Recipe Testing: Tempeh Time!

Now that the holidays and all their hustle+bustle are over, we’re settling back into our comfortable routine of weekly meal planning. Does that sound boring and all domestic-like? Perhaps it is, but I don’t mind – it keeps me from turning into an angry hunger-monster after work and ensures that our dinners are varied and, dare I say it, exciting.

I made one of our dinners this week extra exciting by trying a brand-new recipe from the ever-inspiring Joni Marie Newman. I tested for her delightfully crafty Vegan Food Gifts book a year or so ago, and now that that book is released, she’s back in the culinary saddle again with plans for yet another cookbook. And once again, I’m helping test recipes for it. So exciting! I won’t spoil the theme of this book (trust me, it’s a good one), but I’m very excited about it. All the dishes I’ve tried so far have been jam-packed with flavor, helped in part by a multitude of brilliant from-scratch sauces and marinades. This week, I tried an orange-y marinade with some tempeh, which I then cooked on S’s lovely little cast-iron grill pan.

Cast-iron grill pan sitting on an electric stove. In it are four wooden skewers with squares of tempeh on them.

Skewered tempeh.

These babies were also bathed in a citrus-y, garlic-y sauce that added even more flavor. I served some of the extra sauce over brown rice, and I even drizzled some onto my arugula side salad. Yum yum!

White plate with two tempeh kebobs, an arugula side salad, and a small mound of brown rice drizzled with sauce.

Ze full meal.

I was a little disappointed that my tempeh didn’t achieve those gorgeous grill marks you might get from a real, outdoors grill, but no matter – I was okay with the few little black lines I saw. The sauce and the marinade were excellent, but my meal was sadly marred by my first (!) experience with bitter tempeh. Until this particular encounter, I’d never understood why some folks complain about tempeh’s unpleasant bitterness – I’d never experienced it. This time, though, I used a new-to-me locally produced tempeh, and I didn’t steam it beforehand. S didn’t seem to mind, but it was a little off-putting to me, and I fear I’ve gone off tempeh for a while. Ah well. I can still use the leftover sauce and marinade on tofu! :)

Don’t forget to enter my cookbook giveaway by tomorrow (Sunday) night! I’m enjoying reading everyone’s exciting plans and hopes for 2013 – keep ’em coming! 


4 thoughts on “Recipe Testing: Tempeh Time!

  1. Yum. The tempeh looks tasty. I love that little cast iron skillet. Cast iron is on my to-do list for 2013. I’ve heard it’s amazing for cooking soy curls.

    I just found your blog and it’s great! I visited Madison for the first time last January and loved the Willy St. Coop and Green Owl Cafe.


    • I’ve never tried soy curls on my cast iron! Great idea.

      Yay, thanks for reading! The co-op is my #1 grocery shopping destination, and I just ate at the Green Owl on Friday. Heh. :)


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