Sunday, March 19, 2006

Thyme for Tempeh

Before I begin telling you about the above photo, I think there is something I should explain about my eating habits. Most food blogs put up a new recipe mosttimes they post but I won't be doing this because I have the same thing for dinner every inght. I don't mean every single night, I mean that I have a set meal plan so I have the same thing every Monday, Tuesday etc. I will post my recipe plan tmorrow. On Saturdays, however, I always try something new, so I will always have a recipe to post on a Sunday. I am also currently trying to turn my dad vegetarian as well as helping out my mother who I turned veggie last year and who has serious food allergies, so I can post some of the things I cook for them.

Now, back to last night's dinner. I have wanted to try tempeh (pronounced tempay) for AGES and I finally bought some three weeks ago. I ate it two Saturdays runnig, in different dishes, and found that I did not like it one little bit. This disturbed me, because there are not many things I don't like (so long as they're vegan, obviously). I wanted to try and find a way I liked tempeh and I also didn't want to waste it because it is pretty xpensive and I hate seeing food get wasted (even if wasted is fed to the dog). So last night I adapted a recipe from called Veggie Sausage Dinner Skillet and, shock horror, I actually really enjoyed it!! So here goes
(NOTE: I have estimated veggie quantities but it really depends on how hungry you are/what you enjoy).

  • 1 small handful of kohl rabi and sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons diced brown onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • tempeh, as much as you want
  • 1/2 a large carrot
  • 3 tbsp diced tinned tomatoes, plus two tbsp of the juice from the tin
  • slightly more than 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • slightly less than 1/4 tsp dried rosmary
  • 1/4tsp dried oragano
  • 1/4tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful baby spinach leaves
Place the kohl rabi and sweet potato into a saucepan, cover with water and simmer until tender. While they are cooking, fry the onions in a little bit of water until they are just barely turning brown and then add in the garlic and tempeh (chooped into bite sized pieces) and continue frying until the tempeh is quite browned. Add to the frying pan the carrot, herbs (including bay leaf) and 2 tbsp of diced tomatoes plus 1 tbsp of the tomato juice. Reduce the heat and let this cook for a few minutes and by this time the sweet potato and kohl rabi should be ready. Drain and add to the frying pan along with the remaining tomatoes and juice and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the carrots are tender and it has reached the desired consistency. Turn off the heat and stir through the baby spinach leaves (roughly chop them first) and just let them wilt a bit while you get your plate ready. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

You could increase the liquid int this recipe and make it a pasta sauce/topping for rice but, as you can see from the picture, I had it thick and served as-is. The original recipe added chopped apple at the same time as the carrot which I did because I LOVE apples, but it just didn't work in this dish. Also, I had to add spinach because in my worl a meal is not a meal without spinach.
For anyone who doesn't know, kohl rabi is a little grren (or purple) thing that is related to cabbage and originated in germany. You can use regular potato, cabbage , or whatever you want if you can't find it, but it is very tasty and nutritious.
Verdict of a non-vegan: I gave a piece of tempeh to both my mum and dad, with very different responses. Dad said "it tastes like compressed dirt" whereas mum said "it's much nicer than tofu" (is she out of her mind!??!)If you make it I hope you enjoy it.

P.S If you read this blog I would love it if you would leave a comment. It would be great to know someone was actually reading it!


At 8:24 pm, Blogger Alicia Bennett said...

Greetings, I was reading some blogs and came across your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how it has a good feel. This is one to watch.


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At 8:13 pm, Anonymous Kate said...

Hi there, there is a great cookbook called "The Book of Tempeh" in the Murdoch Uni library. It has some great recipes including Tempeh chips (pretty sure they're vegan) which are scrumptious. Its certainly worth checking out if you want to get into Tempeh, but you'll have to recall it as I've currently got it out.

At 5:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

unfortunately tempeh in australia has a horrible bitter taste to it. you need to go to indonesia and try it. i feel in love with it over there and ate it everyday. It has a really nice sweet nutty flavour and slightly crunchy texture (most likely because they fry it). I dont know what sauces/spices they use, i just point to it in the warung when getting my nasi campur (rice and anything available). when i came back home the first thing i did was go and buy some but was left feeling very disappointed

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