Mediterranean Tempeh with Apricots and Capers

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A few years ago my parents made the switch to vegetarianism, making the entire family one big happy veggie bunch. I am really proud of them.

My mom has done an amazing job of going through some of her favorite old recipes and converting them to vegetarian options. This recipe is one of those success stories. My family used to enjoy this dish with chicken in the place of tempeh, however as vegetarians we have found that tempeh works perfectly!

Tempeh, in my opinion, is infinitely more desirable than tofu. Thus, if you have tried meat substitutes and had bad experience with tofu(which is really not that hard to experience), give tempeh a try, and use it in this recipe! You will EAT IT UP (haha).

With only five easy steps, you can prepare one fantastic entrée for your family with no sweat. Serve alongside wild rice and a side salad, and you’re good to go!

From my kitchen to yours,

Happy Cooking  🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Tempeh
  • 1 head of minced garlic
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of oregano
  • Sea salt and Pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup Red wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup pitted prunes
  • 6 oz. dried apricots
  • 2 ½ oz. pitted Spanish green olives, drained
  • 3 ½ oz. jar capers + some juice
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup white wine
  • Optional: Wild Rice to serve alongside!

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Cover and marinade overnight, or if preparing the same day, for a minimum of 1-2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  3. Evenly spread the ingredients into a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish.
  4. Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar and white wine.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, and serve warm with wild rice.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this delicious recipe? Try these other scrumptious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links below!):

 

Tangy Strawberry Balsamic Tempeh Sandwich (or salad!)

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A few weekends ago my cousin and I were making dinner together. She suggested a salad, I suggested tempeh, she suggested strawberries, and it was a date! Together in her kitchen we were cooking and chatting away, as I volunteered to come up with a marinade for the tempeh.

My go-to ingredient for every sauce, dip, and marinade is always Balsamic Vinegar. I love it! My brilliant cousin Bekah, however, is the one who made this marinade awesome. Bekah came up with the dazzling idea to add orange juice to the marinade, which took this tempeh from delicious and traditional to exotic, fresh, and unique! I swear, I’m never going to want to make tempeh any other way.

Since that night I’ve made this dish in both salad and sandwich form, so I thought I’d share the sandwich variation with you. Although, if you are looking for a gluten free or low carb variation, check the notes and tips section below for the salad suggestion!

Yet again, I am grateful for rented kitchens, family, time together around the table, and experiments. Bring on the strawberries, and bring on the summer.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon)
  • ½ teaspoon agave
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 2 Buns, toasted
  • 1 block of tempeh
  • 10-20 Spinach leaves, rinsed and the stems removed
  • 5-10 Strawberries, sliced into thing pieces
  • 4 thin sandwich slices of Havarti cheese

Directions:

  1. Slice the tempeh into thin strips. (I cut the block in half, turned those halves on their ends and sliced those in two. Then I cut those 4 thin squares into 2-4 long strips each!)
  2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, agave, sea salt, and pepper in a shallow dish and mix well.  Add the tempeh to the dish and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Flip the tempeh pieces to allow equal soaking.
  3.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add the tempeh pieces to the pan once the oil is hot.  Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip.
  4. Drizzle 1/3 of the marinade sauce over the tops of the tempeh pieces and tilt the pan to allow the sauce to slide under the tempeh pieces. As you continue to cook the tempeh and rotate it, continue to drizzle the sauce over the tempeh. This will create a caramelized exterior, darken the tempeh, and significantly increase the flavor.
  5. Once the tempeh is cooked, assemble your sandwich by placing a slice of Havarti cheese on each side of a freshly toasted bun (this helps the cheese melt!). Then stack with spinach leaves, strawberry slices, tempeh, and top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy while it’s hot!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 large sandwiches (potentially with a few pieces of tempeh left over!)
  • Gluten free and low carb variation: Prepare the tempeh in the same way, but serve over a spinach leaf salad. Crumble some harvarti cheese and slice up a few strawberries to throw on top, and you won’t even miss the bread! Other possible toppings: sunflower seeds and sliced purple onion.
  • Be careful when pouring the marinade into your frying pan- if your pan is too hot and you pour the marinade over the tempeh it may spit! If this happens, simply turn down the heat and wear an oven glove while you pour. I did not have a problem with this but do not want anyone to move too quickly and get burned!)
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this post, check out these other delicious meals from ‘a rented kitchen!’:

Waikiki Beach Tempeh

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I have a confession. I have never been to Waikiki Beach.  Another confession- I actually had to google “Waikiki Beach” to learn where it is.  Turns out Waikiki beach is one of the treasured white-sand beaches of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Despite my never having been to the Hawaii, my grandparents visited Hawaii, and this recipe is from my grandmother’s collection (Similar to my recent post- Grandma’s (Strawberry) Lemon Bars!).  The combination of soy sauce, pineapple, ginger, and green pepper provide a south pacific pallet that must have been similar to that found near Waikiki.

What is unique about this recipe from my grandmother’s original, is that I have adapted this recipe to use tempeh instead of chicken.  This decision eliminates additional flour, shortening, salt, and a whole lot of extra work from the original recipe – creating a meal that is light and completely satisfying.

