Tempeh “B”LT and Kale “Chips”

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November 19, 2012 by Meg G.

I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “Sheesh! Does it get any more ‘hippie-dippie-treehugging-crunchy-granola’ than this? Who are these people?!” (This is me not apologizing for the excessive use of quotation marks.)

Here’s the thing, bacon lovers. I get it. Ain’t nothin’ better than real bacon. I’m with you. I’m not going to pretend that this homemade tempeh bacon is even close to the real deal. BUT, if you’ve already sworn off the pig, this recipe will do the trick.

We haven’t made our own veggie bacon in a long time. We fell into the trap of the processed, prepared, frozen fake stuff. But on Friday night, craving some breakfast for dinner, I decided to return to our old friend tempeh bacon. It really couldn’t be easier to make and it still has the smoky flavor that us bacon lovers crave. This recipe is borrowed (and tweaked) from Vegetarian Times. Here goes!

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, sliced into 24 very thin slices
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil

Directions:

1. Lay tempeh slices in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bring soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, chipotle powder, and ½ cup water to a boil in small saucepan. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat, and stir in liquid smoke, if using. Pour over tempeh slices. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 hours, or overnight. The longer the better – you can leave them in there for up to 3 days.

2. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully transfer tempeh slices to prepared baking sheet, and discard marinade.

3. Brush slices with canola oil. Bake 10 – 15 minutes, then flip tempeh slices, brush with oil, and bake 5 – 7 minutes more. You can either leave them in the oven the whole time or take them out and finish crisping them in a frying pan. If pan-frying, be sure to spray with cooking spray or coat with a bit of oil – the marinade will stick to the skillet. We baked them for about 15 minutes in total and then cooked them on the stove another 5 or so, flipping once.

These were a perfect side for our homemade pancakes on Friday night.

However, they were even more flavorful two days later (we left them marinading in the fridge) when we made “B”LTs for lunch on Sunday. We layered cheddar cheese, tempeh bacon, avocado, fresh spinach, and tomato slices onto some crusty bread and WOW.

What better side dish than some crunchy chips? We had a bit of kale left over from our soup so Heather whipped up some kale chips. Once again, these are not intended as a substitute for potato chips, but they are still delicious and very healthy. Heather used this recipe as a starting point.

Kale Chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry your kale. We were working with a very small batch – about four stems.
  3. Remove the leaves from the stems and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Lay on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (we used a Tuscan herb-infused oil from Fiore), salt, and whatever additional seasoning you’re craving. We opted for Penzeys Northwoods Seasoning, which is a blend of salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, cracked rosemary, garlic, and chipotle. Just go easy on the salt if you’re using a salted seasoning mix.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes (we did 15 for the smaller batch), shaking the pan to turn over the leaves about halfway through. These little ones are quick to burn, so stay close to the oven after about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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