I actually really dig tempeh. If you have never had it/heard of it...it is a soy product. But much, much different from tofu. Tempeh is made from the whole soybean through some fermentation process, where tofu is soy milk curds pressed into a block. As a result, tempeh has a much firmer texture (which I prefer). I think it tastes kind of nutty. Bonus: it is stocked full of protein and fiber and other good stuff.
You may ask: "Shanon, you aren't a health nut...why even bother with crazy things like tempeh?"
First, I am a health nut. Second, I generally hate chicken breasts, lean pork, or pretty much any other healthy, low fat meat. For me to like meat, it generally needs to be a pretty fatty cut. So, I eat it less and get my protein elsewhere more. And for me, tempeh is a great option because: (1) it is cheap, (2) it is easy, (3) it is good.
Now, tempeh from a package looks (and smells) a little gnarly. But don't be scared. Think of all the chickens you are saving. Soy beans don't have hearts. I am kidding. I didn't really say that.
Anyways, this dish is a little something I threw together. I wanted to make something kind of different with spaghetti squash. And I love kale so much I drink it. And marinated tempeh is delicious. This is a great, healthy meal.
Spaghetti Squash with Kale-Tomato Sauce and Crispy Tempeh
1 medium spaghetti squash
8 ounce block of tempeh
1 tsp Dijon mustard
drizzle of honey
juice of two lemons, divided
2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp ground oregano
4 tbsp of olive oil, divided
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
6 green olives, finely chopped
1 tbsp of butter
1-3 tbsps of parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
more olive oil for sautéing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil baking sheet, cut spaghetti squash in half, and lay each half flat side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until fork tender.
Make marinade for tempeh by combining Dijon, honey, juice of one lemon, white wine vinegar, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk quickly and slowly drizzle in 3 tbsp of olive oil. Cut tempeh block into bite sized pieces and add to marinade. Let marinate for about 30 minutes.
Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a large deep skillet, add shallots and cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until broke down slightly and hot, about 3-4 minutes. Add kale, water
and juice of half a lemon. Let cook 10-15 minutes until kale has wilted and flavors have combined. Add chopped green olives. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep warm on stove.
Once the spaghetti squash is cooked and cooled, use a spoon to scoop out stringy pulp. Heat another large skillet over medium high heat and add just a drizzle of olive oil. Add marinated tempeh (drained) and cook until crispy on both sides. Remove from pan, set aside, and wipe pan clean of excess marinade.
In the same pan over medium high heat, add butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Once butter is melted, add spaghetti squash to pan and toss around to coat. Cook for several minutes to dry out the spaghetti squash a bit. Season with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
To serve, place a big scoop of spaghetti squash on plate. Top with the kaletomato sauce. Top that with crispy tempeh. Sprinkle with more parmesan and serve with remaining lemon slices.
(Servings: 4, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 1.5 hrs., Difficulty: Easy)
Shanon (taste): 6/10
Scot (taste): 6/10
Dishwashing Effort: 3/5