Merry Meatless Monday! Here is a recipe to try that is easy to cook and insanely delicous. It’s so good that I’ve made this for extreme meat-loving friends, and they’ve requested it again and again. The key ingredient is tempeh – for those of you who have never had tempeh before, it’s a hearty, inexpensive and nutritious source of protein. I’d hate to label it as a meat “substitute” – it’s not one of those mystery, what-the-hell-is-it-made-of faux meats that is trying to disguise itself and hope you don’t notice. Tempeh has been around for years (it has been documented as far back as the 16th century), and is made up of soybeans, brown rice, barley and millet. Very natural, nothing wierd in it, and if you are opting for a vegetarian protein source that will not leave you hungry, this is it. It has a higher content of protein, vitamins and nutrients than tofu, but even better is the texture – it’s tougher, and you can marinate it or cook it just as you would any other meat. You can read more about tempeh here if you are curious. In the meantime, try this Greek Style Tempeh recipe. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll even consider serving it on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
2 8oz packages of tempeh (I use this kind, and it can be found right in the produce section of your local grocery store)
2 tbsp dried oregano (or 1/4 cup fresh)
lemon juice from 1 lemon
4 crushed garlic cloves
Greek pocketless pita (instead of pita, I serve it on top of naan instead – just a personal preference, but de.licious.) The pita or naan is optional if you are carb-counting – this dish is just as good without the bread!
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp dried dill (or 1 bunch fresh)
1 tomato, diced
1 sweet onion or shallot, diced
1 cucumber, diced
Directions: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic cloves, oregano and garlic. Slice tempeh into medium thin slices, and place into bowl coating with the oil/soy mixture. Set aside to let marinate. *Don’t waste your lemon – when you are done squeezing the juice out of it, slice it up, fill a pitcher with water and toss them in for a refreshing drink.*
In a smaller bowl, combine your diced tomato, diced cucumber, and diced onion, and drizzle a bit of balsamic on top. Stir, and set aside. (If you do not already have a chopper like this, do yourself a favor and purchase one – this may still be the best, cheapest tool in my kitchen and it will cut your time drastically when chopping.)
Now, in a third bowl, put a few tablespoons of greek yogurt and add the dill. Stir.
Once your tempeh has done marinating, place a skillet on the stove on medium heat. Instead of adding olive oil to the pan, just add some from your marinade. Now, place the tempeh in the pan and let it cook until one side browns; turn them, let the other side brown. In the meantime, toast your pita (or naan).
To assemble: Place your pita on a plate, add a few strips of tempeh, then a couple of tablespoons of your tomato/cucumber mixture. Top with a tablespoon of greek yogurt. Enjoy!
Check out these other recipes for tempeh: