Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Here’s a secret: I don’t really like tempeh. But I really like this recipe, and it’s probably one of the only reasons I’d buy the stuff. Served on garlic toast, it’s one of my favourite go-to comfort food recipes.

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Tempeh Sloppy Joes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (250g/8oz) package tempeh
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (or this one)
Himalayan or fine sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high head. Add the onions and peppers, cooking until tender, a few minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for 1 moment to bloom the flavor. Add tempeh, gently stirring to coat.

Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan, whisking until paste is smooth. It will not be very thick yet. Cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, removing the lid every few minutes to give it a quick stir. Add a splash or two of water if the mixture starts to stick to the pan. Remove the lid, and let continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 more minutes.

Serve warm.

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Sweet Potato Dippers with Cinnamon Applesauce

Inspired by latkes, these patties are easy to make, pack, and eat–especially for kids (that I don’t have). It’s easy to up the flavor ante here; just add cumin, curry powder, Italian seasoning, or other spices to mix it up. Use an apple such as McIntosh or local Ginger Gold, which makes a super quick (IE microwavable) and tasty applesauce.

Sweet Potato Dippers with Applesauce

Sweet Potato Dippers with Cinnamon Applesauce

Sweet Potato Dippers:
1/3 cup warm water
2 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups grated sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)
1 small onion, grated
3 to 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
Coconut oil, for pan-frying

Cinnamon Applesauce
1 small apple, such as Ginger Gold (in season right now, folks!)
Shake of ground cinnamon

To make the dippers, put the warm water, flaxseed, and salt in a bowl. Let stand a few minutes, then whisk to thicken. Add the sweet potato and onion. Mix well. Stir in the tapioca flour, enough for the mixture to stick together when you squeeze it.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Put a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture on the pan. Press down with the back of a spatula. Cook for 5 minutes, until browned. Carefully flip and cook an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before packing in the lunch containers.

To make a quick applesauce, put the apple and a few tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Steam until, fork tender, about 3 minutes. Add a pinch of cinnamon. Mix well, then mash well. Pack in separate containers for easy dipping.

Cinnamon-Maple Pear and Almond Butter Sandwich

Cinnamon and maple glazed pears (and apples are great here, too), with loads of almond (or any nut) butter, on toasty whole grain bread… it doesn’t get much better than that I like using my Multigrain Hempseed Bread from The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread since it is seedy and thick in texture, unlike the softer sandwich ones, which offers a nice contrast to the smooth, creamy filling. The bread pictured, however, is the Wholesome Flax Bread, since I make it most frequently.

Maple Cinnamon Pear and Almond Butter Sandwich

Cinnamon-Maple Pear and Almond Butter Sandwich

1 small or medium Barlett pear, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pieces whole grain, gluten-free bread
2 tablespoons roasted almond butter
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Put the maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Add the sliced pear and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Spread the almond butter on one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle with flaxseed. Layer the pears on one side of the bread and top with the other slice. Slice in half and serve, or wrap to pack in a lunch.