Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tempeh Cheesesteak, Grilled Jalapenos and Baked Cinnamon Honey Plums

I made it extra big so you could see all the delicious Daiya gooey-ness.

This meal was made from half off produce and the last scrapings of our refrigerator which has not been restocked since returning from the beach over the weekend. Both the dinner and the dessert were spawned by the creative genius of Colin and executed by the both of us. And they were both BOMB.

Upfront note: the grilled jalapenos were really spicy. They were good, just a lot for this dish. It may be more prudent to use Anaheim or Poblano if you want to add some kick without the pepper overpowering the dish. Or you could just go all traditional style and caramelize some onions to throw on top. Whatever floats your boat.

Basically, the rest of the dish is broken down like this (Makes 3 Sandwiches - Serves two if one of you is a 25 year old male)
  • 1 package smokey tempeh strips (or you can just liquid smoke and season the tempeh yourself)
  • 3 whole wheat, sprouted buns (Trader Joes)
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 2-3 tsp Italian seasoning or 1 tsp each of dried basil, rosemary and oregano
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sliced mushrooms of choice (we used Crimini because I found them on the speckled shelf - "Crime-in-ee" as Colin pronounces it)
  • 1-2 Jalapenos or other spicy pepper of choice
  • 1/2 cup Daiya 
  • 1/4-1/2 cup plain soymilk
  • 2 Tbs Vegenaise or other vegan Mayo substitute
Place your tempeh strips in the oven on a low temperature and let them crisp up a little bit. I did ours on about 300 degrees for 10 minutes, but you can cook them however you want (including on the grill if you are savvy like that). Also you might want to throw your buns in at this time if you like them toasty. Or you can just toast them but you might as well share appliance usage since you already have your grill going as well. Let's not be wasteful here.

Slice the peppers into this strips, wrap them in tin-foil and throw them on the grill. This was Colin's job so I can't tell  you the ins and outs of how to grill peppers (or really how to grill anything for that matter) but I do know that he used a little bit of olive oil, some salt and fresh cracked pepper and some pickle brine.

Drizzle your olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and toss in your sliced mushrooms. Saute them for about 10 minutes or until they are soft but not mushy or too liquidy.

In another small saute pan over low heat, start heating your Daiya with a little bit of soymilk. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in more soymilk to keep the cheese soft and smooth. As it continues to soften up, add more soymilk and continue whisking to give it the smooth, drippy texture you see above.

Grab your bun, slather it with a little bit of Vegenaise, top it with your tempeh, mushrooms, peppers and finally, drizzle the whole thing with the softened Daiya.

 So good. Disregard my plating fail on this one - I was literally so hungry that it was hard even to get it onto the plate without just putting the whole thing directly in my mouth. Tasted awesome.

So much deliciousness already and we're not even done yet. 

No meal is complete without a little dessert!

Baked plums and a little bit of So Delicious Swiss Almond ice cream drizzled with honey and cinnamon. Perfect!

Here's the trick.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, cut the plums (peaches work even better) in half and discard the pits. Place a tiny bit of earth balance in the center and then drizzle some honey on top. Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, remove from the oven, throw a scoop of ice cream on top (or in the center) and drizzle the whole thing with honey (or agave if you don't eat honey) and finally, top with some cinnamon!

Viola! So good and so good for you.

Live Long and Prosper Vegans! And don't be afraid to eat dessert.

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