West Indian Rice and Peas with Tempeh, Avocado Ahdi

by Jennifer

This dinner was part of a Caribbean-themed meal I made for our friends Jill and Bob, which began with rum punch and fried plantains, and ended with bananas foster.  It was 97 degrees today and the kids and I went to the beach (my husband stayed home with the puppy), so a cold glass of rum punch and this meal with friends was the perfect way to end it.  Both of these absolutely fantastic recipes come directly from the fabulous cookbook, Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.

West Indian Rice and Peas with Tempeh – serves 4 – 6

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • 2 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked for at least 5 hours OR 2 cups fresh black-eyed peas
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. tempeh, cubed
  • generous pinch of fennel seeds (recipe calls for ground fennel seeds;  honestly, by the time I made this I was working on my second glass of rum punch and just tossed the seeds in….and it was still wonderful)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped

In a medium heavy pot, heat the 2 1/2 TBS vegetable oil over medium, then cook the rice and coconut, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the water and cinnamon stick, cover the pot and turn the heat to high.  When steam comes out from the edges of the lid, turn heat to medium-low and simmer,

without ever lifting the lid, for 40 minutes.  Discard cinnamon stick.

Meanwhile, bring another medium pot full of salted water to a boil, and

cook the peas (drain and rinse, first, if they’ve been soaking) and bay leaves until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes.

Drain and discard bay leaves.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the 1/4 cup oil, then cook the onion and garlic until the onions become soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cayenne pepper.

Stir in the red and green pepper, tempeh, fennel seeds, salt and pepper and cook, covered and stirring occasionally,

until the tempeh is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Combine everything – the rice, peas, tempeh mixture, and serve sprinkled with scallions.

Avocado Ahdi – serves 4

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 10 Spanish olives, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro for serving

Combine red pepper through Tabasco in a bowl.

Slice avocados in half, discarding pit, and carefully scoop out flesh, leaving shells intact.

Finely chop avocado flesh and add it to the bowl, stirring gently to combine everything well.  Generously fill each avocado shell with the mixture, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes, Creamy Cole Slaw, and Potato Chips

by Jennifer

The Sloppy Joes are an adaptation of a recipe found in Soy! Soy! Soy! by Jeanette Parsons Egan, and are delicious.  My oldest son, who has forsworn tofu and tempeh “until I turn 18”, actually had two helpings!  Though I have fond memories of eating tator tots with traditional Sloppy Joes as a child, we’re currently fans of Utz reduced-fat potato chips.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes – serves 4 – 6

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lb. soy tempeh, crumbled
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • couple dashes of hot sauce
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Saute onions, green pepper, garlic and celery until tender, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Stir in the dry mustard and thyme, cooking for 1 minute.

Add tempeh through hot sauce, lower heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 – 20 minutes.

If it’s too thick for your liking, add a little water.  Serve on hamburger buns.

Creamy Cole Slaw – adapted from Bobby Flay by way of Foodnetwork.com

Serves 4.

  • 10 oz. package of finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded
  • scant 2/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS sour cream or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS grated onion
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together mayonnaise through pepper.

Toss with cabbage and carrot in a large bowl until well-combined.

Stir-Fried Tempeh with Spinach and Basil, Brown Rice

by Jennifer

This is my adaptation of a Cooking Light recipe, and serves 4 generously.  Get the tempeh marinating first, then start some brown rice cooking.

  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 TBS mirin, divided
  • 2 TBS chopped shallots (about 2 – 3 large shallots)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb. soy tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 TBS plus 1 1/2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 TBS mirin
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach, thick stems removed
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 TBS water
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 TBS peanut oil
  • 2 large red onions, sliced vertically
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil, roughly chopped

Combine soy sauce, 1 1/2 TBS mirin, shallots, sesame oil and tempeh and let the tempeh marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 4 hours maximum.

Heat 1 1/2 TBS oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add the tempeh with the marinade, stir-frying for 5 minutes or

until golden brown.  Transfer tempeh to a clean bowl and wipe the wok clean with a paper towel.

