Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tempeh, Kale, and Potato Skillet with Cheezy Sauce

Strictly speaking, this isn't really a "skillet meal" because some of the components are cooked in the oven, but I figured that since everything winds up in a skillet, what the hell. Besides, this woman is so blissed out about having a frying pan so shiny she can check her lipstick in it that I just had to share; who knew stainless steel could bring such joy? (Hubby looks pretty satisfied with himself out there, too: "the family that 'buffs' together," etc.!)

Anyway, it occurs to me that this dish would be absolutely perfect for a lazy weekend brunch; this is because it was conceived on of those "breakfast for dinner" kind of nights, following a long day of staring down my last seminar paper ever. (O, brave new world of comprehensive exams!) And you know what? The leftovers made a perfect breakfast the next day! In fact, this stuff is so damned good that I say go right ahead and make a panful for breakfast, dinner, or even - yes, say it! - lunch.

And I recommend that you do so soon, because at this festive time of year we need all the strength we can muster, and between the tempeh, the veggies, and all that nooch in the sauce you'll be ready to take on the most abominable holly jolly crap the Blessed Holiday Season can dish out!

Tempeh, Kale, and Potato Skillet
~ 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
~ 8 oz. package tempeh, cubed (I love Henry's)
~ 3-4 good-sized potatoes, cut into 1" wedges (sweet potatoes would also be nice)
~ 5-6 large carrots, cut diagonally into 1" slices
~ 1 large head of kale, cleaned and chopped
~ 1 large onion, diced
~ 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
~ 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, chili powder, marjoram
~ A few generous grinds of black pepper

~ Heat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ In a large bowl, combine the salt, paprika, marjoram, and garlic powder with 2-3 tbsp. of the oil. Add the tempeh, potatoes, and carrots, and coat thoroughly (I use my hands for this). Transfer to the baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, shaking things around occasionally so they brown on most (if not all) sides. Please remember that ovens vary and you might need more or less time; just keep an eye on them!
~ In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining tbsp. of oil and sauté the onion over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook another 7-10 minutes, until they are getting a bit crispy. If things start to get sticky you can add a splash of water or - if you're feeling chefy - white wine to get things moving again.
~ Add the kale and a few grinds of black pepper, stir to combine, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until wilted but still green.
~ Add the roasted potato, carrot, and tempeh cubes and mix thoroughly. Serve hot topped with...

Cheezy Sauce (adapted from Isa's Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce)
~ 1 cup nutritional yeast
~ 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
~ 1 tsp. each: white pepper, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard
~ 1/2 tsp. turmeric
~ 2.5 cups hot "no chicken" broth
~ 1 tsp. each: Marmite, prepared English mustard, vegan Worcestershire sauce

~ In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
~ Stir in the hot broth and turn the heat to high; add the Marmite, mustard, and Worcester sauce and mix thoroughly.
~ Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook about 5-7 minutes, whisking pretty much constantly, until you have a smooth, thick, "cheesy" texture. Serve hot on everything!

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