Thursday, June 30, 2011

Black Pepper Tempeh

I already gushed about how much I love Heidi Swanson's blog, 101 Cookbooks, and her new book, Super Natural Every Day, in this post so I'll spare you an encore. I will say that this though -- this recipe is every bit as great the mushroom, asparagus and tempeh sauté I wrote about a couple weeks ago. Actually, it may even be better.

Even though it's a quick, one-pan meal, it doesn't sacrifice healthfulness or flavor. The soy sauce and maple syrup provide the perfect --in my opinion-- balance of sweet and savory. The garlic (and there's a lot of it; garlic lovers rejoice!) and onions are a tad sweet and very tender, thanks to the slow cooking process. The cauliflower provides nice texture, adds some veggies to the mix and it serves as a perfect vessel for the sauce. Now, I'm usually not a huge cauliflower fan (unless it's mashed up with potatoes) but cooked this way I could eat it by the pound. The star of the dish is, of course, the tempeh. Nicely soaked in sauce, slightly caramelized, and a tad spicy, it's a such a tasty way to get your protein.

We've already made this twice and I'm sure it's going to become a staple, especially since Austin loved it too. We paired it with some delicious sweet corn from the farm (almost as good as New England corn, shocking!) and had ourselves a perfect summer meal.

What quick summer meals are you enjoying these days?

Black Pepper Tempeh
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day
Makes 3-4 servings
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 15 (no, that's not a typo) garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 oz / 225 g tempeh, cut into pencil-thickness strips, then again into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, finely chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: 2 loosely packed cups arugula
1.  In a large pan over low heat, combine the oil, onions, red pepper, garlic and ginger. Cook slowly until the garlic has cooked through, which should take about 15-20 minutes. While the garlic is cooking, mix the soy sauce, maple syrup or sugar and water in a small bowl.

2.  Once the garlic is cooked through, raise the heat to medium-high and add the tempeh. Cook for about 3 minutes, making sure the other ingredients don't burn, then add the soy sauce mixture. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, cover again and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the tempeh and cauliflower start to brown, which should take another 3-5 minutes or so. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the black pepper. Serve immediately, on a bed of arugula if you'd like.

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