Friday, January 22, 2010

Tempeh Tacos

taco shot
Yes, I said tempeh tacos. . .so I’m assuming right now that either you don’t know what tempeh is or you think you don’t like it. . . or maybe you’ve had it and you like it and you’re psyched for another great tempeh recipe (if so, you’re in the minority - I assure you).  Maybe you don’t even know what tempeh is.   Well it’s a fermented soy food – oooh yum now I’ve got you, everybody loves fermented soy foods right?  O.K., well bear with me, there’s a good chance you will like this and it’s really good for you, packed with protein and fiber. 
I didn’t get adventurous with tempeh until probably about 20 years into being a vegetarian, and I’ll say honestly there are only a few recipes that I really like.  I really like this recipe, so does my husband (he usually claims any leftover tempeh for lunch the next day) and one of my kids – that kid actually picks the tempeh out of his taco and leaves the rest.   The other kids eat bean taco’s.
  Aside:  if you’re like me and your refried beans are a convenience food, not a labor of love made from dried let me recommend Ducal brand refried beans.  In my opinion they’re way above the competition, with no notes of dog food in the flavor or aroma.BEANS

So anyway, this is marinated and sautéed tempeh stuffed into a taco shell with whatever you like on your taco to complete it.  It comes from Feeding the Whole Family a cookbook that  has quite a few family favorites in it.
It comes shrink wrapped in plastic
o.k., so it looks a little weird. . .
tempeh cut
Sliced tempeh
 tempeh marinating
Stirring in the marinade
tempeh fried
A little crispy. . . yum.

1 pound tempeh (2 8 oz. packages)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. lime juice
1 Tbsp. Mexican seasoning (I use Ortega chipotle taco seasoning, and probably put in 1/2 a package)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (totally optional)
12 taco shells
whatever you like for garnish,
we like avocado, cheese, refried beans and sour cream

  1. chop the tempeh into small squares (or crumble it)
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the oil, soy, lime juice and Mexican seasoning.  Mix in the tempeh and stir to coat.
  3. Marinate 10-30 min.
  4. Heat a little more oil in a skillet and sautee the onion until it’s translucent.  Add the tempeh and sautee over medium high heat until some pieces are golden brown.  There’s too much marinade to get it all golden brown, it doesn’t matter.
  5. Stuff into warmed taco shells with the fillings of your choice.

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