Sunday, August 7, 2011

A new recipe, and an old favorite: Tomato Rice Soup, Grilled "Cheese" and Tempeh "Bacon"

There's always a certain amount of anxiety I experience when trying a new recipe. I don't deal well with the unknown, particularly when it comes to dinner. Or maybe it's more that I really don't deal well with the disappointment I feel after spending an hour creating a meal that I just don't like. Well this recipe verifies those fears.
I've made the Creamy Tomato Soup from Veganomicon by Moskowitz before, and that recipe, minus the sun dried tomatoes, is really good. Tastes just like the Campbell's version I remember from my childhood.  This recipe, Tomato Rice Soup also from Veganonmicon, I figured would be the same flavor with the addition of rice. I can't tell if the fail is because I used Nature's Promise canned crushed tomatoes, which it very well could be. Canned tomatoes vary considerably in taste if you ask me. Usually I buy Muir Glen's tomatoes if I need canned. Or it could just be that there are too many differences in the ingredient list. Who knows. Either way, I wasn't pleased and ended up trying in vain several things to make this soup taste good to me. My dinner guests weren't impressed either, with the exception of Riley. He LOVES the soups I make, this one included.

Anyhow, they don't have either tomato soup recipe on, or the recipe for Tempeh Bacon. Maybe in the future I'll get the motivation to type up the Creamy Tomato Soup recipe, you'll have to be patient and surprised. I will gladly share the bacon recipe though.

For the Marinade:
3 TBL soy sauce
1 TBL liquid smoke
1 TBL pure maple syrup
1 TBL apple cider vinegar
1 TBL olive oil
1 TBL tomato paste (it's recipes like this one that makes me thank GOD they make the toothpaste tube-like tubes of tomato paste.)
3/4 c vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, crushed. (But I sub Spice Islands Garlic Powder, when I'm lazy or low on garlic. It really tastes like raw garlic. I should see if they will sponsor my blog.....)

To Cook:
8 to 12 ounces tempeh, cut width wise into 1/4 inch slices
1 TBL olive oil

In a wide shallow bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Add tempeh slices and marinate at least an hour. (I've done less because I usually forget to marinate them earlier, and it still tastes goood.)

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Panfry the tempeh in the oil for about 7 minutes, flipping occassionally and adding more marinade as you go. that's it.

**It usually takes me longer than 7 minutes, since I like them browned. And I like to add all the marinade (not all at once though) and let it reduce to a delicious coating (if you do this, definitely turn that heat up to high while it's reducing or you'll be there all day.)

I really love this recipe. It fills your house with a guilt free smell of bacon, and tastes equally as delicious. 5 stars. Also, I think it's a good starter recipe for those afraid of tempeh.

Then, if you go all out, you bake grilled cheese sandwiches to go with. And if you want to go totally Vegans Gone Wild, you put the bacon IN the grilled cheese. I usually wait til the cheese has cooled and shove them in then, rather than before you bake them, but that's only because I'm usually cooking the tempeh while the grilled cheeses are in the oven. Here's how I do it: but obviously I used Follow Your Heart's Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella (or Daiya Mozzarella if I've been to wegmans that week), shredded, And a vegan margarine (transfat free), like The Best Life margarine or Earth Balance. Olive oil would work fine too. This recipe browns the bread gorgeously, you get to make 6 sandwiches at once, and the vegan cheese is molten lava when you take them out. So be careful, and don't sue me. All I have are my cook books, which are all grody with food and spills, and the pages are all warped and crinkled.  Recipe: click here

As you can see, two carrot man ratings have been added. The top one is Disgusted Carrot Adam Duritz. I mean 'Man'. He couldn't eat the soup, no good. Inedible.

The second is Extremely Satisfied Carrot Person. The tempeh bacon is sooo goood, he died. His soul couldn't bear any more tastiness, and departed his root.

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