Give it a try! With summer quickly approaching, there is no better time to enjoy your tempeh with fresh pineapple. You can pretend you’re in Waikiki beach.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large can sliced pineapple (20 ounces)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 block of tempeh, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Drain the pineapple juice into a 2 cup measuring cup.  Add water to make 1 ¼ cups liquid.
  2.  In a large Tupperware, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and vegetable broth.  Mix well, and then add the cubed tempeh, pineapple chunks, and green pepper. Set aside for an hour minimum, and up to an entire day (refrigerated).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tempeh, pineapple chunks, and green pepper chunks from the marinade and set aside.
  5. In a small measuring cup, combine 2 Tablespoons of cold water with the cornstarch, and allow to dissolve.
  6. Heat the marinade liquid in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. When the cornstarch has dissolved in the water, slowly add it to the marinade mix, stirring constantly.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan and quickly fry the tempeh (you can fry the pineapple and green pepper as well if you like!)
  8. Once the sauce has thickened up, spread the tempeh, pineapple, and green pepper out in a 13 x 9” casserole dish, pouring the sauce over top.  Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  9. Suggested: serve with rice, cous cous, or quinoa. Enjoy!

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Tips and Suggestions!:

Tempeh Potstickers with Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce

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Ok. It turns out I really really like cooking Asian inspired foods. I don’t know why! I didn’t grow up eating homemade spring rolls or wonton soup, but now that I’m in my own kitchen, those are some of my go-to meals! Funny how life works, right?

I have tried several Asian-inspired recipes, but have never tried postickers, so I figured it was about time. Good news- they’re Awesome. So delicious. I made a big batch of these for my boyfriend and I on Valentine’s Day and we devoured them.

I had several left-over gyoza wrappers after Valentine’s Day, so last week I was made potstickers with anything and everything I could find in the house- rice, beans, cabbage, red pepper, you name it, it went in a potsticker.

I can tell you after a week of potstickers, that while all methods are delicious, my preference is steamed potstickers. These picture show my fried potstickers, however I found the steamed potstickers are more moist and a little softer. Whatever method you chose though, you cannot go wrong.

Happy cooking!

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Potstickers Ingredients:     

  • 2- 3 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 block tempeh, cut into thin slabs
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, diced small
  • 1 cup Napa cabbage, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 scallions, diced
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Gyoza wrappers (circular!)*

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot-chili sesame oil or 1-2 teaspoons plain Chinese sesame oil (I used plain sesame oil!)
  • 1 green onion, cut into thin rings

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the tempeh in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Sautee the mushrooms, cabbage, ginger, and olive oil with 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
  3. While the vegetables sauté, crumble the tempeh into small pieces.
  4. Add the tempeh, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes into the mushrooms mixture. Cook for one to two more minutes, remove from heat, and stir in the fresh cilantro.
  5. Place the wonton wrappers on a clean surface. Brush the edges with a light layer of water (this helps the potstickers adhere to themselves).
  6. Place about 1 Tablespoon of the vegetable/tempeh mixture on the center of each wonton. Fold the top half of the wonton wrapper onto the bottom half, and pinch closed. (I used a crimping method, which involves pleating one half of the wonton and pressing it onto the other half. It might take a few tries, but it really is easy once you get the hang of it!)
  7. Cooking option:
    1. Fry/Steam: Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet (the same skillet you used for the tempeh will work!) Fry the potstickers for 1-2 minutes, or until they are dark golden brown on the bottom. Add 1/3 cup of water to the pan, cover with the lid, and continue cooking for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, remove the lid and cook until all the water is gone.
    2. Steam: Heat a large pot halfway full with water on medium-high heat. Place the pot stickers in a steaming basket or on a wire rack over the pot, and cover with the lid (if possible). Allow for the potstickers to steam for 5-10 minutes, or until soft.
  8. Sauce Directions: Combine all ingredients; check the flavor for a balance of salt, heat, etc. Serve on the side of the potstickers.

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Notes and Tips!:

Let’s Taco’bout it!: Tempeh Tacos with Avocado-lime Sauce

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So, I’m in disbelief that I have had this blog for 9 months and this is my first tempeh recipe. Whut?! I literally just had to search “tempeh” in the search bar to confirm this. I actually do not cook tempeh all that often, that is not why the lack of tempeh on my blog is surprising. The reason it is surprising is that tempeh is a fabulous meat substitute for vegetarians that everyone should know about and I cannot believe I haven’t shared it with you already!

So here’s the tempeh scoop. Tempeh is made from soy beans- whole soy beans. It has a slightly nutty flavor that many people think tofu lacks. Tempeh is very high in fiber and is actually much firmer than tofu! Tempeh is great grilled, marinated, crumbled, pretty much any way you like it!

In this recipe, the tempeh should be marinated for a few hours at least, and then stir-fried for a quick, nutritious, and filling meal. Give it a try! It’s magical stuff.

And don’t miss the other tacos in this series, Let’s Taco’bout it!

Day One: Spiced Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Day Two: Island Tacos

Day Three: Veggie Tacos

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Avocado-Lime Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons salsa
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Gracious sprinkling of dry minced onion

Tempeh Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 6-ounce block tempeh, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon barbecue seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 small avocado
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt

Taco Ingredients (optional):

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for sautéing tempeh)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheese (suggested: pepper jack, if vegan omit)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Salsa

Directions:

  1. To prepare the tempeh: combine the olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue seasoning, and cumin in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together.
  2. Cut the tempeh into small cubes and toss in the marinade until well coated. Transfer the tempeh and marinade into a shallow dish or Tupperware, and allow to continue marinating for a minimum of 2 hours and up to a day.
  3. Sauté the tempeh cubes in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook until brown and crispy.
  4. To make the avocado- lime sauce: combine the ingredients in a blender and mix until completely blended. Add flavors or additional spices as desired.
  5. To assemble tacos: toast the tortillas for a few minutes and top with lettuce, cheese, salsa, sautéed tempeh, and the avocado-lime sauce. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!: