Day 29 – a TEMPting recipe
My mom is an a-MAZing cook. She can go to a restaurant, try any dish, come home and make it. She rarely uses recipes. Well, I never used to either, but now that I’m blogging I do. I suppose it would be hard to replicate a dish based on “a little of this” and “a little of that”. Kind of like getting directions from a Mainer. I can say that, I’m a Mainer. (If you’ve never gotten directions from a Mainer it goes something like this, turn left at the top of the hill, go down the hill, around the sharp corner, drive past the cornfield, make a right at the huge rock…you get the picture.) I also rarely repeat dishes, usually because I don’t have a recipe. Mr. K really liked the mushroom-barley soup and now I can actually make it again!
I had a hankering for comfort food so I asked my mom for her Teriyaki marinade recipe. It’s so simple and is far superior to any bottled brands that have additives. They have to keep it from growing hair on the shelf, right? Some organic brands use purer ingredients, but still, marinades like everything else, taste better and are better for you, when they’re freshly made.
This tempeh recipe is full of flavor with tons of whole grains and healthy proteins, but without bad fats and additives. All these ingredients are commonly found at most grocery stores. What the hell is tempeh? It’s another fermented soy product using the whole soybean and has a meaty texture. It’s really versatile and can be steamed, fried, baked, crumbled, you name it. Here are five other ways to prepare tempeh. To learn more about tempeh click here. This recipe would also work with tofu, or dare I say chicken if you are an omnivore.
I used millet because of it’s creamy, polenta-like texture, but you could substitute with any grain or pasta. Rice, quinoa, farro, orzo, or soba noodles would be really good. Damn. Soba, that’s a good idea. Oh well, at least now I can say I can try that next time!
I happened to use carrots, peppers and scallions because that’s what I had, but you can use any vegetable. sautéed onions with broccoli or bok choy would be amazing.
And as always, this just happens to be vegan. I’ve stopped leading with that because some of you fraidy cats seem to think that means it will not be good. BUT IT IS!!!! Get your tempeh on!
Teriyaki Tempeh and Vegetables with Creamy Millet
Kiyo’s Teriyaki Marinade:
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup red wine
1 1/2 T sugar
optional: pinch red chili pepper flakes
optional: 1 garlic clove minced or pressed with a garlic press
Rest of dish:
1 cup uncooked millet
2 T canola oil
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 medium to large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, heads sliced
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
2 bunches scallions, green & white parts sliced
1/4 cup organic, low-sodium vegetable stock/broth on hand if needed
1. Get drinking. I cook way better with some alcohol in me. Only 1 glass. Any more and I start burning stuff. Exhibit A, see burnt eggplant here. For this meal, I cracked a lovely Bricco del Perg Barbera d’Asti 2006. I got this one at Eataly Vino.
2. Remove tempeh from package (or cook with it if you like that plastic taste) and place in a small baking dish to marinade. I used a 9×13 which was a bit large. I wouldn’t recommend marinating with plastic bags because the tempeh is too fragile and can easily break up if not handled delicately. Plus, I try to cook green when I can.
Cut tempeh horizontally into quarters.
Then cut each square in half on a diagonal to make eight small triangles.
3. Pour the red wine, tamari, and sugar into a saucepan. Begin cooking over low-medium heat. Stir with a little whisk or spoon. Optional: Add red chili pepper flakes and garlic if using. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Tip: See the mini whisk in the pic below? This is a great little kitchen tool, perfect for sauces like this or a small portion of salad dressing. Available at most kitchen supply stores including Williams-Sonoma and often Bed Bath and Beyond.
Remove from heat and pour over tempeh.
Let tempeh marinade for at least an hour. Be sure to frequently spoon the marinade over the tempeh and to flip the tempeh over to ensure both sides are covered.
4. Once the tempeh has marinated for almost an hour, begin to cook the millet according to manufacturer’s directions. I use EDEN brand whole grain millet which cooks for 30 minutes.
5. When there’s 15 minutes left on the millet timer, put a large saute pan on medium heat. With tongs, remove the tempeh from the marinade. SAVE the marinade. Add the oil and when the pan is hot, add the tempeh. Cook until each side is seared nice and brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
6. Remove tempeh from the pan and reserve, keeping warm. Tip: You can also store on a sheet pan in a warm oven (about 150-200 degrees). In the same pan as you used for the tempeh, add the carrots over medium heat. Saute 2-3 minutes until they begin to brown. Drizzle marinade over carrots until glistening, about 2 teaspoons. Add mushrooms. Saute 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften. Drizzle more marinade over veggies until moistened, about 2 teaspoons. Add red and green peppers. Saute. Drizzle more marinade. If the pan is getting very dry or over heated, add enough vegetable stock/broth to loosen the sucs from the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Last, add the scallions, saute for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened and add the remainder of the marinade. If you don’t have much sauce but want more, add a little more vegetable stock/broth and let it simmer for a couple minutes to thicken. You kind of have to eyeball the sauce until it’s the desired quantity and consistency. Just add slowly. You can always add more, but you can’t take away.
7. When the millet is done, fluff with a fork. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Be sure you season the millet very well and taste it before serving or it can be super bland and taste like a foot. Tip: I like to reserve some millet for breakfast the following day so I usually take about half out before seasoning and put it in a separate storage bowl. The remaining millet I season to taste with salt and pepper and use for the tempeh dish.
8. Put the tempeh in with the vegetables for a couple minutes delicately spooning the sauce over them until covered. Plate the seasoned millet and top with vegetables, a little sauce and the seared tempeh.
Tip: If you find tempeh a little bitter, you can steam it before marinating. Follow the directions here.