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).

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