Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cook: Balsamic Glazed Tempeh with Apples, Green Beans and Carrots

Saturday marked the second anniversary of my beginning the night at a 1975 concert and ending it in the hospital with a newborn baby. It is hard to believe that the largely silent four pound, two ounce baby I held that night has now turned into a twenty six pound bundle of repetition and laughter. 

To celebrate Z-Bot's birthday, we invited some family over and cooked up a bunch of her favorite dishes. That meant pizza, pasta, guacamole fried wontons and a crockpot full of balsamic glazed tempeh with apples, green beans and carrots. 

The latter was born out of Z-Bot's affinity for meat substitutes and cooked apples. I decided to spruce the tempeh up a bit with a twenty four hour soaking in balsamic. The first time I served it, Z-Bot asked for three bowls (baby sized bowls, but still). I knew we had a winner. You want to try it out on your kid? Grandparents? Ex-wife? Here's how it comes together:

Balsamic Glazed Tempeh with Apples, Green Beans and Carrots
(printable version)

-1 block of marinated tempeh
-1 heaping cup chopped baby carrots
-1 cup green beans, cut in half (tough ends removed)
-1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and cut into small squares
-1 McIntosh apple, cored, peeled and cut into small squares
-1/2 cup veggie broth

For the tempeh marinade:
-1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
    -1 ounce soy sauce or shoyu
    -10 fresh leaves of rosemary
    -1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    -1/4 tsp. dried sage
    -1 garlic clove, pressed
    -1/2 Tbs. creole mustard (or dijon)
    -1 Tbs. maple syrup
    -pepper, to taste

1. Mix the marinade in a large bowl. Add the tempeh and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Place the tempeh in a hot pan on the stove top. Sear both sides for a minute or two (over high heat).  Remove the tempeh from the pan, add the marinade and use it to scrap up any tempeh that was left behind.

3. In a large crock pot, add the stock, apples and vegetables. Mix in the tempeh and its remaining marinade. Cook on low until the apples, green beans and carrots are tender (somewhere between 4 to 6 hours worked for me). Give a bowl to the small fry you love the most.