Posts Tagged tempeh

VeganMoFo: Native Foods

When I signed up for a conference in Newport Beach, I didn’t know much about the town other than the fact that it was the setting of Arrested Development.  Then, I found out there is a Native Foods there.  Then, I found out it was right across the street from the hotel hosting the conference.  Then, I found out it was under a ten minute walk from the hotel to the restaurant!  I had never had the opportunity to eat there, but could tell from their menu that it was the type of place I would like.

I ate there all four days of the conference, and I was really excited to post about it.  Then, my phone was stolen, along with the photos of my meals.  Sad face!

I’m going to tell you about the dishes I tried there anyway, because they were all so good!  Luckily, it seems like I can borrow other photos from the internet.

photo source blog.nativefoods.com

I first went for a late lunch on the day I arrived, after flying west across the country.  I wasn’t feeling my best and although everything sounded delicious, I knew that something on the healthier side would hit the spot.  I went with the Sesame Kale Macro Bowl – Grilled Native Tempeh atop steamed kale, brown rice, creamy ginger sesame sauce, tangy sauerkraut, gomasio and toasted sesame seeds. Green onion garnish and crunchy cucumber seaweed salad on the side.  I’m a sucker for sauerkraut, and my only complaint was that I could’ve used about triple the amount they gave me.

photo credit – blog.nativefoods.com

I also got an Oatmeal Creme Pie to take back to my room.  It was less authentically Little Debbie-esque than the one I had in Austin, but still very good.  The cookies were thick and a little crumbly, and the filling was like whipped cream.

photo credit – blog.nativefoods.com

Next, I tried their Classic Deli Reuben – thinly-sliced, deli-style Native Reuben Seitan piled high on grilled marble rye.  Topped with homemade sauerkraut, Native Horseradish Cheese and a slather of Russian dressing.  Told you I’m a sucker for sauerkraut.  I’ve had many variations on a vegan Reuben from many different restaurants, and never met one I didn’t like.

The seitan really is pink!  And, like this photo, I also ordered a side of potato salad, which was very tasty and not too heavy, with plenty of fresh dill.

photo credit – http://www.ocmenus.com

For an early dinner Friday evening, I went with what I really wanted: the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger and sweet potato fries.  Thinly sliced Native Original Seitan, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, and crispy Native Bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, romaine, carrots, onions, and tomato. Topped with crunchy battered dill pickle chips.  This beast of a sandwich really was piled up that high, and was difficult to put together.  It didn’t really taste like a “burger” since the meaty part was seitan, but it was still really amazing.  Every bite had a different texture and flavor; the warm, melty cheese, the crunchy, smoky bacon, the cool dressing, spicy BBQ sauce and crunchy veggies.  And I adored the fried pickle chips.

Despite making it through that massive sandwich, I had room for dessert.  The Strawberry Shortcake Parfait is vanilla cake layered with almond creme and fresh sliced organic strawberries.  I like a biscuity texture for shortcakes, so the cake didn’t quite hit the spot for me, but the almond creme was kind of mind blowingly delicious.  It was smooth and fluffy and the delicate almond flavor played nicely with the vanilla and strawberry.

photo credit – http://www.ocmenus.com

For my last meal there I had to try one of the entree salads, namely the popular Ensalada Azteca – fresh avocado, cucumber, and jicama salsa atop quinoa, romaine, and an award-winning mango lime vinaigrette. Topped with currants, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro.  It was a massive salad, definitely enough for a full meal.  There were lots of great contrasting flavors and textures going on.  And yes, it did come with a big mango slice and a whole sprig of cilantro like this picture!

I really love their approach at Native Foods.  They make everything in house, including the buns, cheeses, seitan and sauces, and you can tell that a lot of care is put into each plate.  If there was a location near me I would make an attempt at trying every menu item!

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VeganMoFo: Semi-Wordless Wednesday II

Last week’s Semi-Wordless Wednesday turned out pretty well, so here’s another random assortment of things I have made!

Pad Thai Salad with kelp noodles, adapted from Appetite for Reduction, and orange-glazed tempeh

Avocado Cream Soup (better than it looks) and Zucchini Spaghetti alla Marinara (best raw marinara ever) from Practically Raw

Oh She Glows’ Strawberry Lemonade

Thai Veggie Burgers from Peas & Thank You, topped with pineapple and sriracha mayo

Moroccan Chickpea & Lentil Soup and Cheese Herb Corn Muffins fro Vegan Soups & Hearty Stews for All Seasons

roasted tofu and dry-sauteed cabbage

Reuben salad with roasted chickpeas, sauerkraut, pickles, and Healthy Thousand Island Dressings from Eat to Live

Southwestern Black Bean & Corn Chowder from Vegan on the Cheap

Almond Butter Sesame Kelp Noodles from Practically Raw with Sesame Garlic Marinated Tempeh.  Loved the noodles, not so much the tempeh.

