So here I am drinking my home made chai tea/latte, which by the way is AH-MAZING.. flicking through the photographs of this recipe and trying to choose the best one, whilst giving myself a good pat on the back for it. So I’ve been trying to branch out, away from my go-to dinner of steamed greens, potatoes of some kind, rice, a huge salad with loads of fresh corn, plus of course smashed avocado and hummus. I literally never get board of it, it always manages to satisfy me, full of flavour and textures, hence why it is my complete go to.

So in my quest to branch out of the norm, I went crazy and bought some tempeh. Ok maybe not crazy but I felt very adventurous when buying it. As you’ll see from my recipes, I don’t usually cook tempeh or tofu very much. I tend to just have it in restaurants or if I do buy it, the marinade/sauce has to be good, I feel that makes all the difference as it can be relatively bland. I’m also not completely clued up on the whole soy situation and so if I can keep things as natural as possible, that’s what I find, works best for me and my digestion. Having said that, tempeh is the unprocessed version of tofu, although you can get some very natural tofu’s, tempeh just happens to be the stage before it becomes tofu.. if that makes sense? 

Before testing this recipe, I hadn’t actually cooked tempeh on my own before. It can be a bit strange as it can be very bitter so boiling it first in some water and vegetable stock works wonders, before then baking or frying/cooking in any other way you desire. I have to say, I was quite a fan and the constancy was quite spectacular. Another reason why I have previously avoided tofu/tempeh, simply because I don’t like the texture of meat and never have done. So the fact that these weren’t too meaty, well that was just great and a great addition to the meal.

I’d seen a few of these deconstructed sushi bowls on Instagram and being rather partial to a good avocado and cucumber roll, I was very keen to deconstruct and eat happily in lettuce or with lots of chilli sauce and soy. With a big crunchy, herby salad as the base, wild mixed rice; black, red and white, which by the way is amazing, steamed greens, soy glazed mushrooms and aubergine, topped with tempeh and a soy, lime dressing drizzled on top. So with that said, let’s get into the recipe shall we..

What you’ll need: Serves 1

For the salad:

1/3 red cabbage

1/2 cucumber

1/2 cup edamame beans

2 spring onions

Handful of spinach

1/3 – 1/2 orange/red pepper

Handful coriander 

Handful of parsley 

1/2 cup wild mixed rice – or any preferred but trust me when I say this is amazing 

1/3 head broccoli

Bok choy

4 chestnut mushrooms

1/2 small aubergine

Tempeh – I used 5 slices from a packaged pack

1/2 stock cube

Water

Fresh mint

For the dressing:

1 lime – full juice, 1/2 zest

2 tbsp soy/tamari sauce

1 tbsp coconut aminos

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Small knob ginger – grated finely

What to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Put your rice on to cook, as this usually takes any between 25-35 minutes if using the wild kind. 

2. Slice your tempeh into slithers – as many or little as you want. Place in a small pan, cover with water and add the stock. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Chop up all of your salad ingredients and add to a bowl. You want these to be slithers and quite small, yet big enough to still have the maximum crunch!

4. Chop your mushrooms and aubergine into bite sized chucks. Cover with a little soy sauce and some pepper and place on a baking tray. Your tempeh should now be done, remove from the water and add to the baking paper with the mushrooms and aubergine. Here you can also add a splash of soy to the slices. Bake for about 15 minutes.

5. Put your broccoli and bok choy on to steam whilst the rest of the vegetables are cooking.

6. To make the dressing, simply put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

7. Your rice and oven goods should now be down. Drain the rice and put into a bowl. Side with salad, the soy roasted mushrooms and aubergine, steamed greens and then top with the tempeh slices. 

8. Drizzle a good amount of the dressing (if not all) and top with some fresh mint, salt and pepper if required. 

So, another simple vegan meal for one. If you want to make it for more, you can literally double the recipe as it is that easy to adapt. Making recipes that can be tailored for any number is great as you don’t have to think so hard or change the quantities to make it taste the same/better.. it’s always just great., right!

I have to say, after cooking this a few times and actually two days running to practice my tempeh skills, I’m very keen to try cooking with it a bit more, and tofu for that matter. Like I said before, I think the dressing/marinade is key so if anyone has any recipes or suggestions, let me know as I’d be a keen bean to try them!

Oh ps.. Sorry this didn’t go live yesterday. I wrote a whole bunch of blog posts, only for them to not save and leave my poor little laptop with the rainbow wheel of death all evening. Totally annoying and I’ve learnt my lesson and remembered why I usually write them out in word first. 

Until next time,


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