Tempting Tempeh Bacon

There are a lot of recipes for tempeh out there.  But pretty much the only way that I enjoy tempeh is if I turn it into bacon.  Tofurky has a good tasting tempeh bacon but I prefer to make my own.

Tempeh bacon can be used in any recipe that calls for bacon… and thus the possibilities are endless.  Use tempeh bacon with or in your scrambled tofu, in sandwiches (BLT anyone?), in green salads (like Caesar), in pasta salads, in quiches…

Thus, the following is my recipe for tempeh bacon.

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1 package of tempeh/1 block of tempeh (a brand that I like is Noble Bean), thawed and sliced into thin strips

1/2 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tsp smoked paprika (or you could use regular paprika, but smoked paprika adds too the smokiness of the bacon)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp maple syrup (or agave, but maple syrup is a tad healthier)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp liquid smoke

a pinch of cumin (optional)

1 tbsp ketchup (optional)

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a dish and let it marinate for at least an hour or overnight (you can mix the ingredients separately and then pour it over the tempeh; I just did this the lazy way). Make sure the tempeh is covered.  You can add more soy sauce if this is not the case.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil.  Lay the strips of tempeh in the skillet and pan fry until browned on both sides (I like to cook it with some of the marinade — like 2 tbsp).  Best eaten when hot.

“Trying a Ting”:  You can add jerk marinade to your marinade to turn this into jerk tempeh bacon!

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Ackee and “Saltfish” with Orange-Ugli Fruit Juice

For me, Sundays = food.  Growing up, Sunday brunch consisted of ackee and saltfish and fried dumplings.  Now that I’m grown, I try to carry on the tradition.  When I was in law school I would often host some of my friends at my apartment for what I would call “Saltfish Sundays” and I’d cook up a storm.

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I miss those days. 😦

A few weeks back, my sister posted this on my Facebook wall (from the “Your probably not Jamaican if” Facebook page):

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That’s fried dumpling stuffed with ackee and saltfish and peppers, with a side of fried plantain.  Foodgasm.

I knew I had to try to duplicate this for nostalgia’s sake.  Here’s my attempt:

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Ackee and “saltfish” sliders with freshly squeezed orange-ugli fruit juice.

This is my kind of “Egg McMuffin.”  I used my juicer to juice an orange and an ugli fruit.  Instead of saltfish, you can use tempehfish inside of your dumplings.  Ackee and “saltfish” also tastes and looks lovely when plated on a bed of baby spinach.

Happy “Saltfish” Sunday peeps!


Week-night Pizza with Walnut Bolognese Sauce and Jerk Tempeh

I’m forever trying to unite a whole-foods, plant-based diet with my Jamaican heritage.  I’ve heard of people making tofu jerk.  So then, I thought to myself, “Why not make jerk tempeh?”  I took it a step further and thought, “Why not put said jerk tempeh on a pizza?!!”

And thus, I created the illest pizza this side of the hemisphere.  Sometimes I amaze myself.

Crust — I will post recipe for this soon, although there are many pizza crust recipes out there.  You could even use a pre-baked, store-bought crust.

Cheese

1 cup sunflower seeds (you can use soaked cashews.  I try to stay away from cashews because they make me ill, so I used sunflower seeds here)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

¾ cup water

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, deseeded

Pizza Sauce

I used the following recipe on my pizza, and the pizza went from average to amazing: Walnut Bolognese Pizza Sauce

Jerk Tempeh

1 block of tempeh, sliced

1 cup of water

3 tbsp soy sauce, tamari sauce (gluten-free), Braggs liquid aminos, or coconut aminos

1 tsp paprika (I recommend smoked paprika)

1 tbsp maple syrup, coconut nectar, or blackstrap molasses

¼ tsp liquid smoke

Jerk marinade (Grace Foods, Walkerswood or make your own – I’ll post this soon)

For the jerk tempeh:

  1. Slice the tempeh into strips.  Place all of the ingredients and sliced tempeh in a glass dish, making sure the tempeh is covered.  Marinate for at least an hour in the fridge (the longer, the better.  Overnight is best).
  2. Pan fry/saute the tempeh (using a bit of the marinade liquid) for 3 mins.  Set aside.

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For the cheese sauce:

The cheese sauce resembles other cashew cheese sauce recipes floating around the internet, so you can substitute another recipe if you’d like (although I don’t know why you would).

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender.  It should have a thick and not runny consistency.  Empty out the blender container and set the cheese sauce aside.

For the pizza sauce:

Follow the recipe for the Walnut Bolognese Pizza Sauce.

For the pizza:

Layer your pizza sauce, toppings and cheese sauce on the crust.  Customize any way you want to.  Place in oven at 350 degrees Celcius and bake until the cheese sauce turns golden (like real cheese).  This should be about 30 mins.

It may not look like much, but it was VERY good.  I may have overdone it on the cheese-side…just a bit…

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