Just a tiny inspirational post…
Coarsely grated giant kohlrabi sauteed together with sliced onion on some pumpkinseed oil, with a pinch of salt and mustard mixed in at the end
Sweet potato cut into fries, drizzled with oil, salt and cumin, baked in the oven until crispy, turning at times
Rice pressure cooked with amaranth and sprinkled with gomasio
Store-bought seasoned tempeh baked together with the fries
Tempeh is great for two things: marinating it and frying it. I like to connect both. But you can do it in several ways and you can decide whether you first want to make your tempeh crispy and then marinade it, or first marinade it, and then fry it up… Well, this time I first lightly pan-fried my tempeh slices in some oil until golden and then I let them sit for several hours in a bowl with a solution of water, tamari soy sauce and apple cider vinegar (the ratios were 2:1:1 – I used 50:25:25 ml to be exact). After a good soak, I took the slices out, made little “sandwiches” by connecting the tempeh slices using a thin layer or organic mustard, and then just heated them up for a few minutes under a lid on a pan on a low flame.
I made a sauerkraut sidedish by first sauteeing onion on oil with a pinch of salt and caraway seeds, then adding the sauerkraut and some water to nearly cover and letting it cook under a lid for maybe fifteen minutes. At the end I mixed through about a teaspoon of organic corn starch diluted in a splash of cold water and let it come to boil and thicken.
The two dishes were served with a rice/amaranth mixture with gomasio and some steamed carrot diagonals.
As a kid I used to love my grandma´s bread pudding, of course made with white bread, eggs and milk, and most often also some sausage. But it´s actually unexpectedly nice even with rye sourdough bread! 😀 You can use the stale bread that´s growing old on your kitchen shelf, this recipe puts it to great use.
Cut one loaf into fairly small cubes and soak in rice (or other non-dairy) milk, I used rice cream diluted with water, also that was fine. The bread shouldn´t be swimming in liquid, but it should be fairly saturated and spongey. Mix in 2 TBSP of shoyu soy sauce and season with black pepper, thyme and rosemary. For good binding of the mixture (and instead of the usual egg) I also mixed through a 1/4 cup of “flax seed water” – if you add a small amount of water to the seeds, in about half an hour you will get a gel-like consistency, in some recipes they call this “flax egg” 🙂 Allow the bread to soak at least for an hour.
Meanwhile you can sautee some minced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then add sliced leek and mushrooms and cubes of tempeh ( I used ready-made flavoured tempeh, adding just plain tempeh would not be nice, so make sure to first marinade or otherwise season yours). Sautee together until the veggies and mushrooms are soft and tempeh well cooked through. Let cool and stir well into the pudding mixture. Add a generous amount of coarsely grated carrot. Transfer mixture into a greased casserole dish, smoothe out the surface and bake on about 180°C until there is a light golden crispy crust. Serve with a fresh salad.
Tempeh is such a great material for further use – on its own it doesn´t have a pleasant flavour at all, and it frankly even cannot be eaten as is, just steamed or baked, but it is great material for further additions of flavour. Try this one…
First cut plain tempeh into cubes and deep-fry them in quality oil until they are light golden and slightly crispy. Drain the pieces on a paper towel. Then place in a saucepan with 2 TBSP of shoyu soy sauce, 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar, 1 TBSP of maple syrup (you could use brown rice syrup or barley malt instead, but the maple syrup gives an extra lovely taste), a small pinch of chilli powder and enough water to barely cover. Simmer on a low flame with a lid until the water evaporates and the coating gets a bit sticky, don´t let it burn though!
As a little side I also deep-fried sweet potato cut up into “french fries”. It replicated the real thing pretty closely, especially when I added a gentle sprinkling of sea salt. Normally I never serve two deep-fried food items at one meal, but this is still a post from our Christmas holiday cooking! 😀
I also had some steamed cabbage to balance the richness a bit, and brown rice with nori flakes.
What an odd dish, I can hear you saying! 😀 Well, it´s one of those wild ideas coming from my very own head and I admit it´s not a meal you would read about anywhere in any cookbook…But it turned out rather well, so I am publishing it here for your kind consideration 😀
I cooked separately about two servings of buckwheat pasta (made by a fabulous Czech buckwheat company) and about two servings of long grain brown rice. After cooling down I mixed them together in a large bowl and added some vegetables – raw chopped celery stalk and leek and raw grated carrot and celery root. I seasoned the funny mixture with some shoyu sauce, smoked paprika powder and dried oregano. I poured it into a casserole dish and topped with a topping which I made by combining grated tempeh (you could use fried tempeh or smoked tempeh, any tempeh that is already flavoured and not plain) with corn starch mixed in some cold water and some nutritional yeast powder (adds extra “cheesiness”). I popped the dish into the oven and baked until crusty and browned.
This meal brought me back to my childhood when I used to love pasta salad with rich creamy mayonnaise. It´s really quick to put together when you use some convenient ingredients such as tofu mayo and already fried and seasoned packaged tempeh. But you can definitely make your own tofu mayo (there are plenty of recipes on the webs) or season and fry plain tempeh according to your wishes.
I cooked some corn pasta al dente. On a pan I sauteed onion on olive oil for a couple of minutes. Then I chopped up leek, celery (stalk plus leaves) and tempeh and I grated carrot and celery root on the coarse side of the grate. Afterwards I added all these veggies to the onions, sauteeing until soft and shiny. You can season them with fresh cracked black pepper. Mix the veggies and the pasta and add as much tofu mayonnaise as you like, mix well, voila!
Szeged goulash is a typical Czech meal, although its name is derived from the Hungarian town of Szeged where I suppose they make something similar 😀 Of course the original goulash recipe calls for meat, but here we use tempeh instead, which pairs so beautifully with sauerkraut!!
This is another recipe inspired by Dagmar Lužná and her macro cookbook, but I did make quite some adjustments.
First sautee a large onion cut into thin half moons in about two tablespoons of oil. Add a pinch of salt and a good amount of caraway seeds and sautee until onion is shiny. Then add about 200 g of sauerkraut and an equal amount of finely shredded white cabbage. Sprinkle with paprika powder to your liking, I like quite a lot of it so that the sauce gets slightly red/brown. Cook for about 20 minutes on a low flame under a lid, the cabbage has to get very soft. Add in cubed fried tempeh (I buy ready fried tempeh from the shop, made by our lovely Czech macro company). Season with 2 tbsp of shoyu soy sauce and 2 tbsp of rice vinegar. At the end mix in approximately 2 teaspoons of corn starch (or kuzu) diluted in a bit of cold water, and let boil for a few more minutes, so that the sauce thickens a bit.
I served the goulash with store-bought polenta dumplings brushed with oil and baked in the oven until crispy. But you can easily make your own “dumplings” by pouring hot cooked polenta into a shallow dish and letting it firm up in the fridge, just the shape will be different 😀