Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tempeh Teriyaki Stirfry

OOOHHHH MY GOSH! Okay, my first experience EVER with tempeh! I've never cooked it before, or eaten it, so I was kinda nervous how it would turn out, especially since I was cooking for mom AND brother. It was SO FREAKING GOOD! Even better than tofu, hands down. My mom also couldn't believe how good it was! (She's my toughest critic.) She kept saying over and over how delicious it tasted, and that she definitely wanted to eat it again. My brother liked the stirfry, but not as much as us, because he prefers white rice to brown rice. I will convert him ;) He still liked the tempeh, though.
In case you don't know what tempeh is, here is a brief lesson: Pronounced "tem-pay," it is cultured soy, made from soybean curds. It is very high in protein, and also very affordable. It can typically be found in the freezer section of your local health food store. A 227gram/8oz package costs about $2.99CAN, and it fed all 3 of us (mom, daughter, and teenage boy), with a little bit of leftovers. I'd say this is a four person meal (I had the 4th portion for lunch today! yum yum).
Give this recipe a try (I intend to give it several more). Promise you'll love it ;)

P.S. I know this recipe looks like a lot of work, but it's not. Don't be intimidated, just try it!

1 package frozen tempeh (227 grams/8oz)
Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, or tamari), enough for marinating
1 1/2 cups dry brown rice
3 large carrots, cut Chinese-style (easier to cook 'em)
3 stalks celery, cut Chinese-style (same reason)
2-3 stalks broccollit, cut Chinese-style (pretty sure you know why by now)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup thick Teriyaki sauce
2 tbs coconut oil, for frying
sea salt, to taste

1) To defrost tempeh, DO NOT USE THE MICROWAVE! (See note below). Place frozen tempeh (still covered in plastic) in a bowl with hot water from the tap. Make sure it is fully submerged. After 10-15mins, drain water, flip tempeh, and cover again with hot water. Once thawed and softened, you may remove the tempeh from the plastic.
2) Place tempeh in a bowl or dish, and cover with Bragg's. Let marinate for 2 hours, then flip and marinate for another 2 hours. When ready to use, drain marinade, and chop tempeh into bite-size (1/2 inch) pieces.
3) Meanwhile, place rice, sea salt, and 3 cups of water in your rice cooker, and let it do the work for you. If you don't have one, follow package directions for cooking rice on the stove. (Psssttt, life is waaay easier with a rice cooker! Use it for oatmeal, millet, steamed veggies, quinoa, etc. Totally worth investing in.)
4) While rice is still cooking, heat oil in an electric wok on medium heat. (Use a frying pan if you need to, but you won't be able to add rice in.) Once heated, added minced garlic and saute until browned and fragrant. Add onions, celery, broccolli, and carrots. Continue to fry until veggies start to cook through.
5) Add chopped tempeh, and let it fry with the veggies until everything has browned on the edges, and veggies are a little tender (keep 'em kinda crisp). Season with sea salt to taste.
6) When the rice is done, mix it into your veggie & tempeh creation, and add in teriyaki sauce. Mix throughoughly for a couple minutes, until everything is well-combined and warmed through.
7) Serve. Don't eat too fast ;)

**When cooking, your food typically loses 70-80% of its' nutrients & enzymes (this is why I eat a mainly raw food diet). When microwaving your food, it loses 100% of it's nutrients!! This is because the "micro-waves" that heat your food change the molecular structure of your food, and create carcinogens (read: cancer-causing agents). You may be eating veggies, but your body is wondering what the heck it is. It doesn't know what to do with chemically-altered food. When you eat something with little or no nutritional value, your body will continue to seek nutrients, which is why you may overeat. Think about it.

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