Food & Drink Magazine

Tempting Textures and Tempeh

By Yonni @vegandthecity

I just spent a great weekend away with one of my closest friends and each of our kids, who have known one another since birth.  They skied, I read, we ate, 2 of us had margaritas (I'll let you guess which two,) and we all had a great time.  They are truly the kind of friends who feel like family.
As I feel after many weekends, the need to get back to cleaner eating hits me pretty quickly.  On our way back home, I popped into my favorite market to grab a few things to get me back on track. One of those items was tempeh.  If I ever made it, it was once years ago, and it must not have gone well because I certainly haven't made it in recent memory.Tempting Textures and TempehHaving said that, nearly every time I eat at Candle 79 in NYC, I get it on top of a salad, as a side, or in some fabulous warm dish the chef has whipped up, so I thought I'd try to make it again at home.  It is a solid source of vegan protein, and has an interesting, nutty texture, wholly different from even the firmest of tofu.
Tempting Textures and TempehI had some yellow peas and brown lentils soaking to tenderize, so I decided to pick up an onion to add to the prepared tempeh.  The first thing I did when I got home, was to start week 7 of my run training program (nearing the halfway mark of my new year's resolution to learn to run 10k.)  I don't love it, but I do love the sense of accomplishment.
It was then that I hit the kitchen.  Well, I caught my breath first and then I went to the kitchen!
I started by sauteeing half a large yellow onion in some nonstick cooking spray, and then added 1 heaping teaspoon each of the lentils and the peas.  Once that started to cook down, I chopped one serving of the tempeh and added it to the pan.  Next I added a drizzle of avocado oil and 1 teaspoon of vegan butter to enrich the flavor.  
Tempting Textures and TempehNext, I finely chopped a large handful of curly kale and added that to the mix with another pat of the vegan butter.  Once that was wilted and all was well-combined, I smashed half an avocado and added it to the mix.  It was fabulous!  Nutty, a little crunchy, many different textures and super but simple flavor.  What a healthy, satisfying meal to end a special couple of days!  Yay!

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