Tuesday, February 12, 2013

saucy tempeh triangles

Need protein in a hurry? Tempeh Triangles to the rescue.
I'm ramping up my running base to train for some upcoming spring races. More mileage means more stress on my body, and this means I need more protein to help me recover faster. Ideally, you need to ingest protein immediately after a long workout. But the fact is, when you are running high mileage or are completing 5+ runs of hour or longer each week [raises hand on both counts!], you need more protein overall.

Enter tempeh. This versatile protein powerhouse is one of the less-processed soy products. I love its can-do texture: you can crumble it into stews or chilis, slice it and cook it as a tempeh burger, or cut it into squares for casseroles or stir fries. The sky's pretty much the limit.

One thing about tempeh is that you really need to steam it for 10 minutes before cooking it. Steaming removes any bitter residue and also primes the tempeh to graciously receive whatever sauce you are going to douse it with.

Yesterday, I was craving tempeh, but after having completed a 13-mile run and 2-mile walk back home from the trail, I needed a recipe that didn't strain my brain or take too long. I decided to make an old standby of mine, Saucy Tempeh Triangles. This recipes falls in the "pathetically easy" category. In fact, it's not really even a recipe; it's more like directions.

You can use any sauce you like it this recipe. When I am too tired to cook, I rely on store-bought Trader Joe's Kansas City Barbecue Sauce. Other tasty sauce ideas include:

Tempeh Triangles, smothered in BBQ sauce and ready for baking.

Saucy Tempeh Triangles
  • 1 8-ounce packet of tempeh
  • 1 cup of your favorite sauce
  • Salt, pepper or other herbs, optional
Serves 2

Steam your tempeh: Cut the tempeh into about 16 triangles [or squares, whatever shape floats your boat]. Fill a saucepan with about 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Place the tempeh pieces in the steamer, then in the pan. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and steam for about 10 minutes.

Place the steamed tempeh pieces in a shallow dish, drown in your sauce of choice and marinate for at least one hour or overnight. [This is a great recipe to throw together before you leave for work.]

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake tempeh for 10 minutes, then remove, flip all pieces and ensure that all areas are covered with sauce, and then bake for 10-15 minutes more.

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Mattheworbit said...

Fresh tempeh is so delicious! Here in Oz, ours isn't really bitter when you buy it, but can have a a weird plasticky/playdough taste that's most unpleasant. Baking it in a sauce like you said seems to work well - it seems to be about the cooking through REALLY thoroughly, and browning and crisping the outside, and small pieces if possible. A friend of ours just started making fresh tempeh here, it is AMAZING - incomparable. So excellent, just sprinkled with salt, cut thin, and fried.. Mmm!

Anonymous said...

Steaming before baking is a great tip. I try not to cook anything too long or at high temps, so steaming before seems to be the key to softening up the tempeh. I can't wait try this one.

Rooted Vegan said...

Sauce is the boss! Looks fantastic!

Joey said...

I'm still a bit of a noob when it comes to tempeh, but I do like the texture to it. I bet the triangles would taste good in a sandwich too!

urban vegan said...

I remember you posting about it. Sounds yum-tastic!

urban vegan said...

Probably, depending on the kind of sauce you use. I also like to crumble tempeh to make Sloppy Joes.

Hannah said...

I always forget about tempeh! It's so delicious, so satisfying, and yet I tend to neglect it for months at a time. Thank you for this mouth-watering reminder.

Theresa said...

This looks so good, and really makes me wish I had access to the kind of tempeh you can get in the US (or in Brisbane, like Matthew Orbit mentioned).