Growing up in California, one of my favourite meals was scrambled eggs with Mexican chorizo sausage. Now I enjoy tempeh “chorizo” crumbled into scrambled tofu every bit as much. The “chorizo” can be made up ahead and frozen, then browned, crumbled, and added to recipes, rather than eaten on its own like a sausage patty—delicious in tacos, burritos, quiches, and empanadas.

8 oz (230 g) tempeh
1 tsp (5 mL) dark sesame oil
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz (115 g) firm tofu, mashed
2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) cornmeal
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp (10 mL) paprika or sweet smoked paprika (pimenton)
2 tsp (10 mL) mashed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or chipotle or ancho chili powder (see sidebar below)
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried oregano
3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cumin
3/8 tsp (1.8 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) fine salt

Cut tempeh into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes. Heat oils over medium-high heat in medium seasoned cast iron skillet. When oils are hot, but not smoking, add tempeh and brown on all sides. Transfer browned tempeh to medium shallow bowl. Mash tempeh roughly with fork or potato masher.

Add remaining ingredients to bowl. Mix everything together well with clean hands. Form into 8 small patties.

Place patties in steamer basket or rack lined with cooking parchment. Steam, covered, over gently boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove patties to plate and cool.

Wrap well and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Patties can also be frozen on plate and, when fully frozen, placed in airtight container and frozen for future meals.

To brown before using in a recipe, cook patties in covered cast iron skillet, greased with a little olive or dark sesame oil, over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side.

Makes 8 patties or 4 servings.

Each serving (2 patties) contains: 174 calories; 14 g protein; 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 353 mg sodium


Storing canned chipotle peppers for future use

After opening the can and using what you need, pop each remaining chipotle pepper into a cavity of a plastic wrap-lined ice cube tray (the tray with smaller, round cavities work well for this), distributing the remaining sauce evenly among the peppers. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze solid. Then pop the frozen peppers into a freezer container and place back in the freezer. The peppers can be mashed to a pulp with a fork when frozen, making it easy to measure out the right amount.

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