At Long Last

Ever since becoming a member of the vegetarian/vegan community a year and a half ago, I’ve heard about tempeh.  Heard about it, read about it, seen pictures of it… but never tried it.  Why?  Because I live in the rural mid-south.  The good ol’ dirty south.  Where everyone thinks a meal isn’t a meal unless it contains flesh of some sort.  I’m two hours from the nearest Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, and none of my local grocers carry much to cater to those of us on a plant-based diet, other than your standard grains and produce.  I even asked my local health food store if they would order it for me, and they told me no because they would have to order too much of it to meet a minimum order requirement and they didn’t feel it would sell.  Apparently they used to carry it but quit because no one bought it.

Well, a couple of months ago I found myself in a Kroger in Clarksville and I thought I’d check there just on the off-chance that they carried tempeh.  They didn’t, but while I was there I did find seitan, another meat alternative that I hadn’t been able to find locally.  I bought it, tried it, and loved it, so when I was back in Clarksville last weekend I made a point to go back to that Kroger to get some more of it.  And guess what I found sitting on the shelf right beside it?!?!

Sunday I sliced it into strips, mixed up this marinade, and stuck it in the fridge so that Monday I could have a vegan BLT for lunch.

While it tasted good, I wished I had fried it rather than baking it.  I had marinaded the whole 8 oz. package, though, so there was plenty left, so when I made breakfast for supper (the best time to have breakfast, in my opinion) later in the week, I took a few strips of the already-baked tempeh and threw it in  a little bit of oil and fried it to a crisp.  MUUUUUUUUCH BETTER!

I had also saved another recipe that I had been dying to try when and if I ever found tempeh.  A friend had shared this recipe from Little House of Veggies a while back, and I bookmarked it because I’m a buffalo whore.  Seriously.  I followed all the directions exactly, except I didn’t have any corn or a jicama.  (because I don’t know what a jicama is), and  I added tomato and green onions, just because, and then I smothered all that shit in the ranch dressing.

BEST.  SALAD.  EVER.

Photo borrowed from the Little House of Veggies blog.  See link above.
Do you use tempeh?  If you follow a plant-based diet, do you live in an area that makes it somewhat challenging?
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