I have not done many different, interesting things with tempeh in my vegan cooking days, and a recent goal of mine has been to get more "creative" with tempeh because it's a delicious, versatile food. Of course, the tempeh bacon and the sausage crumbles from VWaV are excellent, but I wanted to do something different.
Hence this dish. I read this post from Eat Air, and I thought the combination of tempeh, sweet potatoes, and kale sounded perfect. But instead of doing an Asian flair, I opted for Tex-Mex (though the peanut sauce variation from the original post sounds quite tasty), and I marinated my cubed tempeh (an 8-ounce block) in:
I didn't measure anything, but I tasted it until it seemed about right. It ended up marinating for about 24 hours, but that was a complete accident. I meant to marinate it about 2 hours and cook it yesterday, but after I put it all together Bob called and said he wouldn't be able to come home for lunch. So I saved it for today.
Tex-Mex Tempeh Skillet
8 ounces tempeh cubes, marinated as above
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
Splash of water
Several handfuls kale, roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, slivered
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Into the pan the tempeh cubes went, along with the sweet potatoes and a splash of water and the rest of the marinade. I let that steam with a lid on for about 15 minutes, then added the kale and let it steam a bit longer. In the meantime, I sautéed the garlic and onion; once the kale was tender I threw the onions and garlic in and stirred everything around. I tasted and decided it needed some more kick, so I added a few dashes of hot sauce and a bit more cumin. Then I put the lid back on, turned the heat way down, and let it all come together for a few more minutes. It was served on top of quinoa.
Verdict: Great flavor combination, and I think the tempeh really benefited from having the extra marinating time--it was flavorful all the way through. Next time I would mix up more marinade, so that it could have a chance to marry with the sweet potatoes and kale just a little bit more; I would probably also add the kale a little earlier. But really, I was happy with it just the way it came out. The sweet potatoes were a perfect answer to the tangy, spicy tempeh, and the kale was neutral and nice. Quinoa was the perfect accompaniment. So then, so far I am enjoying my tempeh adventures.
Made some more French bread--actually we made several loaves and froze some. The loaves came out much cuter this time.
I got tagged a while back on Eat Air to create my list of five interesting things you never knew about me. I've enjoyed reading what all of you have said, so I'll try to think of something good to share with you.
1) I met Bob in a play here at UGA. Our freshman year, there was a call for participation in a 24-hour competitive play competition. We met on a Friday night and were put into groups; then we were given a theme, and each group had to write and rehearse a play along that theme to be performed 24 hours later. Bob was there, as a drama major at the time, and I was there for no good reason at all. Needless to say, the play was absolutely horrible and ridiculous, but we stayed up all night getting to know each other and it was quite fun. Incidentally, my acting performance won an honorable mention--for what it's worth.
2) When I was in middle school and high school, I was labeled the "smart kid," and I hated it. I always wanted to be the pretty girl or the cool girl, but I wasn't--I was pretty much a nerd. I always felt pressure to excel at every academic venture that I made, and I was stressed out for most of my life. When I came to college, I didn't tell anyone for a long time about any of my previous academic achievements because I didn't want that label again. Now, finally, I am comfortable with who I am--a little nerdy but pretty cool. And my friends love me for who I am and don't expect me to perform in a certain way.
3) I've always been interested in a million different things, but the only thing that has stuck with me throughout my life is writing. Whatever I do with my life and however I impact this earth, I feel certain that it is going to be through creative writing in some way. I enjoy writing about the natural world and, in particular, about minimizing our impact on it.
4) I was fortunate enough to take a semester-long class from my favorite modern author, Philip Lee Williams. I remember hearing him give a lecture about his writing and his career several years ago, and it inspired me so much that I vowed that day to take a class from him before I left UGA. Two years later, my opportunity came, and I took a nature writing class from him last spring. It's by far the best class I've ever taken, and that is where I learned my passion for writing about the earth and being a "voice for the voiceless," so to speak. That was the last semester that he would ever teach a class, and so I know that I was destined to take that class for many reasons exactly when I did. I've read several of his books, and I think they're beautiful--descriptive and introspective and challenging, and pertinent to me because he writes about the landscapes that I'm familiar with, the north Georgia piedmont.
5) When people find out that I am a Christian and they ask me what denomination I am, I always say that I have no denomination. The truth is, I have been influenced by a lot of denominations--Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Catholic, etc. I have never been a part of a denomination that I felt 100% in line with, but I don't think that's a very important distinction to make anyway. I think we should focus more on unity and on embracing our differences and learning from each other. That also applies to my view of social interactions as a whole--I love variety and diversity. Anyway, the church Bob and I attend now is part of the Vineyard movement, and we love it there.
Very, very interesting, eh? I don't know who has not yet been tagged, so if you haven't been tagged, I tag YOU!