I opened a new block of tempeh for the bolognese last week so it was crying out to be put to good use. Simple lemon black pepper tempeh cubes were calling my name.
Tempeh itself at in my mind has it’s own unique flavour, much more so than it’s blander softer sister tofu. Simple pan fried or grilled, I find the smell of it incredibly alluring and altogether tempting. It never fails to make me want to eat it there and then straight out of the pan. I can’t say the same for tofu. It has it’s own wonderful properties but a natural cooking aroma certainly isn’t one of them!
Lemon juice and black pepper are two flavour staples. Nine times out of ten I’ll add both to a salad, and I’m extremely partial to some of the freshly ground black stuff on pretty much anything and everything savoury (black pepper, not coffee just to avoid any confusion!)
I got a bit of a longing for a substantial amount of both and with tempeh on hand there was no simpler way to bring the fusion to a delicious reality. Marinated in lemon juice and black pepper, along with a little maple syrup and sea salt to balance it out, browned in the pan, marinade poured over, a little reserved for serving up. It doesn’t really get much easier. Incredibly simple, fragrant and flavourful.
It paired just perfectly with some fluffy millet (another random craving that needed to be satisfied) and some blanched asparagus tips. I don’t eat a whole lot of asparagus these days due to the fact that it is one of the more expensive veggies and my appetite for large portions would cost a fortune to fuel if asparagus became a staple! It makes it even nicer when I do partake in a whole packet full…though I will admit, I am one of those people who gets the distinct strongly scented you know what especially when consumed in quantity…. I dare not say what I mean in the middle of recipe post but I’m sure you know what I mean
It’s one of those veggies I can actually leave or take depending on the quality and whether or not it’s cooked to my liking. I enjoy a bit of bite but not so much involves excessive chewing and soggy greens whatever the variety are just not my thing!
Meaty protein rich tempeh, fresh lemon, intense black pepper, fluffy light nutty millet and greens for the win. A balanced plate both in terms of nutrients and flavour. It’s the modern day vegan meat and two veg…minus the second veg., the meat and the Irish prone potato element replaced by a much more appeasing grain. Gotta love it!
Tomorrow’s my mum’s 50th (I actually typed 40th it initially, I really don’t think of her being much older than in her mid thirties, likewise I still see myself as a teenager, the last ten years seem to have disappeared under my nose!) I’m getting work done today, meeting client while she’s in work and then plan on spending the afternoon with her. I will of course stop by in the morning for What I Ate Wednesday! My week wouldn’t feel complete without it.
Lemon Pepper Tempeh Cubes
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup diced tempeh
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Asparagus tips – 6- 7 small to serve one
- 1/3 cup uncooked millet + 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt & black pepper
- Fresh basil roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Dice tempeh in to bite size cubes. Whisk together lemon juice, salt, black pepper and maple syrup.
- Cover millet with cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Set to one side for 5 minutes. Fluff through with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
- Sauté tempeh cubes in a non stick pan for 4-5 minutes until nicely browned. Pour in lemon mixture and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add in additional black pepper.
- While the tempeh cooks drop asparagus in to boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and get ready to plate up!
- Serve tempeh alongside fluffy millet and blanched asparagus, garnish with a little lemon zest and fresh basil!