Sunday, June 30, 2019

Southwestern Tempeh Rice Salad

Once upon a time...2010 to be exact, I started creating recipes for what I had hoped would be my very first vegan cookbook of the southwestern variety. I had a group of amazing testers (to whom I owe a big apology and hopefully someday a free cookbook) and was moving right along on creating some spicy, fun and flavorful dishes (almost 100 recipes!). Unfortunately I got distracted, busy, unmotivated, WHO REALLY KNOWS. Bottom line is I am very sad I did not finish the book. Someday it could become a reality. I'm truly hoping it will. In the mean time, there are some noteworthy recipes that have been collecting virtual dust for years. I thought I would give you a little sneak peak. 

It's hotter than hades here again...HELLO SUMMER! So I often get very unmotivated during the week to go anywhere near heat sources. I'm always looking for make-ahead cold dishes for the week days. This one fits the bill. 

I love this recipe for good reason. It is freaking delicious. But more than that, the black beans and tempeh provide lots of protein. The combination of peppers has the spice hitting all over your tastebuds. The rice fills you upon with healthy dose of fiber. 

Warning: this recipe while pretty easy to make, does take some time. To save time you can cook the rice a couple of days ahead of time. You can buy pre-roasted peppers as well. You can buy ranch, but the home made version is really easy and really good! But I get time crunches, so again, feel free to sub away as you need.

Southwestern Tempeh Rice Salad

This makes a good amount so it is great for a potluck or large gathering.

Makes 8 servings

1 cups brown long grain rice (measured before cooking)
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 fresh jalepeno roasted and peeled
1 fresh anaheim chili roasted and peeled
1 red bell pepper roasted and peeled

1-8 oz pkg tempeh
1 t canola oil
1/8 t coriander
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t hot chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 C Vegan Ranch (I used homemade) or Chipotle Ranch (see recipe below)
1 chipotle in adobo sauce (optional, depending on how hot you like it)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 bunch cilantoro chopped
3 green onions sliced thin (both white and green parts)
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t hot chili powder
1/4 t ground coriander
3/4 t salt
black peper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

Prepare your rice (this can be done ahead of time). In a medium saucepan bring rice water and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 35-40 minutes until water is absorbed. Turn off heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and let cool completely.

Now would be a good time to roast those peppers. When they cool, peel and dice them.

Blend the ranch and chipotles until smooth. (eliminate this step if you are using Chipotle Ranch)

To prepare your tempeh:

Dice tempeh into 1 inch cubes. Boil or steam tempeh for 15 minutes. Drain. After draining, in a 10 inch sauté pan, saute the tempeh and spices in oil for about 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool.

In the mean time get yourself a very large bowl. Crumble tempeh into bowl. Mix together remaining ingredients except for the cherry tomatoes until well mixed. Gently mix in cherry tomatoes. Salt and pepper further to taste if needed.

This is best if it sits overnight. It lends itself very well to variations. Like a little less heat? Sub more roasted red peppers. Don't like tomatoes? Forget about 'em. Like it with more fire? Add more jalapeños or chipotles. 

Please leave me a comment if you decide to make it. Love to get some feedback!

Chipotle Ranch

Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup  plus 2 tablespoons vegan mayonaise (I like Veganaise brand)
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot will work)
2 chipotle chiles (canned in adobo sauce), leave seeds intact

Blend all ingredients in blender of food processor. Let chill for at least 4 hours before using. Can store refrigerated for up to  2 weeks.