Monday, November 22, 2010
There is no better way to enjoy the cold weather than with a bowl of piping hot stew fragrant with savory, perennial herbs and packed with succulent vegetables.
I like adding some protein to my stews, and this time I used tempeh which is not just full of protein but also heart-healthy fiber. I cube the tempeh then dredge it in some herb-seasoned flour before sauteing it to golden-brownness in a cast-iron pan. This gives the tempeh a slightly chewy texture on the outside, and makes it really creamy and delicious on the inside.
The perennial herbs in my backyard are still holding up to the advancing cold weather, and I grabbed a handful of rosemary, sage and marjoram to add to this stew. If you want to go with just one herb, use rosemary. You just can't go wrong with it, nor with this stew.
Herbed Tempeh Stew
(Makes 2 servings)
1 8-oz package of tempeh
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp dried savory herbs like rosemary and thyme
2-3 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegan butter like Earth Balance
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots or 8-10 baby carrots, cut in a 1/2-inch dice
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped. I used rosemary, sage and marjoram.
Mix the dried herbs, half the pepper, salt and all-purpose flour.
Dredge the tempeh cubes in the flour, shake off any excess flour.
Heat half the oil and vegan butter in a large skillet. Add the tempeh cubes and allow each side to turn golden-brown. Remove from the skillet and reserve.
Add the remaining butter and oil to the skillet. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes and cook until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add any of the flour left over from dredging the tempeh and stir in well.
Add the wine. Allow the wine to evaporate, stirring often, until the vegetables take on a lightly golden hue.
Add pepper, salt to taste and 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and allow the stew to simmer until the vegetables are almost cooked, about 20 minutes.
Add the tempeh cubes and mix in. Cook another 10 minutes.
Add another tablespoon of the vegan butter, if you like. It makes the stew taste extra-rich, but if you'd rather not, you can leave it out.
Add the chopped, fresh herbs. Check for salt.
Serve piping hot with some crusty bread or rice.