I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but that doesn’t mean I like everything I try. One thing I just can’t get down with is tofu. It’s a bummer, really, because it’s so healthy and such a good meat alternative, and it honestly doesn’t taste bad (because it doesn’t taste anything)…but even so, I can’t deal with the texture. Tofu is all…wobbly. And slimy. It’s basically Jell-O trying to be meat, and I hate Jell-O.
Given my totally valid tofu aversion, I also steered clear of tempeh for the longest time. I didn’t know anything about it, just that it was soy-based and a common meat substitute, so I assumed it was the same as tofu and wrote it off. Then not too long ago I was grabbing lunch at a salad bar and I saw a barbeque tempeh salad with corn (which sounds so gross! blegh!), but it just looked so tasty that I had to try a little. And it was awesome! Tempeh is different from tofu in all the right ways – it’s got great, firm texture and a slightly nutty taste that still lets it pair well with other bold flavors. Plus, from what I’ve googled, it’s less processed than tofu and therefore has more protein and fiber (but also more calories). Basically, I’m kindof in love with tempeh!
This was my first attempt at making tempeh at home, and it worked beautifully! I couldn’t get over how great the tempeh was coated in that sauce – to me, it tasted a lot like those delicious boneless honey barbecue wings from KFC (which I love). The quinoa could have used a little more flavor, but the tempeh and the carrot slaw were delicious!
SESAME HONEY TEMPEH WITH QUINOA (recipe from Eating Well)
Quinoa and Carrot Slaw:
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 8-oz packages tempeh , crumbled into bite-size pieces
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
2 green onions, sliced
- Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Meanwhile, combine carrots, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in medium bowl. Set aside.
- To prepare tempeh, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
- Combine honey, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch in small bowl. Add to pan and cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened and coats tempeh, about 1 minute.
- Serve tempeh over quinoa and top with carrot slaw and green onions.
So good! I cut this recipe down, so I still have a bunch of tempeh in the fridge to use up some other way. WAY better than tofu!