first relaxes the tempeh so it accepts more of the flavors you mix it with, especially when marinating.



Variations:


Hawaiian style - Add 1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice to marinade along 
                        with 1/2 tsp lemon zest.  

Thai style -        Add 2 teaspoons chopped lemongrass to marinade. 

Bacon flavor -    Add a little Worcestershire sauce (vegan & gluten free) and                                                    smoky paprika powder.
 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad


I found this recipe in an Alive magazine. A great summer sweet potato salad that you can enjoy cold or at room temperature. If you're not a fan of spicy foods just leave out the chipotle sauce. Writing that makes me sad because I love food with some kick to it...lol. Remember this one for your next potluck or picnic.....Enjoy!

 
3 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup vegan mayo
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 Tbsp chipotle sauce* (or to taste)
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

1 can (19 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

garnish - chopped green onions or chives


Preheat oven to 400F. Toss sweet potatoes with oil and spread out on baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 22 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together mayo, lime juice, chipotle sauce, garlic, cumin and salt in a large bowl.

Once sweet potatoes are done cooking; let cool. Place sweet potatoes and black beans in the large bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Toss to coat. Garnish with green onions or chives. Serve cold or at room temperature (which I prefer). Serves 6    


 Make Chipotle Sauce Cubes!
*Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce 

Can be found in the Mexican section of your supermarket. Read the label to make sure they are gluten-free. You can get it in a plastic bottles (with the chilies already blended) or in cans that contains whole chilies in sauce. I buy the can for 2 reasons. I bought the bottle kind once and it did not taste as good as in the can. I thought it had a slight weird taste to it. Not sure if it had to do with being kept in a plastic bottle or not. The cans are also way cheaper. I blend 2 cans in a blender or food processor. Put 1 Tbsp of sauce in each space in an ice cube tray then freezer it. Once frozen, pop the chipotle cubes out and store in a container in the freezer.

Make Chipotle Sauce Cubes




Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce 

Can be found in the Mexican section of your supermarket. Read the label to make sure they are gluten-free. You can get it in a plastic bottles (with the chilies already blended) or in cans that contains whole chilies in sauce. I buy the can for 2 reasons. I bought the bought bottle kind once and it did not taste as good as in the can. I thought it had a slight weird taste to it. Not sure if it had to do with being kept in a plastic bottle or not. The cans are also way cheaper. I blend 2 cans in a blender or food processor. Put 1 Tbsp of sauce in each space in an ice cube tray then freezer it. Once frozen, pop the chipotle cubes out and store in a plastic container in the freezer.

Fried Egg Sandwich


If I had to pick the one food I missed the most when I went vegan it would have to be fried egg sandwiches. Well those days are now over thanks to Cadrys Kitchen Eggy Tofu!  Not only does it taste like the really thing but it's super quick to make. Black salt is crucial to this recipe because it is the ingredient that gives it the egg-like scent and taste. It does not taste the same as regular salt nor pink Himalayan salt . Like regular salt you should not consume too much of it on a daily basis. I just treat myself to this once in awhile. 


1 block extra firm tofu
black salt* (also called Kala Namak)
freshly ground pepper
2 pieces bread (gluten free)
coconut oil or vegan margarine (palm oil free)

Heat a non-stick pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cut off 4 slices of tofu. Lightly brown one side of each tofu slab. Flip over: sprinkle with black salt and pepper. Once other side is lightly browned: flip it over and sprinkle with some black salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Let cool for few minutes. Toast bread and spread coconut oil or vegan margarine (palm oil free) on one side of each piece of toasted bread then add tofu slices. 

*Black salt is pink grey in color and can be found at Indian grocery stores. DO NOT buy pink Himalayan salt that just tastes like regular salt. It is not the same thing as black salt.

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