Monday, May 26, 2014

Tempeh Breakfast Scramble and Bracing For Summer!

I do not mean to be so dramatic about the fact that summer and me do not get along, but I can't help it. I promise to edit myself when talking about this season in effort not to ruin your summer experience. How does that sound?

I continue to feel lethargic and think this may be due to season change although I have no solid evidence to prove this. Conversely, I am still catching up on sleep and will most likely continue doing so until the end of time.

Luckily, I walk to my job now (it is about 25 minute walk each way) and this activity provides me with a forced awakening without the necessity of having additional cups of coffee to jolt me into being awake.

I have started cooking more frequently again, I have been eating too many sandwiches while I had school, and you will be seeing posts from me at a higher frequency. Recently, I opened my refrigerator and noticed a lonely tempeh cake waiting for some company. What better company than a bunch of vegetables and spices, right?

Tempeh Breakfast Scramble
Tempeh Breakfast Scramble

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1 (8-ounce) organic tempeh of choice, cubed (I used 3-grain tempeh and I did not steam it prior to using it in this recipe. See note below.)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 to 6 mushrooms of choice, chopped (Be sure to use the stems.)
4 small purple potatoes or potatoes of choice, chopped (I did not peel mine. I rarely peel potatoes, specifically when the potatoes are young.)
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt or more, depending on preference (Add at the end of cooking time.)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
About 6-8 tablespoons water or vegetable broth, divided
I used to be a tempeh hater, can you believe that?
In a large non-stick pan, sauté the onion and mushrooms in oil, for about 5 minutes. While sautéing onions and mushrooms, add pepper, thyme, cumin, and turmeric. Stir once in a while and add a splash of water if needed, to prevent from sticking to the pan.

Now add the potatoes, garlic and about 3 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid - the steam will cook the potatoes. Do not add the salt yet as the potatoes will not become crispy. Stir once in a while.

*Cooking Tip: Salt draws out the moisture out of potatoes and mushrooms, makes them soft and prevents these vegetables from becoming crispy when added at the beginning of cooking time. Therefore it is recommended to add salt at the end of cooking time instead. 

Uncover the pan, add the cubed tempeh, and nutritional yeast and about 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Mix well and allow the nutritional yeast bind to the potatoes and tempeh. Stir often.

Once the tempeh was added, I continued cooking this dish for another 6 minutes or so. You can continue cooking it for another 10 minutes if you like the potatoes and tempeh to achieve a nice crust and crispiness. Season with salt when done and taste for additional pepper.

Serve with toasted bread and additional vegetables or anything you like.

*Note: Some say that tempeh is bitter when not steamed prior to adding it to recipes. I disagree, and therefore I never ever steam it in my recipes. You may not feel this way, and if that is the case, steam the tempeh for 10 to 15 minutes prior to cubing it and using it in this recipe. All you have to do is to bring water or vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, place the tempeh cake in the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Use a pan that will fit the entire tempeh cake. Turn off the heat and allow to cool before cubing it and using in this recipe. 

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