Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spicy Tempeh with Black Beluga Lentils (No Added Fat)

Saturday night at the P-POD conference this past weekend, TVS hosted a vegan party. We were lucky enough to have Vegan Flava Cafe, a local vegan and almost all-organic restaurant, donate food. Amongst their donation was some very tasty salsa, of which there was a tub leftover that I brought home. I thought of the idea of sauteeing with no oil slices of tempeh and serving with the salsa. (My daughter doesn't like tempeh, so I could serve her tofu.)

Topping this with something like black beluga lentils would make a filling and even more nutritious meal. I haven't used black belugas much, and have gone with a 1:4 ratio of lentils to water cooked for 15-20m (12m for salads), but the site suggests a 1:2 ratio for 25m; I  decided to try this out. Here is what I did.

  • 8 ounces tempeh cut into halves both width- and length- wise for four thin sheets (to make two servings)
  • Sprig of green onion cut into two halves
  • 1 cup black beluga lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • Few tablespoons salsa
  • I warmed up a cast iron pan with no oil for a few minutes on medium heat, then added the tempeh and green onion. I turned the tempeh and mixed the onion occasionally, cooking till the tempeh was gently brown (maybe 6-8 minutes).
  • In parallel to the tempeh, I got a cup of black beluga lentils simmering with two cups of water and a vegan bouillon cube. I sampled after 20m and there was still a bit of liquid, with the lentils not quite ready, so I cooked for 5m more.
I served in each plate a slice of tempeh topped with salsa then another tempeh slice, put on a generous serving of lentils, and garnished with the scallion. I surrounded the main course with cucumber and radish slices. I topped the cucumbers with Key Lime - datil pepper blend and Hawaiian black salt, and just the black salt on the radish slices.

We all enjoyed the meal. I'm so happy with the lentils - I am going to go with a stovetop 1:2 ratio for 25m from now on. I thought that the main course was a bit "heavy" but good and certainly filling.

Ideas for the future

I like the basic idea that I came up with today. I'd like to try thinner (if possible) tempeh slices with a salad. Maybe I could have an "open faced" one slice of tempeh with crunch cabbage or lettuce, tomato slice, lentils, and hot sauce, or something like that. Mushroom would also be good.

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