Baigan Bharta and Quick Indian-Style Spinach & Chickpeas

Green bean, tempeh & mushrooms stir fry with brown rice

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VeganMoFo: Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Polenta Rancheros from Vegan Brunch

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes from Appetite for Reduction

Goddess Nicoise Salad from Appetite for Reduction

Tempeh Pot au Feu from Vegan on the Cheap

Brussels Sprout-Potato Hash from Appetite for Reduction with leek & dill quinoa

potatoes with pumpkin-cheese sauce, bacon bits and green onion

Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry from Appetite for Reduction

Creamy Picatta Pasta, roasted vegetables & swiss chard

Kidney Bean & Sweet Potato Jamba Stew from Appetite for Reduction

Ye’abesha Gomen, Mushroom Tibs, and Ethiopian Millet from Appetite for Reduction

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VeganMoFo: Tempeh Ribs

I sadly don’t have time this week to cook the things I had planned to cook for my last theme, which was supposed to be using long forgotten pantry ingredients.  So, instead I will bring you posts that have been patiently waiting their turn to be written.

A few weeks ago Dave and I had some friends over to watch the NFL games on Sunday.  Dave was going to smoke some ribs for everyone else and I had a package of tempeh in the fridge.  I wondered what would happen if I smoked the tempeh in the same manner, so I gave it a shot.

I prepared my tempeh pretty much exactly like their meat counterpart.  First, I slathered the tempeh with mustard, which helps the spices stick and forms a sort of coating.  Then, I liberally sprinkled on a spice mix that Dave had made with paprika, onion, garlic, sugar, and probably a few other things.  I smoked the tempeh for just under an hour, flipping it halfway through, then I basted it in a makeshift barbecue sauce which I think included ketchup, apple cider vinegar, vegetarian worcestershire, cayenne and possibly some maple syrup, and cooked for another half hour or so.

(As far as the actual technique of smoking goes, I haven’t a clue.  Dave is in charge of the grills and fires at our house.)

Mmm, meaty!  It almost looks kind of like “real” ribs, right?

The tempeh had a nice crust from the mustard and spices, and was sticky sweet from the barbecue sauce.  It was neither moist nor dry on the inside, and if I make it like this again and aren’t being totally lazy I’d probably steam the tempeh first.  It would have also been nice to have some extra barbecue sauce for dipping because, while the outside was very flavorful, the insides were just plain tempeh.

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VeganMoFo: Appetite For Reduction

Happy VeganMoFo!  Technically, VeganMoFo began on Saturday, but my goal is to post every weekday so I’m right on time.  Head over to VegaMoFo HQ and check out the blogroll or rss feed!

For the first week, I’m going to feature some vegan cookbooks that I’ve been cooking from recently.  First up is Appetite For Reduction.  I’ve posted about this cookbook before and have already professed my love for it; the style of cooking is how I cook when left to my own devices – low fat, lots of whole foods and lots of flavor.

Baked Falafel & Hummus Wrap.  I love these baked falafel – all the flavor and crunch without the deep frying.  I actually over-baked my falafels, so they were extra crunchy.  The hummus recipe is low-oil and tahini-free, and to be honest I missed the tahini flavor so I added a tahini sauce to my wrap.  Next time I’ll add a bit of tahini to the hummus, or try one of the suggested hummus flavors such as pizza hummus.

Hottie Black-Eyed Peas & Greens and Creamed Corn, served with patty pan squash and red onion.  The peas and greens are a one-pot dish, which is great.  I found it wasn’t quite hot enough for me, so I added more hot sauce.  The creamed corn is made from blended fresh corn, and packs so much corn flavor without much added fat.  The patty pan squash were a great, buttery complement to round out the meal.

This is Caldo Verde with Crumbled Tempeh.  Caldo verde means green soup, and the tempeh stands in for sausage here.  The recipe calls for chard or kale, but I used cabbage because I had some in the fridge.  I liked this recipe but didn’t love it, and I think the cabbage was to blame.  Between the cabbage, tempeh and fennel seeds there was a bit too much bitterness going on.  I think with some chard or kale though, it would be great.

A Bee Ell Tee, from the sandwich section.  The sandwich and bowls sections of Appetite For Reduction are a great addition, as they give you more ideas for using the recipes, and make the style of eating seem more realistic and accessible.  The Bee in a Bee Ell Tee is eggplant bacon, which I’ve posted about before.  It may not look like much in this picture, but eggplant bacon is smoky and chewy and wonderful.  I could eat a whole eggplant worth of it.  The other standout in this sandwich is the Cashew Miso Mayo.  It’s not really like mayo, but it’s a salty, tangy spread which really made the sandwich.

