Saturday, February 19, 2011

Co-Op Offers Terrific Tempeh

Tempeh is a plant-based alternative to meat that boasts a powerful serving of protein, plenty of fiber, and a healthy dose of magnesium, among other nutrients. Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is easy to digest and readily available at the Co-Op. Check out the refrigerated section of the store, where both plain and Garden Veggie varieties can be found.

To prepare, tempeh is often sliced and lightly browned on a skillet. It makes a fantastic sandwich filler and a hearty addition to salads. Free of saturated fat and cholesterol, this protein-packed delight is perfect for anyone who wants to incorporate a tasty, heart-healthy ingredient into their weekly dinner rotation.

This week, stop by the refrigerated section of the Co-Op to pick up some tempeh. Be sure to check out the other delicious meat alternatives offered by the Co-Op as well--from seitan to seasoned tempeh "Fakin" (meatless bacon!), you'll be sure to find something that works well for you.

Looking for a new tempeh recipe? Try this flavorful take on meatless Sloppy Joes where tempeh serves as the star ingredient. While the sandwich pictured is topped with blue cheese crumbles, you can easily eliminate this ingredient for a vegan option.
Barbeque Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Barbeque Tempeh:
  • 8 oz. of tempeh, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 - 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cans of drained crushed tomatoes ( 14.5 oz. each)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
Onion n' Pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • a little olive oil
Sandwich Fixins'
  • Bread or bun of choice
  • Blue cheese crumbles, optional
  • Optional: sweet pickle slices (bread n' butter pickles)

1) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh slices, allowing to brown on one side (approximately 3 minutes). Flip, and brown tempeh on the other side. Remove tempeh from the skillet and chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.

2) In a pot, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients for the barbeque tempeh (through ground red pepper). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing to thicken. Stir occasionally. Add tempeh and allow sauce to cook another 5 minutes, until heated through. Your filling is done!

3) Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add sliced onion and bell pepper. Saute until lightly browned, about 3 - 5 minutes.

4) Build your sandwich: Top bread with tempeh filling, onions and peppers, pickles, and blue cheese crumbles (if using).

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Nuts for Co-Op Nut Butter

One of the Co-Op's shining-star products is their offering of all-natural peanut butters. Free from pesky add-ins like sugar or hydrogenated oils, the Co-Op nut butters feature one star ingredient: roasted nuts.

The result? A flavorful, nutritious, protein-packed powerhouse to spread on your classic PB & J sandwich. (Or, your AB & J sandwich if Almond Butter is your nut spread of choice).

The Co-Op offers a fantastic self-serve station for you to scoop your own peanut butter, too. Containers are provided, or you can bring your own jar and fill it up with just the right amount for you.

If you're seeking ways to incorporate more plant-based sources of protein into your daily dining routine, consider some of the following options to put your Co-Op natural nut butter to use:
  • Top your morning bowl of oats with a scoop of nut butter, a handful of blueberries, a splash of vanilla, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
  • Spread nut butter on a banana slice for a mid-morning or after-work snack.
  • Try your hand at a delicious peanut stew recipe--many recipes contain basic ingredients like sweet potatoes, tomato juice, all-natural peanut butter, and raw, unsalted peanuts (also available at the Co-op).
  • Looking for a way to use up blackened bananas? Whip up a batch of peanut butter-banana pancakes or quick bread for breakfast.
  • Cookies! The possibilities are endless with nut butters.
The following vegan cookie recipe features your favorite nut butter as its star ingredient--just about any kind will work! Don't expect them to last long in your cookie jar...

Vegan Nut Butter Cookies

(recipe from Love Like a Vegan blog)


1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 TBSP sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup of your favorite all-natural nut butter (peanut or almond butter work great)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

3 TBSP oil


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2) In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients (almond butter through oil). Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 7 - 8 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.