Friday, August 12, 2011

Tempeh Helper

This recipe is from the vegan cookbook Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Recipe: see page 171 of Appetite for Reduction.
Tempeh Helper is the vegan equivalent of 'Hamburger Helper', a popular American mix that
is added to ground beef to produce a kind of instant stew/macaroni dish. In this recipe tempeh replaces the meat. I used Trader Joe's Organic 3-Grain Tempeh, which at $1.69 US for an 8-ounce bar is a great deal, less than half of what I have seen any other grocery store charge for tempeh.

Tempeh, by the way, is a pressed cake made from fermented beans and grains, that has a texture that vaguely resembles ground beef when it is broken up. That may sound gross, but tempeh is rather tasteless, which is a good thing in cooking because it will absorb flavor from sauces, marinades and spices. And don't say it's gross just because it's fermented. Beer and wine are fermented, and you probably don't turn your nose up to them.

This may look like junk food, but it is loaded with nutrition. It is very high in protein, fiber, and B vitamins. The 'cheese-sauce' is the Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce recipe (page 173), which is based on nutritional yeast.

Ingredients: tempeh, small shell pasta, frozen peas, olive oil, onion flakes, garlic, dried thyme, dried oregano, mild chili powder, pepper, broth powder, cornstarch, and the recipe for Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce, which contains nutritional yeast, flour, granulated garlic, onion flakes, turmeric, salt, broth powder, prepared yellow mustard.