A Not Classic Nicoise Style Salad

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I love artichoke hearts and hearts of palm. They look and taste great on this salad. I added leftover steamed potatoes and crunchy tempeh “croutons” along with tomatoes and avocados for a vegan take on the classic Nicoise salad. Piled high over massaged kale, this is the perfect lunch for one! Add as much or as little of the toppings as you wish.

Massaged Kale
6 kale leaves
1/2 avocado
The juice of 1/2 lemon

Toppings, enough for one 
Artichoke hearts
Avocado
Hearts of palm
Grape tomatoes
Steamed red fingerling potatoes
Tempeh croutons *

To massage the kale, chop up the kale and squeeze the lemon juice on top. The cut an avocado in half and squeeze it down over the kale. Using your hands, massage the avocado into the kale until the kale starts to soften.

To make the Nicoise salad, place the massaged kale in the middle of a plate. Top with artichoke hearts, avocados, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, fingerling potatoes and tempeh croutons.

Enjoy!

* Cube 8 ounces of tempeh. Toss with a teaspoon of high heat oil, the juice of half a lemon, and a tablespoon of tamari. Heat in a nonstick skillet and cook until browning.

 

Tempeh Meatloaf (Meatless Meatloaf)

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Vegan Sunday dinner: my new tempeh meatless meatloaf. It might rival my tempeh meatballs as the best thing I have ever made. These loaves start out in a similar way as the meatballs but are then flavored in their own special way.

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I buy Barry’s Tempeh which comes in 1lb. packages so I make 4 mini loaves at a time for maximum kitchen efficiency. Each loaf serves 2 people. I store the extra in the refrigerator and we end up with meatloaf sandwiches for a few days.

Note: Commercial tempeh comes in 8oz packages so you would have to use 2 packages for this recipe. I can’t vouch for that kind of tempeh though. You can also add 1 or 2 shredded carrots to the mix. If your breadcrumbs do not have parsley, chop some and add it to the mix. And, finally, to make this gluten free, use almond meal/flour.

1 lb. soy tempeh
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon tamari
1 small onion
1 big clove of garlic
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons stoneground mustard
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chickpea or sweet white miso

Sauce for the Top
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons really good balsamic vinegar

Break up the tempeh in crumbles. They don’t have to be too fine, just so that the block is broken up. Add to a pot along with the water and tamari. Mix it all together to try to coat the tempeh with the tamari. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Every few minutes go in with a wooden spoon and break the tempeh up even more.

Let the tempeh sit and cool. In the meantime, dice an onion into a small dice and mince the garlic. Place in a pan and water or oil sauté until soft.

In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and miso. Add the tempeh, onions and garlic, and breadcrumbs, Mix well.

Separate the mixture into four equal amounts. Press each portion together very well and then, one by one, press them into each mini loaf cavity. Press the mixture down to make it compact and to reach the edges of the cavity, about 3/4 of the way up to the top.

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Make the sauce for the top by whisking together the ingredients. Spoon it over the top and spread it out evenly.

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Bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before attempting to take the loaves out.

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Use two spatulas to carefully remove the loaves. Slice, serve and enjoy!

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Tempeh Meatballs (Meatless Meatballs v2)

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This seriously might be the BEST thing I have made to date. Seriously. We are now officially addicted to these meatballs to the point where my husband is asking for meatball sandwiches for breakfast. I use fresh handmade tempeh by Barry’s Tempeh which is made in Brooklyn and my own breadcrumbs.

I know a lot of you can’t get fresh tempeh so I cannot vouch for how good this recipe will be with store bought tempeh but if you are going to try it, use Soy Boy tempeh.

I am indebted to Isa Moskowitz and her book, Isa Does It! for the initial tempeh cooking method. But the rest of my recipe diverges from hers. I have a two step process with these meatballs which I believe ensures max flavor. First, after assembly, I bake them and then when we are ready to eat them, I heat them up in my cast iron skillet with a little oil.

Also, as you can see in the picture, we are not a drown-our-meatballs-with-sauce kind of family but feel free to dump as much sauce over your meatballs as you wish to! Or make meatball heroes with sauce or sandwiches with ketchup. Whatever works!

Note: If you don’t feel like sautéing onions and garlic, you can use a teaspoon each onion and garlic powder. Add more, to taste. Also, add a flax egg to moisten the mixture (1 tablespoon of ground flax + 3 tablespoons water.)

Tempeh Meatballs, makes 24 – 30 *
1 lb. soy tempeh
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon tamari
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (oregano + marjoram + thyme + basil + rosemary + sage)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (nooch)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, optional

Break up the tempeh in crumbles. They don’t have to be too fine, just so that the block is broken up. Add to a pot along with the water and tamari. Mix it all together to try to coat the tempeh with the tamari. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Every few minutes go in with a wooden spoon and break the tempeh up even more.

Let the tempeh sit and cool. In the meantime, dice an onion into a small dice and mince the garlic. Place in a pan and water or oil sauté until soft.

In a small bowl, mix together the miso and tomato paste. Add it to the tempeh along with the onions and garlic, the Italian seasoning, salt, breadcrumbs, nooch and parsley if using. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form balls by really packing the mixture together, rolling the mixture between your palms.

Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

At this point, you can store in the refrigerator and/or the freezer. When ready to serve, heat a small amount of high heat oil on a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, a nonstick pan will do. Once the oil is hot, add the balls and roll them around coating the whole ball with oil. Cook for a few minutes until heated through.

If you are making a big bowl o’ spaghetti and sauce, get it ready before the balls are ready and then serve as pictured. Or toast the bread or hero and pile the meatballs in. Enjoy!

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Sunday Salad

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I love posting gorgeous salad pictures, especially in the middle of winter. That is a big bowl of Romaine and red leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, diced red, yellow and orange peppers, thinly sliced scallions, shredded purple cabbage, thinly sliced radishes and a big sprinkle of chopped dill.

What is missing from this picture? Cute little tempeh “croutons” I made by cutting an 8oz. block of tempeh into little cubes and cooking them in a nonstick skillet with a tablespoon of oil until they got super crispy on all sides.

Serve with your favorite dressing. Enjoy!

Tempeh Roundup

I love tempeh. It’s another vegan “protein” and, like tofu, it works great on Blue Plate Specials.

I buy Barry’s Grown in Brooklyn Homemade Tempeh. If you can find someone local who makes tempeh, buy it. But if you need a good brand from the store, buy Soy Boy. It is organic and non-GMO and out of the store bought brands, it was our favorite one.

1. Honee BBQ Tempeh. Made with Bee Free Honee. Great on tofu too.

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2. Tempeh Lemon Broil. Love the name. Love the flavors.

3. Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh. Crunchy and delicious.

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4. Tempeh Bowl. This marinade is made with tahini, tamari miso and garlic.

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5. Braised Tempeh. Love this one!

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6. Breaded Tempeh. Cutlets or sticks.

IMG_0386Breaded Tempeh Cutlets

Breaded Tempeh Sticks

7. Cajun Tempeh. It’s all about the flavors.

8. Tempeh Souvlaki. Again, all about the flavors. Can’t get enough of this one.

9. Tempeh Tacos. Make the same thing with lentils.

10. Chili Lime Tempeh. Check out the Mexican rice and avocado salad.

11. Maple Glazed Tempeh. Basic marinade: tamari, maple syrup, and sunflower oil.

12. Basic Marinated Tempeh. My original marinade: tamari and maple syrup.

13. Tempeh Fajitas. A favorite around here!

14. Tempeh Bacon. Save the best for last!

Tempeh Bacon & French Toast

ALT: Avocado Lettuce & Tempeh Bacon Sandwich

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Blue Plate Special #50: Honee BBQ Tempeh with Baked Potatoes & Steamed Broccoli

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I’m officially obsessed with Bee Free Honee! Here it is playing a starring role in my new tangy and sweet BBQ sauce. Tonight’s blue plate special? BBQ tempeh, yams, and broccoli. Super easy and seriously delicious!

Honee BBQ Sauce
3 tablespoons Bee Free Honee
3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
The juice of 1/2 lime

Whisk ingredients together.

