Friday, June 15, 2012

What In The World Is...?

Today I thought it would be fun to post another "What In The World Is" post, since it's been a while. I'd like to dedicate this post to plant-strong reader Denise, who asked me for a good tempeh recipe. The good news is, I have a GREAT recipe! And the fun part is that it's an old childhood favorite, sloppy Joes.

So what in the world is tempeh?

"Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a patty, similar to a very firm veggie burger. Many commercially prepared brands add other grains, such as barley, and also add spices and extra flavors. Although tempeh is made from soy, it has a unique taste and is mildly flavorful on it's own, unlike tofu. If you aren't fond of tofu, tempeh is also very high in protein and calcium, as well as beneficial isoflavones, but tastes nothing like tofu. Tempeh has a textured and nutty flavor." (source,

My recipe for Sloppy Joes is a great one. Now, I realize the pictures are unappealing, but trust me, they taste great.

I believe I got this recipe from the Kripalu cookbook.

Tempeh Barbecue

3 T canola oil (I use almost no oil because I use a cast oil pan, which rocks, right?)
8 ounces tempeh, cut into little pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
2 T canned tomato paste
2 T unsulphured molasses (black strap)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T prepared brown mustard
1/2 tsp ground mustard (no big deal if you don't have it, but it's a nice flavor)
2 1/4 tsp tamari

In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil and grill the tempeh pieces on medium-high heat until brown on both sides, adding 1 tsp salt, the garlic powder and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil and saute the onions and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add the tomato sauce and paste, molasses, lemon juice, vinegar, prepared and ground mustard, tamari, remaining black pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add the reserved tempeh and cook for at lest 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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