Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tempeh Stuffed Peppers

These peppers blend the best of the carnivore and vegetarian worlds.  Garlic bread, steamed broccolini and a great bottle of pinot noir will complete this meal. Serves 4

4 strips bacon
1 (8 oz) pkg Three Grain Tempeh
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can, no salt added, petite cut diced tomato
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbls ancho chille powder
2 Tbls worcestershire sauce
2 Tbls brown sugar
2 large red bell peppers, seeds removed and sliced in half
2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, reduced fat

1. Cook bacon in saute pan until crisp, remove bacon, crumble and hold.
2. Pour off all but 2 Tbls bacon fat and add crumbled tempeh. Cook until lightly browned.  Remove tempeh and mix with crumbled bacon. Set aside.
3. Sweat peppers, onion, garlic in pan until soft. Splash in liquid from canned tomatoes to prevent sticking.  Once vegetables are soft add to the tempeh mixture and set aside.
4. Sweat the mushrooms in the pan with liquid from the canned tomatoes until most of their moisture is released.  Add tempeh mixture back into the saute pan and season with pepper, salt, chille powder, worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.  Allow to simmer while you prepare the peppers to be stuffed.
5. Microwave pepper halves for 1 minute until just soft.  Lightly char the outside of peppers over an open flame or under the broiler.  Do not over char the pepper or they will get too soft.  Remove the charred sections of the pepper skin.
6. Stuff the peppers with tempeh mixture and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trying Tempeh--part two

I've made the commitment. I opened the package of tempeh and I'm ready to cook with it. I consulted some of my favorite vegan cookbooks -- The Artful Vegan, by Eric Tucker and Bruce Enloe of The Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco and Great Chefs Cook Vegan, by Linda Long.  But this was all a delay tactic to avoid what I really needed to do, taste the plain tempeh. I warmed it up slightly in the microwave for 20 seconds so the real flavors would be noticeable.

The aroma from the warm tempeh hooked me. It was a little like some rice pilaf or cooked oatmeal.  I even picked up a hint of something sweet like a fresh baked muffin.  It became infinitely more appealing after I broke it into crumbles. This could easily replace the ground turkey I use in sloppy joes. I'm off to the grocery store for some red and green bell peppers, onions, garlic and crushed, canned tomatoes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Considering Tempeh

I have a shrink-wrapped package of tempeh in front of me. I'm stumped. What can I do with this fermented block of organic soybeans, millet, brown rice and barley? I've read every inch of the packaging looking for ideas and I finally notice "SELL BY MAY 7 2010". Wonderful, problem solved, put it back in the refrigerator. Boy I love vegan cooking.