Monday, 7 January 2013

easy good food: pasta salad with marinated tempeh

I've had a few requests lately for easy, nutritious, fast, after-work vegan food, so this is the first post in an occasional series of easy good fast foods. For the most part they're rounded meals on their own, or close enough. They're my comfort foods, my lazy foods, my whatever is in the house foods. I almost always have the supplies, or most of the supplies, in the house required to make these meals.

They do rely in part on pre-prepared things, but no shame, I mean, I'm not gonna sun dry my own tomatoes, am I? (spoilers: I'm not)

noms on a hot day
We'll start with one of my favourite summer recipes, sun-dried tomato pasta salad with marinated tempeh.

I know! How can something that involves marinating be fast? Trust me on this one. It's great. It's so great I made this salad twice on Thursday last week, and a big batch of it on Boxing Day (not just for me).

To serve two people (maybe three)
Pots and things that will need washing up: two (a pot for pasta, and a frypan, but maybe you can mix the pasta in the pot). Also a colander.
Time: ten minutes for prep, ten-fifteen for cooking
Complete meal: you got your proteins, your fresh vegetables, your grains, your oils/fats, your deliciousness.

You will need:
100g plain tempeh
some five spice powder
little bit of sesame oil (teaspoon or two)
a tablespoon or three of light soy sauce

200g pasta spirals (spirals! very important!)
100g sundried tomatoes (if they're pre-sliced strips, this is easier, but if they're not remember to cut them into strips)
dash of lemon juice
dried chilli flakes to your desired hotness (I usually use about half a teaspoon) (these really should be flakes, by the way, not ground)
big handful of something fresh that you can eat raw (such as snow peas, or capsicum)
handful of nuts or seeds (such as cashews or sunflower seeds)

What you do:
Slice the tempeh thin, like bacon strips or something, then mix together the five spice, sesame oil and soy sauce and marinate the tempeh in it. If there's not enough liquid, add some more. Sometimes I add minced ginger if I have any in the fridge, but it's totally not compulsory. Leave to marinate.

Put on the pasta to boil. Slice up the fresh things (and the sundried tomatoes if necessary) into nice single bite chunks. You will notice this is basically everything. At this point, fry the tempeh in a little vegetable oil until it's nice and brown on both sides.

When the pasta is firm but ready, drain it and then in a bowl (or the pot!) mix together all of those ingredients that aren't the tempeh or marinade, including the things that look like dressing (lemon juice, chilli, and the oil from those sun-dried tomatoes!), and the nuts. Mix well to make sure the dressing is even! Serve with tempeh on top or beside. Eat.

This seems oily, I know, but you control the oil via how much of the sun-dried tomato oil you put in. Other than that, you can change up your fresh veggies, your nuts and seeds, and even swap out the tomato for marinated artichokes or capsicum if that takes your fancy! Don't swap out the spirals, they are perfect for grabbing onto the flavour.
I am submitting this to Cate's Cates for the Substantial Salads Challenge. You should submit stuff too!

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Ooh, I'm going to have to try this one - I just can't imagine how it would taste (so many flavours I don't normally play with), but it sounds fascinating.


PS - I'd love it if you'd consider adding this into my Vegetarian / Vegan Substantial Salad Challenge over on my blog - it's exactly the sort of recipe I was hoping might appear there!