Tempeh *
Potatoes
Broccoli
Lime

* I use Barry’s Tempeh which is Grown in Brooklyn.  If using store bought tempeh, steam first then prep the same way.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Brush the tempeh with BBQ sauce. Place on a lined baking sheet. Flip over and brush the second side.

Cook for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and brush with more of the BBQ sauce. Cook for another 15 to 10 minutes or until nice and brown. If there is more sauce left, brush the tempeh again.

Plate it up with a few pieces of lime onto each plate for a zesty splash. Enjoy!

P.S. This BBQ tempeh is fantastic in a sandwich. Save any leftovers and serve with vegan mayo (make your own out of cashews or grapeseed oil) or use Just Mayo.

Blue Plate Special #49: Tempeh & Tofu with Toasted Millet Pilaf & Roasted Farmer’s Market Carrots

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This is such an easy meal to put together. I only had half a package of tofu so I added some tempeh into the mix. You could easily make this with pilaf with quinoa but I have been wanting to use millet and this is my first attempt. And look at those carrots. Wow.

Tempeh and Tofu
4 oz. tempeh
1/2 package extra firm tofu
Grapeseed oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Cube the tempeh. Slice the tofu into squares.

For the tempeh, heat grapeseed oil in a skillet. Add the tempeh and cook, shaking around until crispy on all sides.

For the tofu, brush each side with grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan and add the tofu on a diagonal. When you see grill marks, turn 180 degrees to get the cross hatch. Do the same thing on the other side.

Toasted Millet Pilaf 
1 cup millet
2 cups water
1 leek
1 spring garlic
3 shallots
Sea salt and white pepper, to taste

Toast the millet in a dry pot. When toasted, about 5 minutes, being careful not the let it burn, add the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed.

Clean and chop the leeks, garlic and shallots. In another skillet, add the vegetables with a small amount of water and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft. Add the millet and toss well. Season with white pepper, to taste.

Roasted Farmer’s Market Carrots
8 colorful carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, a pinch

Slice the carrots on the bias and toss with olive oil. Roast in a 400 oven for 30 minutes.

Plate it up and enjoy!

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Easy Weeknight Tempeh Enchiladas

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I love enchiladas! My friend Joey makes fantastic ones and I have also made Isa’s Nirvana Enchilada Casserole but on a weeknight I don’t like waiting for them to bake. So here is my easy weeknight version and we LOVE them!

I make a simple and flavorful sauce, fill corn tortillas with Barry’s tempeh, and top them with my cashew cream sauce and cilantro and pumpkin seeds (as per Isa’s recipe.)

Here is how to get it done on a weeknight. Make the sauce and the filling at the same time. While they are on the stove, whip up the cashew cream sauce. Then when it is time for dinner, heat up the tortillas, fill them and serve them.

That’s fine for my family – we eat 6 – but if I were to make this for a group or had more time, I would probably bake it and serve it as a casserole. Oh, and this sauce recipe makes more than you will need for 6 so freeze it in a clearly marked container. I say this because I freeze a lot of homemade tomato sauce and we once poured enchilada sauce over our meatless meatballs. 

Remember, organize your mise en place – the onions, jalapeños and garlic are in both the sauce and the filling – so that your kitchen is organized and everything comes together at the same time. 

Enchilada Sauce
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeño, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
Coconut palm nectar or Agave, to taste
Salt, to taste

Add the onions into a pot (big enough for 28oz of tomatoes) with a few tablespoons of water. Cook until softened. Add the jalapeño and garlic. Stir around. After a few minutes, add the chili powder, cumin, oregano and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and water and mix well. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes to let the flavors combine. Add the sweetener to taste. Take off the stove and let cool. Then, pour into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour back into the pot and set aside

Filling *
8oz. tempeh, crumbled
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeño, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
The juice of 1 lime

Add the onions and tempeh to a sauté pan with a little water and cook until browning and softening. Add the jalapeños and garlic and a little water. Cook until there is no more water. Squeeze in the lime juice and mix well. Add a little sauce, about 1/4 cup to bring the whole thing together. Take off the heat until ready to assemble.

