For those that don’t really dabble in soy based ingredients, this recipe might take you out of your comfort zone but it’s well worth it. It involves two ingredients – tempeh and tamari – that just from the mere mention of them make many an ardent carnivore turn tail from the kitchen and order a pepperoni pizza. Don’t let those t-words scare you off. Who knows, this dish could begin your love affair with tempeh. (Which, by the way, can usually be found in the produce section where the refrigerated tofu, vegetarian lunchmeat and fake chicken nuggets are sold.)
There is a smoky flavor from both the pistachios and the cumin in the crust. The marinade is “peanuty” with a hint of spiciness from the cayenne. Be sure to take the time to let the tempeh soak up the tamari and the marinade as you will have a more consistent overall flavor. Then, just to take the flavor over the top, add the mushroom gravy and you’ve got a meal that makes you, well…want to lick the plate.
This recipe comes from a very interesting cookbook: Blossoming Lotus Vegan World Fusion Cuisine. Its a colorful, informative cookbook chock full of interesting recipes from around the world. The bonus is powerful introduction by Dr. Jane Goodall who reminds us to take steps to fully appreciate the far reaching consequences of what we choose to eat.
Pistachio Blue Corn Crusted Tempeh with Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine
16 oz tempeh, sliced into 4 cutlets (I cut mine into one inch strips)
1 Tablespoon filtered water
2 teaspoons Nama shoyu
(Nama shoyu is a raw, organic, unpasteurized soy sauce. Substitute tamari or low salt soy sauce.)
Creamy Tahini Marinade
3/4 cup filtered water
4 teaspoons nama shoyu (Or, use tamari or a low salt soy sauce)
1/4 cup tahini or other nut butter, raw
2 Tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced, optional
1 teaspoon herbs, minced (I used dried basil, parsley, and oregano)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup pistachios, roasted no salt
1/2 cup blue corn chips, crumbled
2 Tablespoons blue corn meal (I used yellow corm meal/polenta)
1 Tablespoon Coconut, shredded and toasted, optional (I did not use coconut and did not miss it.)
1 teaspoon cilantro, minced (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch Crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt, to taste
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients and recipe
Place nama shoyu (or tamari/soy sauce) and water in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, add tempeh cutlets and allow to sit for 5 minutes before flipping. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
Prepare creamy tahini marinade by placing all those ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour over tempeh cutlets (wait until cutlets have had a chance to soak up the liquid). Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Cutlets may also be marinated the day before the dish is prepared. Place dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
While tempeh is marinating and baking, place crust ingredients in food processor and process until chopped fine. Also, begin working on the vegetarian mushroom gravy.
Remove tempeh from over, cover liberally with crust mixture, return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, slice cutlets into 1″ strips (if you haven’t already done so), and serve while hot.
Drizzle with Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy.