Sweet and Sour Tempeh with Vegetables over Brown Rice Pilaf
- Sweet and sour tempeh:
- 1 cup tamari (a type of soy sauce made without wheat, available in Asian markets and health food stores)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 (8-ounce) packages soy tempeh (available in health food stores)
- 3/4 cups pure maple syrup, or more to taste
- 1 1/4 cups brown rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup arrowroot (a thickening agent, available in health food stores)
- 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
- 4 small onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 head of green cabbage, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 3 ears of yellow corn, kernels cut from cobs
- Brown rice pilaf with roasted peanuts and cilantro:
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 cups uncooked basmati rice, rinsed well
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
For sweet and sour tempeh: Whisk 1/2 cup of tamari, water, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Cut each tempeh square in half, then cut each tempeh piece horizontally in half.
Arrange the tempeh pieces in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour at room temperature or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
Preheat the broiler. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil. Transfer the tempeh pieces to the baking sheet, reserving the marinade.
Broil for 5 minutes, or until the tempeh is golden brown. Turn the tempeh over and brush with a little of the reserved marinade. Broil 5 minutes longer, or until the tempeh is golden on top.
Cut the tempeh into 1/2-inch squares. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup tamari, maple syrup, vinegar, and arrowroot into the reserved marinade. Set the sweet and sour sauce aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and crushed red pepper in a heavy large frying pan with high sides or a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onions and sauté for 2-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the celery and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and corn kernels, and sauté for 2 minutes.
At this point the vegetables should be crisp-tender. Add the broiled tempeh. Stir in the sweet and sour sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the flavors blend and the sauce thickens slightly. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and serve with the rice.
To make brown rice pilaf with roasted peanuts and cilantro: Heat the oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the ginger and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the water and salt.
Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer gently without stirring for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. Using a fork, toss the peanuts and cilantro into the rice. Transfer the rice mixture to a bowl and serve.