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Turmeric, miso stew with tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, and potatoes

Sweetened with dates, thickened with flax, and finished with baby kale, this is a rich, spicy stew with lots of strong flavour and colour. If you’re not a turmeric lover, keep the amount low to start.

Ingredients

1/4 cup water
1/2t coarse sea salt
2T scallions, finely chopped (reserve a few inches of green for garnish)
1-3t dried, ground turmeric (to taste — I use 1T)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste — I use about 1/2t)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced, about 1/8″
125g extra firm, high quality tofu, 1/3″ cubes
125g tempeh, 1/4″ cubes (use pasteurized)
1 1/2 cups potatoes, 1/3″ dice (I use organic russets)
1/2 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped
1T lemon juice
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 2″
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened plant milk
3T red miso (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T sesame seed butter
2T milled flax seed
3 cups loose baby kale (leave a few leaves for garnish)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: White, yellow, or other shades of miso will work, but they’ll change the final colour. Use freshly grated turmeric (start with 1T) if you have an easy source. Leave out the garlic if you prefer. A little shredded cabbage added with the plant milk and/or a little cilantro for garnish wouldn’t hurt. Add some fresh blueberries to brighten up the flavour.

Method

Warm a large frying pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the water, sea salt and scallion. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, and other herbs and spices. Saute another minute.

Add the mushrooms. Saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tofu, tempeh, potatoes and dates. Saute another 2 minutes. Add the lemon and deglaze the pan (if necessary).

Add the stock, bring the pan to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover, add the plant milk. Increase heat to medium low.

Simmer another 30 minutes or so uncovered on low heat (as low as you can set it but still simmer) stirring periodically. Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the miso, nutritional yeast, sesame seed butter, flax and kale. Stir to combine.

Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out into bowls. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and a few scallion greens and serve.

Tacos with spicy tempeh, white miso sauce and baby greens

Soft, hand rolled corn tortillas, warm spicy tempeh and lime accented greens make this a lovely and flavourful dish. Fresh tortillas are terrific and when you make them from scratch, you control all of the ingredients. Be sure to use masa harina rather than regular corn flour
for this recipe. This makes eight small tacos.

Ingredients

For the tempeh
1T cooking oil
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T red Thai chili paste (or similar and/or to taste)
250g tempeh, crumbled (use pasteurized)
1/4 cup tamari (or to taste)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4t coarse sea salt

For the tortillas
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1/2T ground flax seed
1/2t coarse sea salt
1 cup hot water

For the white sauce
1 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1T white vinegar
1T sesame seed butter
1T white miso
2T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T cold water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the greens
1T olive oil
1t lime juice
1/4t coarse sea salt
1T nutritional yeast
1 cup loose baby kale
1 cup loose baby spinach

For the garnish
1/2 cup passata (or tomato puree)
1/2t red Thai chili paste (or similar and/or to taste)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste.
2T nutritional yeast

Method

First, start the tempeh, then the tortillas, the white sauce, the greens and the garnish.

In a frying pan with a lid, bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium high. Add the garlic and chili and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tempeh and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the tamari and deglaze the pan.
Add the stock, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

While the tempeh simmers, make the tortillas. Mix the dry ingredients and add the water. Stir to form a smooth, pliable dough, neither too dry nor moist. If the dough is too wet, add more masa 1T at at time; if too dry, add water 1T at a time. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts, and flatten each into a 2-3″ round disk. Cover the dough with a damp cloth while you press the tortillas.

Heat a frying pan on medium high heat. If you have a tortilla press, follow the instructions provided.
If you don’t, roll the tortillas out gently between two sheets of plastic wrap into rough circles about 1/8″ thick, about 5-6″ in diameter. It’s the peeling of the tortilla that’s of the most difficult part — go slowly. Carefully peel and add the tortilla and cook until the top of the tortilla is start to look dry. Flip and cook the other side (it should be about 1 minute each side, a little more on the first, a little less on the second).Little brown spots make a tortilla look lovely. Repeat for the remaining 7 tortillas and cover with a warm, very lightly damp tea towel.

Let the tortillas rest for about 20 minutes to cool and soften until you’re ready to use. The tortillas will keep, but you’ll likely have to steam them to use them later. At the 40 minute mark, preheat the oven to 450F. In a shallow pan with sides, bake the tempeh for another 20 minutes or until the moisture has been absorbed the tempeh has started to brown. Ovens vary; use the colour as your guide. Don’t overcook.

Start the white sauce and broil the tempeh for another 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan, bring the soy milk to a simmer. Add the sea salt, miso, sesame seed butter and vinegar. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered. Slowly add the tapioca solution stirring continuously until it thickens.
Remove from heat and season to taste. Remove the tempeh from the oven. Let the white sauce and the tempeh cool for a few minutes.

While they cool, whisk the dressing for the greens and toss. Whisk the ingredients for the garnish.
To assemble, fill each tortilla with 3-4T tempeh, 2T white sauce, 1/4 cup greens and then about 2t passata mixture. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and serve.