With most of us working from home these days, I’m going to be updating some posts that originally ran on The Evolved Foodie. Here’s a yum and easy appetizer, lunch or light dinner option that’s vegan and easy to prepare.
What is tempeh anyway?
Tempeh, which is usually made from fermented soybeans (sometimes black or other beans) and generally cut into cakes or patties is one of those foods that people tend to have really strong opinions about. The taste is also really hard to describe – is it nutty or mushroomy or funky or umami? Yes. It is. While tempeh used to be hard to find, you can now find it easily at the health food store or many larger grocery stores in the dairy sections (usually near tofu!).
How you eat it:
Cooked. Baked. Seared, marinated or fried – but do not eat tempeh raw. Even though it’s fully prepared, it tastes fairly vile without preparation of some sort (yes, I’ve tried).
Here’s an easy recipe I came up with one morning when I wanted something a little bit different to wake up my taste buds. It also uses not only marinated artichoke hearts, but also some of the liquid that comes with them, so it’s both savory and mindful of not wasting potential ingredients.
- 4 ounces tempeh, cut into 1 inch thick slices
- 2 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes (about 5 large-ish sun-dried tomatoes)
- 1 tsp. red chili paste
- 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 or more marinated artichoke quarters or hearts (jarred are fine)
- 3 Tbsp liquid from the marinated artichoke hearts
- Chop up the sun-dried tomatoes into long slivers and marinate with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, with 1/2 tsp. of the red chile paste and 1 Tbsp liquid from the marinated artichoke hearts
- Heat up the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the tempeh until it starts to brown. Flip and brown the remaining side. You’re going for golden brown, and not crispy.
- Place cooked tempeh on paper towels to drain
- Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the frying pan and start to sear them. You should have just a small amount of olive oil left in the pan at this point. Keep flipping and stirring with a wooden spoon to allow the tomatoes to blacken slightly and the skin to blister.
- Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of the liquid from the jar of marinated artichoke hearts and the remaining 1/2 tsp. or red chili paste to the frying pan and allow the tomatoes to absorb as much as possible. They should plump up slightly.
- Slice the artichoke hearts into several pieces.
- Plate the tempeh and arrange the sun-dried tomatoes, sauce and artichoke hearts on top. Serve warm.