Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

After Thanksgiving, the Hubby and I have found ourselves with so many leftovers, and having eaten the same food for two days straight, I decided that I had to get creative or we'd never use any of the food before it goes bad.  After browsing and brainstorming, I decided on two items to recreate: some leftover tempeh and our sweet potato casserole. 

The hubby is not vegan or even vegetarian, so he made a turkey for himself, and needless to say, there is a TON left!  So, I had to figure out something that I could easily make for both of us.  He decided he wanted a turkey salad sandwich, so that meant I had to make a tempeh salad sandwich for myself.  Sounds boring, right?  Not necessarily- lately I've been obsessed with smokey flavor and have on hand at all times smoked paprika, smoked salt (yes you read that right!), liquid smoke and chipotle pepper powder.  So, smoky tempeh salad here I come!  The Hubby wanted chipotle sauce on the side, which I thought was a great idea - bring on the spicy, smoky flavor!  As for the sweet potato casserole, I thought I would turn something sweet into something savory and make croquettes.  The casserole was topped with chopped pecans, earth balance and raw sugar, which I removed and proceeded.  The two recipes I came up with are below.

Smoky Tempeh Salad:

(Serves 4-6)
8 oz. tempeh (I used wild rice) cut into 16 cubes
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup tamari
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2" ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Marinated tempeh
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 scallions, green part only, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper and sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
pinch cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons veganaise

1.  To marinate tempeh, place all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15 minutes or until well flavored.  Remove tempeh from liquid and set aside to cool while preparing the remaining ingredients for the salad.
2.  In a small mixing bowl, place the chopped celery, onion and scallions, the black pepper, sea salt, paprika, liquid smoke, cayenne and veganaise.  Stir together until well mixed.  Once tempeh is cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces.  Stir into the spiced mixture and season to taste.  Smoky deliciousness!  Serve in a wrap with shredded lettuce and tomato or on top of mixed greens with sliced tomato and shredded carrots.
3.  The chipotle sauce was just 1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing mixed with 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder, stirred until dissolved  - this is very spicy!

Sweet Potato Croquettes:

1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 jalapeno, minced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 scallions, green part only, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
black pepper and sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a medium non-stick pan, heat the tablespoon olive oil and add the onion, jalapeno, scallions and garlic.  Saute till fragrant and onion begins to brown.
3.  Place in a medium bowl, along with the pureed sweet potato.  Add the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and season to taste.
4.  Place the panko breadcrumbs on a plate and portion the croquettes.  Using a 1/4 cup measure or a portion scoop, scoop the sweet potato mixture directly into the breadcrumbs.  Flatten into discs.          5.  Meanwhile, place the two tablespoons canola oil into a non-stick pan and heat over medium-high heat.  Once heated, carefully place the sweet potato discs into the hot oil, making sure the discs do not break - they are very fragile.  Lightly brown on both sides.
6.  Once all the croquettes are browned on both sides, place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes (this step is necessary to cook the flour and cornmeal in the middle and help firm up the croquettes).

These are delicious served with vegan sour cream to counteract the sweetness of the potatoes.  I do not recommend using the tofutti brand - it is much better to make your own.  I will type up a recipe for my sour cream, but that will have to wait for another day.   



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