Sunday, May 11, 2014

20140511 Broccolini and Tempeh cooked waterlessly (No Added Fat) (1952)

I have been using my InstantPot almost daily to get to know it. I do love it, but I also love my premium Saladmaster cookware. In a sense, they are both healthful cookware but from somewhat different perspectives. As food is heated and liquids added, nutrients can leach out (that's why it's usually good to drink water that vegetables have cooked in). Pressure cookers go to high temperatures, but they are sealed so nutrients are generally maintained. Waterless cookware like Saladmaster creates a vapor seal between the lid and the pot, allowing low to medium heat cooking with no added fat like oil and minimal added liquids like water or broth to extract nutrients.

Several friends have been interested in the Saladmaster equipment, so yesterday I hosted a dinner party where a representative came to my house and made a vegan meal for us, showing off the pots. I was reminded that little liquid is needed, so I found and modified a broccoli and tempeh recipe that illustrates this. Here is my modified recipe.

  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari)
  • 1t champagne (or other) vinegar
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 6 ounces (most of an 8 ounce package) of tempeh cut into 3/4" or so cubes
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced to about 3/8" cubes
  • 1/4 bell pepper cut into about 3/8" cubes (I used green but wish that I had a red one for color)
  • Bunch broccolini florets (broccoli would have worked fine)

  1. I began preheating a small (1 quart) and a medium (3 quart) Saladmaster sauce pan on low-medium heat for about 3-5 minutes till water sprinkled atop dances across and then steams away. I have never preheated my Saladmaster pans before and it was nice to hear a sizzle when I added ingredients. This dish could be made in another good quality pan, preferably stainless steel.
  2. While the pans were warming, I made the marinade by mixing in the coconut aminos, vinegar, and garlic and added the tempeh cubes, gently mixing it all together to coat the tempeh.
  3. I added to the larger warmed pan the onion, bell pepper, and broccolini and kept the cover slightly ajar (I'm not sure why the recipe didn't call for covering the pot and then, when it reached temperature to jiggle its vapor valve, dropping from medium to low heat), occasionally removing to stir the vegetables. I cooked for about 12-15 minutes to evenly cook and gently brown - the vegetables cooked well and didn't stick to the pan.
  4. To the smaller pan I added the tempeh, leaving excess marinade behind. I shaked the pan and cooked the tempeh, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes, till evenly light brown. The tempeh did stick a little after a while; I added the bit of marinade left about a minute before turning the heat off, and that helped clean up a little. I soaked the pan and used the powder that the company provides to relatively easily clean up the pan.
  5. I mixed the tempeh into the vegetables and served.
I had also made some Madagascar pink rice and served leftover salad from yesterday's party.


The food was good! My wife really liked the tempeh dish and said that the vegetables indeed had a more full flavor. I really liked the tempeh itself and was pleased that I have finally found a way to get some reasonable browning to tempeh without adding fat. I liked the main dish but not as much as my wife did!

Ideas for the future

I would like to try this approach to cooking tempeh again, and maybe apply it to seitan. I'd not let the pan get stuck on again but would put small amounts of marinade or maybe broth next time as sticking begins. I am delighted with how easily the vegetables cooked without added liquid, but am guessing that the processed tempeh is probably more tightly holding on to its nutrients than the vegetables might be, so a little bit of cooking liquid for the tempeh is probably not an issue. Black sesame seeds would top this kind of a  main course well.


At Wed May 14, 08:07:00 AM EDT, Blogger Joanne said...

Dilip, your explanations and critiques of cooking recipes in the instant pot are wonderful and inspiring. I have a pressure cooker that I have, yet, to use. This season!! Your recipes look wonderful, as always. I think you'd enjoy Jo Robinson's wonderful book, "Eating on the Wild Side". I listened to her NPR interview last Fall, and was thrilled to receive her book as a Christmas present. Her research on the evolution of food, and which foods today contain the most antioxidants, is most interesting. For instance, so many folks prefer the sweet, Vidalia onions because of taste and no-tears; however, the onions that make us cry have the most antioxidants. Keep on cooking and thanks fo sharing!

At Wed May 14, 11:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks, Joanne! I just placed "Eating on the Wild Side" on reserve at our local library.


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