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Tempeh with Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce and Olives

Source: The New Soy Cookbook
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
  Serves 2 or 3
What makes this stew quick and good is the tempeh, which contributes long-simmered heartiness in record time. The shoyu gives the sauce an earthy color and deep, rich taste. When I serve this dish on its own, I like to cut the tempeh into "fingers" about one-third inch wide. If I'm planning to ladle the stew over spaghetti, I prefer to halve the tempeh horizontally and cut it into one-inch squares.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup diced fennel or celery
2 1/2 cups water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
About 1 tablespoon shoyu
1 to 2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano
3/4 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces tempeh, preferably soy, cut into fingers or squares (see introduction)
1/3 to 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion and fennel and saute for 1 minute more, stirring frequently. Add the water and blend in the tomato paste and shoyu. Add the capers (if using), seasonings, tempeh, and olives, and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer the sauce uncovered as you brown the tempeh.

With a slotted spoon, remove the tempeh from the sauce (let surplus sauce drip from the tempeh and brush away any bits of vegetable), and transfer it to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Brown the tempeh on all sides, turning frequently with tongs or a spatula to avoid burning. (I have not found the need to use oil during this browning stage, but add a bit if you are experiencing sticking).

Taste, and add more shoyu to the sauce, if necessary. If serving the tempeh as fingers, set them on a plate and spoon the sauce on top. Alternatively, ladle over spaghetti. Garnish each serving with parsley.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 2 or 3
Calories: 338
Sodium: 509mg
Fiber: 10g
Carbohydrates, Total: 34g
Protein: 18g
% Cal. from Fat: 45%
Fat. Total: 17g
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