pretty in pink vegan

pretty in pink vegan

Friday, February 21, 2014

Temp Who?

 Being a new vegan there are a few proteins that you have to learn to work with or even learn to like. For me it was Tempeh. One, I had no clue what the hell Tempeh was or how to even how to work with this weird nugget block. I have tried it three times and all three times it was not my cup of tea so I did a little research. Thank God for Google. Once you learn what an ingredient is it is sooo much easier to figure out practical uses for it. Here is what I found out online.

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty.

Bingo I had and idea. I had a block of Tempeh in the fridge, I purchased when Whole Foods was closing. It cost like a buck so even if I couldn't figure out a decent recipe I didn't waste much money. If you have been reading my blog you know that my favorite type of food is Asian so of course I racked my brain to figure out an Asian application. Looking at this block of beige madness it kinda looked like chicken and the one dish I do miss the most is lettuce wraps and sadly tofu lettuce wraps just don't look pretty. So I decided to see how Tempeh would work out. Check out the recipe.

1 8-oz. pkg. plain tempeh, broken into chunks
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup lime juice
2 Tbs. chopped shallots
1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chile sauce, such as sriracha
¼ tsp. light brown sugar

Toppings and Wraps

1 cups bean sprouts
slivered almonds
fried wonton strips
1 large carrot, shredded
Fresh mint, cilantro, and basil
18 whole bib lettuce leaves

1. To make Sauce: whisk together all ingredients in small bowl.
2. To make Filling: Pulse tempeh in food processor until coarsely crumbled. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add tempeh and broth, cover, and cook 
5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 10 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.

BAM!  Lettuce wraps that look and taste like chicken. It was Tempeh success and a bit better for you that tofu. Keithon really enjoyed the whole building process because he was able to put what he wanted in the wrap even though I had to force a few more carrots into his wrap. Lately he has been on a no carrot kick.

 Because it was just the two of us and Tempeh is really filling I had a lot of my ground "chicken" left so I was able to make 2 more dished from it. Crazy I know. The filling stores pretty well and of course the longer it sits the better the taste and texture. So I used it to make a "chicken" and veggie soup as well as "chicken" pot stickers.

Now that I have a grasp on this whole Tempeh thing I'm sure I will discover a million other ways to transform this nugget block.

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