Here we have Buffalo Tempeh with potatoes, asparagus and Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce.  I’m in love with the buffalo tempeh and have made it multiple times now, which says a lot, since I usually only make a recipe once unless I really like it.  The cheezy sauce is easily the best quick cheese sauce I’ve had.  It comes together really quickly but doesn’t taste raw like some sauces can.

This is a Mediterranean Bowl with quinoa, spinach, chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, Caesar Chavez Dressing and a sprinkling of ground seeds.  The original bowl combination calls for bulgur, and quinoa was a good stand in.  The spinach was my addition to get something green in there, but it would have been better if it was cooked down a bit.  And of course, the Caesar Chavez Dressing tastes good on everything.

I’ve been branching out to other cookbooks recently, but I know I’ll keep coming back to Appetite For Reduction until I’ve tried almost everything.  If you’ve cooked from Appetite For Reduction too, what have been your favorites?

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All-In-One Scramble

My breakfasts are pretty typical, whatever I’m in the mood for and can throw together in a few minutes – cereal, overnight oats, smoothies, grits or frozen waffles if I’m feeling indulgent.  Every once in a while I get the itch to make a hearty breakfast dish that I can easily reheat throughout the week, and I usually turn to tofu scramble.  Scrambles are good in a wrap or served alongside an English muffin, but this time I wanted to put everything into one pan for an even easier breakfast.  This skillet dish has plenty of protein, a little fat, veggies and carby satisfaction from some potato.

(I can’t take credit for the idea of combining tofu and tempeh.  I was inspired after reading Vegan Crunk’s review of Blissful Bites, which included a Curry Chickenless Salad made of both tofu and tempeh.)

All-In-One Scramble

If you don’t have kala namak, regular salt is fine.  Kala namak provides an eggy flavor.

8 oz tempeh, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs coconut oil
medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried parsley
medium russet potato, shredded and patted dry
bunch kale, rinsed but not dried, stemmed and torn into small pieces
large carrot, shredded
14 oz firm tofu, patted dry and torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
3/4 tsp kala namak (black salt)
a few dashes black pepper
2 1/2 oz shredded vegan cheddar, such as Vegan Gourmet (optional)

1. Steam the tempeh and mushrooms for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a wide pan over medium heat.  Add the oil and onions and saute for five minutes, until translucent and slightly browned.
3. Add the garlic, thyme and parsley and saute 30 seconds.
4. Add the potatoes, mix well and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir, scraping up the bottom, then cook for 3 more minutes.
5. Turn the heat up to medium-high.  Add the kale and carrots and stir.  If the kale was fairly dry, add a splash of water.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.
6. Add the tofu and mix, scraping up the bottom of the pan.  Cook for a few minutes, until the tofu is heated through.  Turn the heat down to medium.
7. Mix together all remaining ingredients other than the cheese (nutritional yeast through black pepper).  Add this mixture and the cheese to the pan and mix well. Heat until the cheese is melty.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

Servings: 4-5

Nutrition Facts for 5 servings

Calories 348.78
Calories From Fat (40%) 138.78
Total Fat 16.27g 25%
Saturated Fat 4.44g 22%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 175.15mg 7%
Potassium 968.55mg 28%
Total Carbohydrates 32.08g 11%
Fiber 7.27g 29%
Sugar 3.06g
Protein 25.75g 52%

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Smoky Maple-Glazed Tempeh

I wanted my next post to be a big, awesome, comprehensive round up of Vida Vegan Con, but that’s just not going to happen for a while.  I haven’t had time to look over my notes, much less to look at others notes or some of the new websites I discovered.  If you’re looking for VVC coverage, search WordPress or Google blogs.  You’ll find much.

While I continue to contemplate Vida Vegan Con, I’ll show you my most excellent spur of the moment dinner last night.

I’m a big tempeh fan, so sauteeing or baking it is usually good enough for me.  Last night though, I was craving a smoky/sweet glazed tempeh.  This may not be the best dish for a tempeh newbie, although I like the toothsome nature of a big slab of soy.  If you’ve never had tempeh and aren’t so sure, try Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk’s Tempeh Wings.  They are what hooked me for good.

To make this dish, I cut a block of tempeh into six pieces and marinated it in a nonstick saute pan with 2 Tbs maple syrup, 1 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs tamari, 1/4 tsp liquid smoke, a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and water to bring it halfway up the tempeh.  Marinated for about an hour, flipping the tempeh halfway through.  Put the pan with the tempeh and marinade over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a simmer and let simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half.  Flip the tempeh pieces over and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.  Flip again to glaze the other side.  Watch the marinade carefully, as the glaze can reduce quickly toward the end of cooking.  Enjoy!

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