Tempeh has a definite affinity for lemon and other citrus. This interpretation of a classic Middle Eastern dish will have your guests asking for more! Simmering the tempeh in broth before frying it results in a subtle yet rich flavour. To reduce the sodium further in this dish, be sure to rinse the brine from the olives, as instructed. You could also use fewer olives or use a low-sodium brand, if it is available.

3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium vegan “chicken-style” broth, divided (see recipe here)
2 - 8 oz (230 g) packages tempeh
1/2 cup (125 mL) whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp (15 mL) nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) fine salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine or white vermouth
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 medium lemons
1/2 cup (125 mL) large cracked, pitted green olives, rinsed and drained well
1/2 cup (125 mL) large pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and drained well
1/4 cup (60 mL) Italian parsley, chopped

Bring first 2 cups (500 mL) broth to simmer in wide skillet or sauté pan. Add tempeh and simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Lift out tempeh using wide spatula and place on plate. Rinse out pan and dry. Quick-cool tempeh in freezer while you assemble remaining ingredients.

Mix together flour, yeast, and salt in shallow bowl. Remove tempeh from freezer and cut each rectangle horizontally in half, and each half into 3 rectangles. Coat rectangles all over in flour mixture.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in same pan used to simmer tempeh. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add coated tempeh and brown on both sides. Remove tempeh from pan to plate and add onions and garlic to oil remaining in pan. Sauté onions and garlic, stirring vigorously and adding drops of water as needed to keep from sticking, until softened. Add wine and cook until almost evaporated. Stir in oregano, cumin, lemon juice and zest, remaining broth, and olives.

Slide in browned tempeh pieces and cook down until tempeh is coated and sauce has thickened to your liking.

Serve tempeh and sauce over steamed brown basmati rice, bulgur, or quinoa, and sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 318 calories; 18 g protein; 19 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 22 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 590 mg sodium

source: "Tempeh for Dinner", alive #358, August 2012

About the Author

Bryanna Clark Grogan is the author of World Vegan Feast (Vegan Heritage Press, 2011) and eight more vegan cookbooks. veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com