Monday, May 17, 2010

Time and Tempeh

I have way too many vegetarians in my life. I love every stinking last one of them, but they are a pain and they make me want to go on rabid meat binges after we finish meals. (I mean, how do they ever get full?)

Since I can't do without the meat and I can't do without them, I stay on the lookout for alternatives. Fake meat. It's just another unfamiliar and challenging ingredient, really. I hope it makes me a better person.

Voila, tempeh tacos!

I don't totally get what tempeh is. I had to google it, like so many things in my life (a few months ago I even had to google Lady Gaga). It's a soy product fermented into a cake form, but you can crumble it up and pretend it's ground beef, which I did. (Incidentally, tempeh is sometimes referred to as a "meat analogue," which I find funny. It puts a little more distance between the meat than to call it a substitute.)

Would you believe tempeh has its own website? There is even a recipe to make your own tempeh, but I'll have to wait and try that when I am really trying to put off doing something important.

No offense, I have the utmost respect for the convictions of vegetarians and health-buffs- I simply don't have the discipline for that kind of lifestyle. I applaud you if you can stick to it and find balance with a diet that doesn't include meat. I simply couldn't do it.

I cook tempeh in a skillet just like ground beef, but I keep adding a few tablespoons of water at a time to soften it up. It actually does work as a pretty good substitute and can help you out in a pinch when you are cooking for someone who is a vegetarian with a wheat and dairy allergy (one step away from being a vegan).

It's actually pretty darn good when cooked with the right amount of seasoning. Okay, I'll keep working with it and stop grumbling when I have to skip meat now and then. Really, though, can we stop referring to it as an analogue and call a spade a spade? It's a substitute.

1 comment:

  1. claims "it's easy to make tempeh at home," and then, "Step 1: Cracking the soybeans." Think I'll pass! Your tacos look good though.