Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tempeh Taco Salad

Tempeh is made from soybeans but the similarity to tofu stops there. Tofu is made from soy milk, has a curd-like texture, and is very mild in flavor. Tempeh is made from whole soybeans which have been pressed into a cake and lightly fermented. It has an assertive nutty flavor and a meaty texture. You can buy both tempeh and tofu right in the produce department of your regular grocery store.

I have cooked with both products for more years than I care to admit. We don't eat a lot of meat in this family and look for other ways to enjoy protein.  Do let me know when you are coming for dinner, however, and if you are opposed to eating tempeh and/or tofu, I'll not put them on the menu. ( Or if you want to try them, I will put them on the menu for you). 

At serving time, set out all the fixings for tacos and let everyone assemble their own. I like to combine fritos, cubed cheese, lettuce and catalina dressing (homemade, of course) then add the rest of the ingredients. Pritchard Parker thinks catalina dressing is creepy and uses salsa. Some people use both.

Come to think of it, I could probably combine fritos with cheese and catalina dressing and call that a salad. It is not one of my loftier ideas but I have seen people do worse with ranch dressing.

Tempeh for Taco Salad
1 8-ounce package tempeh
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. minced chipotle chili with adobo sauce
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Crumble tempeh into a large mixing bowl.  Add and combine well, the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, oregano, chipotle chili, onion and bell pepper.

Heat olive oil, in a heavy skillet over medium heat and when hot, add the contents of the mixing bowl. Fry and stir the tempeh mixture, until the tempeh is becoming crispy on the edges and the vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust seasonings, including adding salt and pepper if needed.

For serving:
Chopped tomato
Chopped peppers
Radish slices
Jalapeno slices
Tortilla chips
Lime wedges
Salad dressing
Sour cream

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