Potatoes and Peaches

Things I Make that Make Me Happy

Spicy Tempeh with Stuff and Other Stuff

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on June 25, 2008

This right here is where a picture would be if my camera wasn’t being a son of a crap and out of commission AGAIN. Quarterly bonus time is coming up and work and who’s getting a new camera? I think it’s me. In the meantime, this here is someone else’s pic of the dish.

Lately I have been feeling kind of like, you know, a failure on the challenging myself food-wise front. It’s supposed to be the whole point of my blog and yet nothing has felt like much of a challenge, it’s just so easy to stay in the habit of making food choices based primarily on how easy it is, which is not to say I’ve been making bad food so much as I haven’t been making food I feel really proud of and can show to other food proclaiming “See this food, this is GOOD FOOD, suck it!” and imitating Nelson from the Simpsons.

So I was just the right kind of vulnerable while I was flipping through Veganomicon and the Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Rotini started winking at me suggestively in the photo section. I almost chickened out when I read the recipe, I mean, come on cooking things and then putting them aside and wiping the pan down and cooking them again?! Cooking three different things at once?!?! But then I looked closer, amazingly enough I actually had everything to make the dish so I thought “What the hizz.” and got my challenge on. By the way, I’m fully aware that this recipe will not be such a challenge for most people out there, but I am pretty lazy. I think my laziness might end up being my legacy (along with my deep fear of birds). Like, if there were some kind of award I think I’d place in the top 5. Top 10 for sure. Assuming I was not too lazy to show up, of course. But, oh, my gods people, this ish is so good! There is nothing more gratifying than putting a lot of effort into a meal and having that meal be totally and completely worth it! It’s nice and spicy, but not so spicy as to cancel out any other flavor. It was satisfying and felt healthy, and one of the best parts is that the cooking process leaves you these little pockets of time in which to clean up your dishes. I cook in a very small kitchen where counter space it as a premium, so not creating an ever-growing mountain of dishes that I will have to face later when I am in food coma is a gigantic plus for me. Specifically to the food though, it is so good I went to work today and said to at least three co-workers “Oh, my god, I made the best thing for dinner last night, I can’t wait to have it for lunch.” I got glassy-eyed responses which I choose to interpret at jealousy.

Here’s some recipe action for ya, my changes are in the parentheses. Please, make, enjoy, savor. If you are like me, you will eat it while kicking yourself for returning Once before you could watch it again and instead watching Mystic Pizza.

Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Rotini

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat rotelle or other spiral-shaped pasta (I used fusilli)

Spicy fennel tempeh:

  • 1 (15 oz.) package tempeh, cubed
  • 1/2 c. plus 2T vegetable broth
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 T. fennel seeds
  • 1-1/2 t. red pepper flakes, or to taste (I went with just 1 tsp, I’m a spice wuss)
  • 1-1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. red wine vinegar

Broccoli rabe:

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped coarsely (I used regular old broccoli, the book has a little saying it’s okay to)
  • 2-3 T. white wine, water or vegetable stock
  • 2 t. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Boil salted water for pasta and prepare according to package directions. Drain, toss with a teaspoon or so of olive oil, cover and keep warm.

While pasta is boiling, prepare other ingredients:

Prepare the tempeh:

Place the tempeh in a large, nonstick skillet. Whisk together the remaining ingredients listed under “Spicy fennel tempeh.” Pour over the tempeh, stir to coat, and cook over medium heat until the liquid starts to simmer. Cover the pan and steam the tempeh, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer the tempeh to a bowl and crumble about half the cubes with the back of a spoon.

Wipe down the skillet to remove any leftover tempeh sauce, return the skillet to medium heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil . Drop a cube into the hot oil to test the temperature — if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. Add the rest of the tempeh and stir-fry for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. If the pasta is ready, add the tempeh to the pasta, toss and keep covered and warm. If not, just transfer to a bowl and keep covered and warm.

Prepare the broccoli rabe:

Pour the remaining olive oil into the pan and add the sliced garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle (be careful not to burn it), stir and cook for about a minute. Add the broccoli rabe, stir to coat with the oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and cover the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with about 2 T. of the white wine (or water or broth) and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until the broccoli rabe is bright green and its stems are tender. **Bea’s Note Time: If you are using regular broccoli I might suggest using more liquid, assuming that is why my broccoli turned out…shall we say…crispy on one side. Or maybe I should have turned the heat down below medium. Honestly I’m open to suggestion.**

Remove the cover and sauté for an additional minute or two, until any excess liquid is absorbed. Pour the cooked broccoli rabe onto the tempeh and pasta, sprinkle with red wine or balsamic vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss to combine.

This recipe was originally posted at Kindly Pog Mo Thoin

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