Tempeh with Ramen Noodles

We made this for dinner this weekend and wanted to share how to make it with you. It's pretty easy. If you've never cooked with tempeh before, give it a try - It's got some great health benefits...contains probiotics (good for the digestive system) high amounts of niacin (vitamin B3) which helps reduce cholesterol, has calcium and copper which increase bone density, contains isoflavones, manganese and muscle building plant based protein. This sautéing method of cooking is what I use often when preparing tempeh. It doesn't have a distinctive flavor, so be sure to season to your liking.

I used 3 pans for this - 1 10-12" skillet (cast iron is my choice), a favorite pasta cooking pot, small saucepan

Ingredients - as you shop, remember how positive it is to buy organic! Clean people/clean earth - it's worth it!

1 pack of any type of tempeh (fermented soy, found in cooler usually somewhere near tofu) I buy tempeh by the case and keep it frozen and handy for when I want to make something fast and tasty (it has a mushroomy flavor and can be spiced with Bbq, Asian, Thai, Indian flavors, whatever you're in the mood for).

2-3 Tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil for skillet frying (I like olive, coconut, avocado, sunflower)

1 onion, sliced

1 lg clove fresh garlic, minced

1-2 cups frozen vegetable mix (depends on how much you want to make) or use fresh veggies, but precook a little so they are tender for serving

2 Tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu (tamari is wheat free, shoyu is not - both are organic and a tasty choice over regular soy sauce)

3 servings of ramen noodles (I found some organic rice ramen from Lotus Foods - very good when you don't want a bowl full of wheat noodles)

Instant gravy (if desired) I used a pack of Road's End organic Shiitake Quick Gravy mix

1/2 pack Gorilly Goods Hillside Pumplin Seeds and Kale (I like to put my partial pack in a jar to keep fresh for another time)

Procedure - Preheat a skillet to medium high with your favorite sautéing oil. Slice the block of tempeh into strips about 1/3" wide. Once the oil is hot and shimmery, place the strips in the medium hot pan and sear until golden. After a few minutes, flip and sauté the other side. Add more oil if needed. The tempeh tastes best when it has a bit of a crispy outside.

When the tempeh has browned on both sides, move them over to one side of the pan. Drizzle a little more oil if needed in the empty pan area and add the onion. Saute a few minutes. Add garlic and stir for another moment. Sprinkle tempeh and onions with tamari or nama shoyu. (I put my fingers over the top of the bottle and dribble it all over everything until it looks to have just the right amount.)

Add vegetables and gently stir everything around to mix. Taste a piece of something and add salt/pepper, or more tamari/shoyu to taste. I also crumbled in a little dried cayenne pepper. I dry a few whole peppers each fall and have them handy for crumbling in to a simmering pan when it needs a touch of heat.

While all this is happening, get your water boiling and throw in  a few blocks of ramen. Cook until soft and breaks apart - just a few minutes. Drain.

I also have some packets of organic shiitake gravy and felt the whole hot pan could benefit from some savory sauce, so I simmered up a quick saucepanful and added it. (I have always been a gravy girl, and have been known to eat something just to have a carrier for some delicious gravy.) This mixed into the ramen and tempeh together like a healthy, yet comforting dish. Perfect for on top of salad greens. 

A tasty way to switch up your salads....We put just about anything on top of our big bowl of mixed greens for dinner. If we're in the mood for something warm, we can heat up thick soup or chili and pour it on top, or mix up some black beans and corn with fresh salsa and avocados as a topper, curried rice with veggies, or spaghetti squash and homemade tomato sauce go right on top of the greens. These are dinner salad meals that carry some warmth for our chilly Wisconsin falls and snowy winters.

Remember, the pièce de résistance is what you top the dish with. For the Tempeh with Ramen, I used Hillside; pumpkin seeds and kale, seasoned with tamari, onion and cayenne which gave a savory crunch and perfect taste complement. Depending what you're having, sometimes the best topping is the Coast -curry cashews with coconut and raisins, sometimes it's the spicy Baha, pumpkin seeds with cilantro and lime. 

Have fun with the trail snacks as you turn them into meal toppers for extra protein and nutrients as well as crunch and flavor. Experiment and send us your photos. We love to hear and see what's cookin'! Enjoy your time in the kitchen and be sure to eat your greens!

We put in a late planting of lettuce and arugula in the home garden. There's still time in some areas to put some seeds in the ground for late fall salad greens. Go for it!