Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baking with Tempeh!

Whokay. It's time you discovered tempeh. Or rediscovered it. Or at least stopped racing by that enigmatic "meat substitute" area near the dairy case at the grocery store. There's some reasonable stuff there. Also, there's some scary stuff there.

Tempeh: not scary. Misunderstood, maybe. Mushy, perhaps. Tasteless, only if prepared carelessly. Don't worry, I have pushed through "careless" into "unfortunate" and flat through "failure" to bring you what I now believe to be the easiest, most foolproof way to eat more tempeh.
But why would you want to do that? Well, maybe you have recently decided to eat WAY less meat. Maybe you decided that, I don't know, the factory farm system is kind of broken and you'd rather not contribute your hard-earned dollars to a fockacta plan that's bad for farmers, animals, the planet, and all Americans in general. Maybe you only buy meat from small farms now, directly from the farmers, and maybe it's so expensive that you can really only afford to eat it 2 or 3 times a week. Maybe you have desperately been trying to replace that missing protein in your diet with something other than eggs. Eggs eggs eggs three times a day. No? Just me?

Well, then maybe you decided you loved your healthy colon or your low cholesterol or your stable blood sugar levels. Maybe you needed that extra soy to soothe your menopausal symptoms (OOOH! I went there!) or became intent on lowering your risk of prostate cancer (That's right! You too, guys!). Maybe you just really like Indonesian food.
Whatever the reason, I am here to bring you three charming recipes for tempeh that actually tastes. What you must do is very simple: bake it in a marinade. Submerge it in a tasty sauce and cook. Mix, pour, bake. Super easy. Slice the chunks over salad, make a TLT sandwich, or eat it with a fork on top of polenta (a.k.a. grits). Will you miss the meat? Yes. But you'll live longer. That's a promise. And the earth will give you a hug. Or if not the earth, then a happy cow. Ok, probably not him either. Just give yourself a hug for me.

Baked Tempeh: 3 ways
1) Barbecue Tempeh

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Tabasco, hot chili powder, or other heat source
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1 8-oz block of tempeh, cut into desired shapes for eating
  • Mix together all marinade ingredients. Set tempeh in a baking dish just big enough to fit all the pieces in a single layer, lying flat. Pour marinade over, cover with foil, and bake in a 350ยบ oven for 20 minutes. Take out, flip pieces, re-cover and bake 15 minutes more. Remove foil, pour excess marinade out*, and bake 10 more minutes to crisp up a little bit. Serve hot or cold.
*Alternately, pour marinade into a small pot and reduce on the stovetop while tempeh finishes the bake. Serve as extra sauce.

2) Balsamic Marinated Tempeh

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8-oz block tempeh
  • Same directions as above. Scroll up, lazy.

3) Maple-Bacon Tempeh (no joke)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • Same song, third verse.

No comments:

Post a Comment