Tempeh with Soba Noodles & Braised Kale

tempehWhen it comes to ingredients I generally try to keep it short and simple. And then there’s the times when I splurge, but don’t be intimated. I promise you this dish is easy to make and happens to be vegan/gluten-free (be sure to read the labels on the King Soba noodles to find the GF ones.) Plus if you’re like me and a creamy peanut butter sauce sounds more than appetizing, read on.

Psst, first I want to share an insider tip about cooking tempeh (a fermented soybean product.) Whether this is your first time using it in a recipe or you’re a seasoned tempeh eater like myself- there’s a little trick to keeping it a bit more moist and juicy: before you pan-fry or saute it, boil it. Yup, take the tempeh out of the package, toss it into a pot of boiling water and cook it for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time you can spare. The longer you boil it, the less dry it will be when you crisp it up in the oil…you can experiment and see that it really makes a difference. Now on to what seems to be our winter dietary trend…healthy comfort food. Eat up!

You need:
1 package King Soba noodles (we used the Brown Rice Wakame)
1 package tempeh diced into 1-inch cubes (we used Lightlife Soy)
grapeseed oil (great for cooking at high temps)
2 bunches of kale, rinsed and chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup water
4-5 scallions
sea salt
black pepper

Sauce:
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/8 cup tamari
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup water (for consistency)

In a blender, simply puree these ingredients together.

How to:
Cook the soba noodles according to the package. In a skillet, add 1-2 inches of grapeseed oil on medium heat. Remove your tempeh from the boiling water (see above) and put it in the skillet, cooking it until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side.) Then take the tempeh out of the pan and put it on a paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil. Meanwhile, in another skillet, add the coconut oil. Toss in the ginger and garlic, saute for about 30 seconds. Add the kale and water- stir and saute for 4-6 minutes…the kale will turn a beautiful green color and wilt slightly. Remove from the heat and using tongs put the kale, tempeh, and noodles all together in a large serving bowl. Pour the sauce over everything, while tossing gently with the tongs and garnish with scallions. Yum! Serves 4-5.

Tasteful Tips: Because tempeh is made from the whole soybean, it contains all of the bean’s naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. This plant-based soy protein has a chewy, grainy consistency that makes it a good substitute for meat in many recipes.

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