Belated Easter Post

For Easter this year I made an entree that I have been wanting to try for a long time, a vegan take on a classic French dish, Tempeh with 40 Cloves of Garlic:

Tempeh, like tofu, is made from soybeans, but it has more texture and more flavor, because the soybeans are whole and fermented.  If you don’t like tofu, give tempeh a try.  My Mom is adamantly anti-tofu, but I got her to try and like tempeh.  Some people claim that tempeh is also healthier than tofu because it is less processed, and the fermentation process may make it easier to digest.  It can be harder to find, but it’s gaining popularity, showing up in sandwich places like Planet Sub.  It is usually a little more expensive than tofu, but it’s still cheaper than a cut of meat, I’m sure.  Anyway, here’s the recipe, which came from http://www.food.com/recipe/tempeh-with-40-cloves-of-garlic-49600

Tempeh with 40 Cloves of Garlic

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 lb tempeh, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce (I subbed Braggs Liquid Aminos)
  • 2 leeks, white and tenser green parts,julienned
  • 1 lb mixed exotic mushroom, sliced (such as cremini, portobello, Shiitake, and oyster) (I used 1/2 cremini, 1/2 button)
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock (or less)
  • 40 cloves very fresh garlic, peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1/4 cup celery leaves
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)
  • In a wide, heavy saute pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Add the tempeh and saute until golden brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the wine and soy sauce, raise the heat, and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until the liquid is reduced to half its original volume.
  • Transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl and set aside.
  • Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the leeks and mushrooms and saute, stirring and tossing until the vegetables are lightly caramelized.
  • Stir in the flour and continue to cook until the flour smells toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 more minutes.
  • Add the stock and garlic.
  • Make a bouquet garni by tying together with kitchen twine or wrapping in cheesecloth the thyme, parsley, and celery leaves.
  • Add the bouquet garni and bring the stock to a boil.
  • With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the tempeh with any juices that have collected in the bowl.
  • Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the liquid thickens into a sauce.
  • Remove the bouquet garni.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste,sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.

I only used 4 cups of broth, but next time I would use a lot less and/or add some corn starch.  It came out soupy, but it was still delicious.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil: $0.20
  • 3/4 lb tempeh, sliced into bite-size pieces: $4.04
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine: $1.50
  • 2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce (I subbed Braggs Liquid Aminos): $0.18
  • 2 leeks, white and tenser green parts, julienned: $1.99
  • 1 lb mixed exotic mushroom, sliced (such as cremini, portobello, Shiitake, and oyster) (I used 1/2 cremini, 1/2 button): $4.98
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour: I’m going to estimate $0.05
  • 40 cloves very fresh garlic, peeled: $2.00
=$12.95/about 6 servings

=$2.16/serving

I also made another carrot cake, because my BFF was drooling over this post.  I was the only one who ate the tempeh, but everybody seemed to really like the carrot cake.  This time I subbed almonds for half of the cashews in the frosting (because I thought I had enough and I didn’t).  It worked out really well, so that would be a good way to make it cheaper.

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