Monday, October 8, 2012


Guess what today is?   Da da da daaaa !…Meatless Monday.
Is Meatless Monday going to be a regular feature?  Ya…… I don’t know, but “Carpe Diem”.  I’m seizing this day to introduce to you a tempeh dish.
Tempeh is made of cooked, slightly fermented whole soy beans that are pressed into a cake or patty form.  Tempeh is a great vegetarian source of protein, and is also high in calcium and iron.  Unlike its tofu cousin, which has a bland flavor and little texture; tempeh has a slightly nutty flavor, and a meatier texture.  If you have an aversion to tofu, give tempeh a try.
I like to substitute tempeh in pork or chicken dishes.  In fact that’s just how Tempeh Apple Sauté came about.  My menu evolved from a hankerin’ for apples and cabbage (weird I know).  Well pork goes great with cabbage and apples so I’m thinking I’ll make a pork chops with apples and onions (which I did and they were yummy; I will post that recipe at a later date).  Then I remember that block of tempeh I have in the fridge, hmmm tempeh with apples and onions?  It sounds a little wacko; but I’m willing to give it a try, cuz I’m crazy like that. 
I’m not gonna lie to you, Billy won’t touch soy products.  No sir, uh uh, no way, no how, not even one bite.  That’s why I made the pork chops as well.  That’s why I often make two similar dishes for dinner, one with meat and one vegetarian (now you know).
So I sauté the tempeh with apples and onions, and add flavors that I consider complimentary: apple wine vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, fresh thyme and chopped pecans for texture.
I’m about to toot my own horn, cuz someone has to.  Get ready…
The flavors are amazing together and perfectly balanced, not one flavor over powers the others.  It’s nutty from the tempeh and pecans, sour from the vinegar, sweet from the apples and maple syrup, and the Dijon mustard just rounds everything out.
TOOT TOOT!  This dish is darn tootin' good!

Here’s how to make it.

Toast the pecans.

Cut the tempeh into ½ inch thick slices.  Slice the apple and the onion.  Chop the toasted pecans.  Pull the leaves from some sprigs of fresh thyme (rosemary would also work well).

Heat a tablespoon of grape seed oil in a skillet over medium high.  Add the tempeh and the onions.
 Cook the onions until translucent.  Turn the tempeh when its bottom has browned, add the apples; season with salt, pepper and thyme.
You may need a little more oil.
Cook for about 3 minutes, the tempeh should be browned on both sides, and the apples should be just beginning to brown.
Add the vinegar and let it evaporate. 
 I got this Lingonberry flavored apple wine vinegar at Ikea; apple cider vinegar will also work. 


Now turn the heat down to medium and add 1/3 of a cup of water…

… The maple syrup…

… And Dijon mustard.
I added those ingredients separately; but in retrospect I would have been simpler just mixed them together in the measuring cup.

Let the liquid reduce by half, turn the heat off, and if you like, add a tablespoon of cold butter.  The butter just rounds out the flavor and gives the sauce sheen. 

Remove to a serving dish, and top with chopped pecans.
I served my Tempeh Apple Saute with roasted potatoes and steamed cabbage. 

Serves 2 

1              Tbsp.     Grape seed oil
8              oz.          Tempeh, sliced ½ inch thick; 1 package is 8 oz.
½                             Medium onion, sliced
1                           Apple, cored and sliced
                      Salt and pepper to taste
1              tsp.        Fresh thyme
2              Tbsp.     Apple wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1/3         cup         Water
2              Tbsp.     Maple syrup
1              tsp.        Dijon mustard
1              Tbsp.     Cold butter *optional
¼             cup         Pecans, that have been toasted, chopped 

1.        Heat the grape seed oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
2.       Add the tempeh and onions to the skillet.  When the tempeh has browned on the bottom, turn it over.  Keep stirring the onions around.  You may need to add a little more oil.
3.       When the onions are translucent, add the apples, and season with a little salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
4.       After about 3 minutes the apples will begin to get a little color; turn the heat down to medium and add the vinegar.  The vinegar will dissipate quickly.
5.       Add the water, maple syrup and Dijon mustard to the skillet.
6.       When the liquid has reduced by half stir in the cold butter *optional.
7.       Remove to a serving dish, and top with the chopped pecans.

Serve with roasted potatoes and cabbage.

1 comment:

  1. IKEA!! I love ikea stuff :) This looks great. Everyday is meatless Monday for me so thank you for the inspriation!