Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade Tempeh Bacon

Since working in the bakery, I have noticed that my breakfasts are becoming stranger and stranger.  At least, I am sure others would think so.  The girls I work with eat the same things I do, more lunches or dinners for breakfast.  None of us really eat any of the baked goods anymore - I don't think I will ever really appreciate them the way others do just because I am around them all of the time now.  When I came in to work on Sunday, I noticed some leftovers from lunch the day before.  I looked like burger fixings.  So I asked one of my coworkers that had worked that day what they had had for lunch.  She said they had had BLT's two days in a row for lunch.  BLT?  Yum!  It's been so long since I've had a BLT and it sounded so good.  I have definitely not had one since I've lived in ny, which is a little over three years.

Suddenly, I had to have it.  I bought a package of the tempeh fakin bacon from the store downstairs, which cost almost $6!  That's so much for like 8 oz. of seasoned tempeh.  But when I toasted in it the pan, added some fresh organic tomato and red leaf lettuce with some veganaise on a sprouted grain bread, it was heaven!  I did not remember a BLT tasting so good!  So guess what I had for breakfast three days in a row?  BLT's!  But when I finished the package of tempeh bacon, I was thinking that it was just so ridiculously expensive, and there had to be a way to make it myself, just as delicious, but cheaper!  So this was my experiment.  I found a base recipe online, but I modified it to suit what I thought would be the most delicious and marinated it for several hours - at least four.  I think it would be awesome marinated overnight as well.  I think the reason the store bought tempeh is so delicious is that it is sitting in its own marinade for weeks, months maybe and it is super-marinated.  When you think about how long its been sitting there, it's pretty gross and definitely makes me want to eat something more fresh.

Tempeh Bacon:

The Marinating Bacon!

(Will make at Least 6 sandwiches)

1 8 oz pkg. tempeh (I used the 3 grain variety)
1/3 cup shoyu or tamari
2 tablespoons agave
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1.  Cut the tempeh in half burger-wise.  Cut each half into strips as thin as you can, making sure they are stable. 
2.  In a medium bowl, add the shoyu, agave, liquid smoke, vinegar, sesame oil, paprika and pepper.  Whisk together until all the ingredients are well combined. 
3.  Place the sliced tempeh in a container with a lid and layer them carefully one on top of another, being sure to pour a little of the marinade over top of each layer.  Pour the remaining marinade over top, twirling around, evenly coating the tempeh slices.
4.  Allow to marinate for several hours to overnight. 
5.  You can use this in many recipes: BLT's, twice baked potatoes, crumbled on top of a spinach salad.  The best way to cook the bacon is to discard the marinade, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a saute pan and once it's hot, cook the tempeh on each side until crispy and lightly browned.  This is so delicious!



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