Before you run off in fear, let me assure you that I am new to tempeh, too. Tempeh (pronounced “temp-eh”) is a soy-based vegetarian protein that is packed with calcium and fiber. And because temeph uses the whole soy bean, there is more protein, fiber, and vitamins & minerals in tempeh as compared to tofu. Unlike tofu’s very squishy texture, tempeh is dense and nutty. It is easier than tofu to prepare and takes on the flavors of other ingredients very readily.
If there’s a new ingredient, namely proteins, I want to try out on Mr. Prevention…Asian flavors are usually the safest choice. Vegetarian proteins are unique in that they are very mild in flavor and can adapt to most recipes, as was the case in this dish.
The only draw-back to Asian ingredients such as soy sauce, hoisin, and seasoned rice vinegar are the high sodium contents. And MSG, though you can very easily find MSG-free ingredients in nearly any retailer.
Funny two-second story. When I went out for hibachi with my students last week, one of the students jokingly asked our chef if his teriyaki sauce was MSG-free. We all thought this was rather funny. And hey, I know they learned something
Though Mr. Prevention was hesitant to try this dish, he had picked up the broccolini himself from Whole Foods and we fought all week over the various names — broccoli rabe, broccolini, baby broccoli, etc. Apparently, I was to give him ALL the possible names it could be under because my description of “tall, skinny broccolini” wasn’t good enough. If you can’t find broccolini, no sweat…just use your every day broccoli
Somewhat to my surprise, Mr. Prevention really enjoyed this dish. He would like me to note that “it’s all about the sauce” and he proceeded to pour more than his fair share of the remaining sauce over his plate. Whatever. Can’t blame him, the sauce is wonderful…as is this dish.
Tempeh and Broccolini Stir-Fry slightly adapted from Cooking Light
3/4 lb broccolini 6 Tbsp (about 4) green onions, chopped and divided 4 1/2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar 3 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce 2 tsp honey 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 5 tsp canola oil, divided 1 (8-oz) package organic tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 1/2 cup snow peas, cut diagonally 1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used instant to make this a quick meal) 1/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
Prepare rice according to directions.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook broccolini in boiling water for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge broccolini into ice water; drain. Squeeze dry. Cut into smaller pieces.
Combine 3 tablespoons green onions and the next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a bowl; set aside.
Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tempeh; stir-fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Remove tempeh from pan; keep warm. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add broccolini and snow peas; stir-fry 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tempeh and vinegar mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Divide rice evenly among 3 bowls; top with tempeh mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons green onions and peanuts.
Yield: 3 servings (1 cup rice with 1 1/4 cup tempeh-broccolini mixture).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 444 calories; 15.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 828 mg. sodium; 59.5 g. carbohydrate; 8.3 g. fiber; 19.3 g. protein
Result: Tempeh success! Thanks to the bold flavors of hoisin, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper, it’s hard not to love this dish…even if you’re in search of the meat. I, personally, wouldn’t consider tempeh to be anything like meat, but I like it. It’s a nice change from tofu and tempeh is becoming easier to find all the time – my local Kroger now carries it ($2.99 for 8 oz — on sale for $1.99 many times) in the refrigerated health foods section. Mr. P-approved, too! Enjoy!
Tomorrow, bring your insulin and your scout sash adorned with badges for a Girl Scout cookie re-make!
Have a great week!