Monday, September 9, 2013

VeganMoFo 4: Wheat Bran Crusted Tempeh Loaf with Roasted Red Pepper Almond Gravy

When I was little, one of my favorite cereals was Raisin Bran.  Weird, huh?  I mean, how many little kids crave fiber?  Don't get me wrong, I also loved Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms, but Raisin Bran was always at the top of the list.  Eating it was like finding a little raisin treasure in every bite.  As you can see, this recipe is a far cry from Raisin Bran.  But I'm still rocking the wheat bran and loving it.  :)


Makes 2 servings

Seasoned Tempeh 
2 cups water
1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
1 small onion, cut into quarters
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 8-oz. package of tempeh, cut into squares (I used Trader Joe's 3-grain tempeh and cut it in half)
  1. Combine water, Liquid Aminos, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the tempeh squares and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Cover, remove from heat, and let tempeh cool in the broth.
Gravy
2 roasted red bell peppers (use jarred roasted peppers if you're short on time)
1/2 cup almond meal (or whole raw almonds)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot (or 1/4 of a small onion)
3 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Purée the roasted peppers, almond meal, olive oil, shallot, and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat on medium-low for 10 minutes.  Cover and remove from heat.
Vegetables
2 small zucchinis
1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow -- or a combo of them all!)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Finely dice the zucchinis.  Remove the cores and seeds from the bell pepper and finely dice them as well.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Turn off heat and leave pan on burner. (you may want to quickly re-heat the veggies right before plating)
Breading
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  1. Drain tempeh from the broth.
  2. Place the flour, coconut milk, and wheat bran in 3 separate bowls.  Add the Old Bay and thyme to the wheat bran and stir together.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Dredge the tempeh in the flour and shake off the excess.  Dip it in the coconut milk and let the excess drip off.  Lastly, coat it with the wheat bran.
  5. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes until browned.
  6. Transfer to a wire wrack to drain before plating. (as pictured)

It's true, there are many steps to this dish, but nothing too involved (I hope).  Seasoning the tempeh with broth is a technique I learned from from Vegetarian Times.  This dish was a lot of fun to make...and of course fun to eat too.  It would be a fantastic meal to serve to your family and friends for Thanksgiving.  No need for the annual Tofurky this year!

When all is said and done, you'll likely be hungry as a bear.  Worry about the mountain of dishes in your sink later. Dig in, and whatever you do, don't let that glorious wheat bran get soggy.  :)

Enjoy!