Place the wok back over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tsp oil, 1 1/2 TBS mirin, and the spinach, stir-frying

just until the spinach wilts.  Transfer spinach to another bowl.

Whisk together the sugar through lime juice.  Heat the remaining TBS oil in the wok, again over medium-high heat, and

add the onions and garlic, stir-frying until the onions start to become tender and brown, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the tempeh, basil, spinach (squeeze out any liquid in the spinach bowl and discard) and sugar mixture, stir-frying until heated through, 2 – 3 minutes.  Serve over brown rice.

Korean Barbecue Tempeh, Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges, and Brussels-Sprouts Slaw with Peanuts

Korean Barbecue Tempeh, Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges, and Brussels-Sprouts Slaw with Peanuts

by Jennifer

This dinner comes together relatively quickly.  Serves 4.

Korean Barbecue Tempeh – from Cooking Light

This wet rub is also delicious on salmon, and any leftover is also tasty with the sweet potato!  Serves 4.

  •  2 packages tempeh, each cut in half
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp salt

Prepare grill.

Combine garlic, sugar, soy sauce, oil and salt.

Rub onto both sides of tempeh pieces.

Grill on both sides until tempeh is heated through and there are grill marks, about  4 – 5 minutes per side.

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 4.

  •  2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450, with rack in lower third of oven.  Slice sweet potatoes into thick wedges, at least 8 wedges per potato.

Toss with olive oil and arrange, skin side down, on a heavy baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and charred in spots.

Brussels-Sprouts Slaw with Peanuts – adapted from Mark Bittman, NY Times Magazine

Serves 4.

  •  1 lb. brussels sprouts, shredded (use the shredding disk of a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar

Combine shredded brussels sprouts, scallions, peanuts and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.

Pour dressing into sprouts mixture and toss well to combine.

Maple-Balsamic Tempeh with Chestnuts and Golden Onions, Panfried Romaine, Challah

By Jennifer

Maple-Balsamic Tempeh with Chestnuts and Golden Onions, Panfried Romaine, Challah

My  brother told me about this main dish, which comes from the magazine Vegetarian Times, and it is just as he said, delicious.  It is supposed to serve 4, but I’ll confess, I had more than one serving (helped by the unfortunate fact that my 9 year old has declared he will not eat tofu or tempeh until he is 18).  If you’re never eaten tempeh before, look for it in the produce section near the tofu.  It is a fermented soy protein product that is much firmer and denser than tofu, great for stews or for grilling.  As for the side dish, from Gourmet magazine, who knew pan-frying Romaine would be so incredibly tasty??

This dinner serves 4 (I dare you, seriously, you’re going to want to double it so you can eat more).

Maple-Balsamic Tempeh with Chestnuts and Golden Onions

  • 4 tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 8-oz. packages tempeh, each piece halved
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 12 jarred chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBS maple syrup

Bottled chestnuts

Onions in the pan

Heat 2 tsp. sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onions and thyme until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes.

Onions are done

Transfer to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.


Tempeh, cooked on one side

Heat the remaining 2 tsp. sesame oil in the skillet over medium heat and cook the tempeh, 3 minutes per side.

Adding soy sauce and water

Add the soy sauce plus 2/3 cup water, and cook on medium-high until the pan is dry, about 6 minutes.

Pan is nearly dry

Adding rest of ingredients to tempeh

Add the remaining ingredients plus the onions, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

After cooking, covered

Panfried Romaine

  • 1 18-oz. package Romaine hearts (should be 3 per package), trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, a little more than 1/2 tsp.

Romaine is ready to pan-fry

Rinse the Romaine halves and shake, then pat, dry.  Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking.

First batch of Romaine in the pan

Add 3 Romaine halves, cut sides down, and sprinkle with a rounded 1/4 tsp. sea salt.

Romaine, turned over to cook the other side

Cook until browned, turning over once, about 2 minutes total, then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until crisp-tender.

Romaine, after cooking, covered

Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining halves.

Panfried Romaine is ready

Cool to room temperature before serving (gives you time to make the tempeh in the same skillet!).

Serve all together with the Challah.

Dinner is ready!