* Double these measurements for a casserole. And if you are going to make a casserole you don’t have to heat up the filling and sauce while assembling.

My Favorite Cashew Cream 
1 cup cashews **
3/4 cup water
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
The juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt, a pinch

** If you don’t have a Vitamix or other high speed blender, soak the cashews for 4 hours and then drain them. Place the cashews and the rest of the ingredients into the Vitamix or blender and lit it rip until it looks gorgeous and creamy. If too thick, add a few tablespoons of water. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Corn Tortillas (6)
Fresh chopped cilantro
Pumpkin seeds

Now it is time to serve dinner. Reheat the sauce and the tempeh. Place a small amount of tempeh mixture at one end of a tortilla. Roll it up. Make all of the tortillas. To serve, place sauce on each plate and place the filled tortillas on top. Top with a little more sauce and a drizzle of the cashew cream. Sprinkle with cilantro and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Blue Plate Special #47: “Grown in Brooklyn” Tempeh, Broccoli & Yellow Rice Pilaf

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Once you go “Grown in Brooklyn” tempeh you never go back! Oh my gosh, have you had homemade tempeh? Barry Schwartz is the man, an artisan, who handcrafts his tempeh and is dedicated to the highest quality. Period. He sources local ingredients and makes the tempeh in small batches. It is unpasteurized unlike commercial tempeh so it has a fresher, softer texture.

From the Grown in Brooklyn website, “Barry’s Tempeh is committed to providing truly delicious, handcrafted, healthful, full-bodied, deeply satisfying tempeh products. Barry’s Tempeh is made from a unique combination of local, organic grains and beans with a culture (rhizopus oligosporus). The fermentation is similar to yogurt and fine cheese. The culture makes the beans easier to digest and adds probiotics (beneficial bacteria).”

It really doesn’t get better than that in vegan world. I ordered 8 lbs. of the classic soy tempeh and it was delivered all wrapped up in a refrigerator pack. (Delivery in NYC area only.) Half of one pack is perfect for the three of us, so I have tons in the freezer for whenever we want it.

This blue plate special dinner (or really good food in a bowl) is incredibly simple. Tempeh with yellow rice pilaf and broccoli.

8oz. soy tempeh
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 bunch of broccoli
2 shallots
1 small piece of fresh turmeric
1 cup uncooked basmati rice

Cut the tempeh into cubes. Separate the broccoli into bite size florets. Thinly slice the shallots. Use a microplane to grate the turmeric. 

Start with the rice pilaf. Heat a small pot and when it is hot, add the shallots and a tablespoon or two of water. Use a wooden spoon to stir them around and let them soften. Add the rice and toss to coat and toast for a minute. Add the right amount of water according to the package. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered until ready to serve dinner.

Add the broccoli to a pot. Cover with water and bring to a quick boil. When it turns bright green and is just soft (or to your liking) take it off the flame and drain. Add back to the pot and cover to keep warm.

Heat a pan. Add the oil and when it is shimmering, add the tempeh. Cook until the tempeh starts browning. Toss it around a few times to get all sides. Add more oil if the tempeh is sticking. Drain on paper towel.

Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork. Place the rice in a big bowl and add the tempeh and broccoli. Serve plain or with sauce. Enjoy!

Blue Plate Special #46: Baked Marinated Tempeh over Creamy Polenta with Mixed Green Vegetables

A delicious winter tempeh dinner. Three elements that come together in no time. And the cashew milk makes this the most creamy polenta ever.

Tempeh Marinade
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Whisk the marinade together and pour over the tempeh. Let marinate for as long as you have. Place the tempeh under the broiler and cook until the edges start to brown.

Creamy Polenta
1 cup ground cornmeal
2 cups water
1 cup cashew milk
Salt and White Pepper, to taste

Place the cornmeal, water and cashew milk into a pot. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and a lot of white pepper.

Mixed Vegetables (or whatever you have)
1 small leek
1 small zucchini
1 big handful of spinach

Slice the leek in half and then into semicircles. Wash really well. Water sauté until softening. Slice the zucchini in half and then into semicircles and add to the leeks. Cook until bright green. Add the spinach and let it wilt.

Plate it up and enjoy!