Vegan Grandma

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Vegan Tempeh Sandwich Spread and Some Things About Tempeh

I spent the day handing out literature at a shopping center, about factory farming and vegetarianism. I was very pleasantly surprised that lots of people stopped by our table and said that they were vegetarian or wanted to become vegetarian. There seemed to be a lot of interest in our literature.
I ate out for both lunch and dinner, so I did not cook, today. Here is a recipe I have made before.

The following recipe is one of my favorite quick, easy, delicious, and vegan recipes. It comes from Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey, A Poultryless "Poultry" Potpourri, by Karen Davis, published by book Publishing Company, Summertown, Tennessee.

Vegan Tempeh Sandwich Spread

8 ounces tempeh

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

3/4 cup chopped celery

2 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons pickle relish

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Steam the tempeh for 20 minutes. Let the tempeh cool, then grate it (I use a knife to chop it into small pieces instead of grating it). Mix the tempeh with all the other ingredients. Chill and serve with lettuce as a salad, or use as a sandwich spread.

Some Things About Tempeh

Tempeh is a tender, chunky cake of fermented soybeans. It is made by mixing whole soybeans with grains, usually rice or millet. It is then incubated with a starter to begin the fermentation process.

Tempeh originated in Indonesian, and became available in the United states in the 1970's

There are several varieties of tempeh, depending on the type of grain used. Most are made with rice or millet.

Tempeh has a firm texture and a nutty, mushroom-like flavor, although the flavor varies from one producer to another, and according to the type of tempeh. The all-soy tempeh is stronger in taste, and may be an acquired taste. The multi-grain tempeh has a less strong taste.

Tempeh is very nutritious. It contains health-promoting saponins and soy phytochemicals. Tempeh contains the essential amino acids for complete protein. It also contains iron, vitamin E, lecithin, calcium, B vitamins (but not B-12) and fiber. One three-ounce serving of tempeh contains over 25% of the adult daily requirement for dietary fiber. Tempeh is low in saturated fats, and like all vegetable proteins, tempeh has no cholesterol.

Tempeh is available at most natural food stores, and some supermarkets. Because tempeh is perishable, it is usually sold in the refrigerated or frozen foods section.

When buying tempeh, make sure the grains are bound together and that there is no mold. A white tempeh culture is normal and does not indicate spoilage.
Frozen tempeh can be kept for about 3 months. Once it is defrosted, it must be refrigerated and used within 10 days.

Tempeh is used sliced and fried until the surface is crisp and golden brown or tempeh can be used as ingredient in soups, spreads, salads and sandwiches. Tempeh can be marinated in lemon juice, sherry, mirin (rice wine), or pineapple juice to enhance the flavor. Cut tempeh into small cubes or thin slices before marinating for better absorption of flavors. You can steam the tempeh cakes; marinate in barbecue sauce; then grill until brown. Add chunks of tempeh to spaghetti sauce, sloppy joe sauce or chili mix, or to favorite soups and casseroles.


Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey, A Poultryless "Poultry" Potpourri, by Karen Davis, published by book Publishing Company, Summertown, Tennessee

The American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Guide, by Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, CFCS, published by Chronimated Publishing

Professional Vegetarian Cooking, by Ken Bergeron, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.


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