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I created this dish as a healthier alternative to the packaged vegan taco meats that I’ve used in the past (like Yves Meatless Ground Taco Stuffers and Soyrizo).  For sure,  they are delicious (YUM!), but they’re also highly processed (BOO!).  I’m striving to use more whole foods.

Tempeh is a fermented, whole soy food.  My favorite brand is Turtle Island Foods.  The Organic Five Grain flavor contains (organic) non-GMO soybeans, millet, brown rice, sesame seeds, apple cider vinegar, and rhizopus oligosporus starter culture.

Tempeh can have a bitter edge, so it’s best to cut and steam the pieces of tempeh for about 10 minutes before using.  I like tempeh best when it has a chance to soak up flavors from a liquid-based marinade or sauce.  The black spots are molds that are supposed to be there.

Steaming the tempeh.

Steaming the tempeh.

Chopped steamed tempeh.

Chopped steamed tempeh.

INGREDIENTS

1- 8 0z “block” or “cake” tempeh, thawed, steamed and chopped

20 crimini mushrooms, chopped or sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and minced
1/2 red pepper, chopped

Dash garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2-1 t chili powder
1 t oregano
1 t cumin
1 1/2 t salt-free fajita seasoning blend (contains paprika, onion, garlic, black pepper, oregano & cumin)

2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T tamari
1/4 C tomato paste
3/4 C water

Chopped Crimini Mushrooms

Chopped Crimini Mushrooms

ASSEMBLY

While you’re steaming the tempeh, chop the veggies.  Keep the mushrooms separate, but you can combine the garlic, onion, carrots, jalapeno, and red pepper in a bowl.  Combine the spices.  Combine the wet ingredients (vinegar, tamari, tomato paste & water.)  After the steamed tempeh cools, chop it.

I used 2 large saute pans, each on medium heat with a little coconut oil.

In the first pan, saute about half of the veggies, half of the spices and all of the mushrooms.

Sauteed crimini mushrooms, veggies & spices.

Sauteed crimini mushrooms, veggies & spices.

In the second pan, cook the other half of the veggies and spices with the chopped tempeh and wet ingredients.  The liquid marinade will soak into the tempeh.  Cook down some of the liquid, but not all.

Tempeh, veggies, spices and liquid marinade.

Tempeh, veggies, spices and liquid marinade.

Finally, combine the two.  Portion in 1 cup sized wide mouth freezer jars.  Makes 6- 1 cup servings.

Tempeh Mushroom Taco Filling

Tempeh Mushroom Taco Filling

Eat this filling with your favorite taco fixings, in tortillas or as a salad.

Don’t forget the Pinto Bean Dip!

NSNG = No Sugar No Grain

Chinese 5 Spice Gingerbread (GF)

Chinese 5 Spice Gingerbread (GF)

This gingerbread is delicious and “just sweet enough.”

For this, I started with my Sunflower Butter Energy Bar (GF) recipe.  My original goal was to create a gingerbread-flavored version.  However, I decreased the seed butter by quite a bit, and I added some baking soda and vinegar.  This resulted in a fluffy “cake,” rather than a dense “bar.”  The tofu and molasses create a moist sponginess.

I also wanted to use some Chinese 5 Spice that I’d been neglecting.  It contains a blend of star anise, cinnamon, clove, fennel, and pepper.  It smells heavenly!

Don't use it for meat and poultry!

Don’t use it for meat and poultry!

WET INGREDIENTS

1 box (12.3 oz) Firm Silken Tofu (Mori Nu)
1/4 C maple syrup
1/4 C molasses
1/4 C Once Again sunflower seed butter
1/2 C non-dairy milk
1/2 t apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla extract

DRY INGREDIENTS

1/4 C EACH:  quinoa flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour & rolled oats (GF)
1/2 C oat flour (GF)
2 T ground flax seed
3 T fine shred unsweetened coconut
1 t baking soda
1/2 t EACH:  Chinese 5 Spice, cinnamon, ground ginger & cardamom
1/4 t EACH:  salt, coriander & nutmeg

ASSEMBLY

Puree the wet ingredients in a food processor.  Combine with the dry ingredients.  Grease a square glass pan with coconut oil.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  (You can also try baking in muffin liners for 23 minutes.  I’m going to do that next time!)  Cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Chinese 5 Spice Gingerbread - IMG_2260

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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