Salt & Pepper Tempeh.

July 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello there!

Again, apologies for being MIA – i’ve been flitting about spending far too much money and basking in the final glorious weeks of holidays!

Mornings have been characterised by the consumption of thick, gooey, mud-sludge smoothies that have usurped porridge as my breakfast of choice. I’ve been trying to avoid oats for the past few weeks, mainly because I realised I was helping myself to unhealthy amounts of them and something inside my little bird-brain was telling me that I must break the oatey addiction. I still believe that oats should be soaked before use due to the phytates they contain (can inhibit the absorption of some nutrients etc) and considering my skin and whatnot, I just felt perhaps they weren’t meshing with my system. So now for brekky, I alternate between quinoa flakes or the above murky bevvo.

This aesthetically challenged, yet supremely delicious concoction contained:

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp natural peanut butter

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 fistful of baby spinach

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

almond milk (maybe 1.5 cups?)

BAM! I love that these are so thick you sometimes have to use a spoon!

Pre-sludge shake I’ve been downing a huge glass of water with fresh lemon too, and can I say the naturopath’s detox plan + lemon-ey goodness + no agave or refined sugar + vegetable bonanza + ginger & turmeric tea + lots of vibram 5-finger running has left me feeling SUPER HAPPY AWESOME AMAZING!

I’ve almost finished stage 1 of the gut-cleansing, so coming up next is he ‘renew’ phase, whereby I cultivate my intestinal flower-beds and blossom from within!

A girl with a squeaky clean intestinal tract!

The MAIN point of this post however, is to alert you to the wonderful, dynamic vegan delight that is tempeh.

Looks a tad bizzare and off-putting, however once you get the hang of cooking with it, it’s a great source of protein and nutrients for vegos, vegans and omnivores alike.

As you know, I prefer to be soy light, however tempeh is a little different (to tofu, soy milk etc) and I will happily be adding it to my diet as a ‘sometimes’ food! It is made from fermented, whole-soy beans and from what I’ve read, does NOT share many of the attributes of processed soy products that I was concerned about when I decided to break up with them last year. This article is an interesting scientific explanation of the soy dilemma.

This week, to honour my new-found soy ally, I created Salt & Pepper Tempeh. Nothing too flash, but quick, simple and evoking a decidedly sea-side, fresh summery vibe.

For the salad:

baby spinach leaves

1 small tomato, diced

1/2 avocado, diced

1/4 red capsicum, diced

1/2 small cucumber, diced

1-2 tbsp red onion, diced

handful chopped coriander, to toss through & garnish

For the tempeh:

3 x 3 inch block of fresh, organic tempeh (can find in cold section at supermarket, or in health-food stores)

celtic sea salt & cracked black pepper

1 tbsp coconut oil

Toppings:

excessive amounts of fresh lemon

coriander

2 tbsp ‘tahini’ dip (I found one in the health food store that is basically a creamy tahini dressing with sesame seeds, garlic, lemon, salt and not much else – so something vegan and ‘aoli-like’ would be ideal if you can’t find that particular item)

How to:

  • slice tempeh as thinly as possible (2-3mm ‘slabs) until the block is in about 5 thin sheets. I then cut diagonally across to form mini triangles – but you can go with whatever geometric pattern that takes your fancy!
  • melt coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and add the tempeh. sprinkle salt & cracked pepper over exposed side while cooking – will take about 5 mins on either side to crisp up.
  • while the tempeh is sizzling away, dice your salad veggies, and arrange over a bed of baby spinach.
  • once tempeh is browned to protein-ey perfection, stack artistically (or otherwise) atop your dainty salad.
  • serve with the tahini dip, lashings of lemon juice, and as much coriander as you can handle.

Gobble.

Okay so this is when I made it a second time…the following day.

Well, that’s it for the moment – off to whip myself into an organisational frenzy pre course commencement. Wheeeee new stationary!

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