WHEW! Now I've got the public service announcement out of the way. I feel a little bit like one of those PBS hosts asking for donations. A 30 minute show gets stretched to three. You get 5 minutes of programming stuffed in between 20 minutes of asking for pledges.
Even worse...I've become one of those QVC gemstone hawkers.
Or (gulp)...heaven forbid; Vince, the "slap chop" pitch man!
"You know you wanna vote folks. If you "call" in the next 2 1/2 hours (cause you know we can't do this all day), we'll send you The Homegrown Gourmet for the next Food Buzz Blog Star. Oh and by the way...you'll get a leopard print Shamwow as a bonus."
Maybe you have figured it out by now but in case you haven't...I'm a little left of center!
Well, I have to tell you all about my very first time ever eating tempeh tonight. Yes, I was a strict vegan for 3 years and yes, I am primarily a vegan now (my constant readers know what my cheats are) but I have to admit, I was a tempeh virgin! Dang...there is a screenplay in that somewhere.
I am convinced that the main reason I never tried it was because I was given a samle of barbequed seitan in Whole Foods one day and as a result, developed a pathological fear of fake meat products. For all my seitan-lovin vegan friends...God bless you. I just have to say that was about the nastiest tasting thing I have ever had the misfortune to shove in my face! Imagine this....
= fear and loathing of strangely textured fake meat products
I was too traumatized to try tempeh after that. The guy handing out the samples asked me if I wanted to also taste the teriaki tempeh and I about ran from the store in tears. Maybe that was just my eyes still watering from trying to swallow the bbq seitan! But, I digress.
I'm trying to broaden my horizons though (instead of my behind) so I bucked up and bought a package of coconut curry marinated tempeh a few days ago. It's been sitting in the fridge giving me the evil eye since Sunday. I took it out tuesday afternoon and turned the package over in my hand a few times before chucking it back in the crisper drawer behind a bundle of broccoli ...so the blasted thing couldn't stare at me anymore!
Tonight, I decided it was now or never. I was going to attempt to eat the tempeh and hope I would not need my stomach pumped afterwards! There was a recipe on the box for a stir fry with coconut milk and a bunch of veggies. I didn't follow it exactly. I haven't followed a recipe exactly since i was eight. Anyway, it was close enough for government work as they say.
I fully expected someone to have to call 911 after that first tenuous nibble. It wasn't nearly as horrible as I had expected. A little larger bite this time...just the tempeh ( no veggies on the fork with it). Okay...so far so good. The texture is a little off putting at first but I'm obviously still breathing normally and have not gone into tachycardia. One more large, well browned slice...by itself...Syrup of Ipacac and Alka Seltzer cocktail sitting within easy reach; barf bag ready. Nothing happened. I chewed, gingerly at first and then with a bit more gusto.
The outcome...I lived. I even remotely LIKED it after I got used to the texture. It tasted nothing like moldy Sponge Bob with bbq sauce. Did I absolutley love it...no. I think I may need to do a bit more experimentation and also use the plain (not pre-marinated). However, it is high in protein, low in fat and calories. The one I bought was also moderate with sodium and organic. I'd say if you are curious as I was, give it a try...you know you wanna!
Sorry, I have no pictures of the dish. I am in Ocala at my in-laws house all this week helping out while my father-in-law is out of town so I don't have all my junk with me. A colorful description will have to suffice.