Tempeh ~ Two tasty recipes to tempt your taste buds for Meatless Monday

Tempeh Stew ~ a wonderfully satisfying soup/stew, perfect for a Meatless Monday meal.

Trader Joe's makes very good tempeh...

I was first introduced to the soy product ~ Tempeh ~ by my friend, Karen.  Years (& years :) ago, she shared a savory, tempeh based vegetarian salad with me.  One that she had purchased from a local market in Denver, by the name of Alfalfa's. (who was later bought out by Wild Oats, who was bought out by Whole Foods)  I was instantly smitten.  I had shopped that market many times before, but had never really paid much attention to the deli.  How I missed that little gem, I'll never know!  I discovered that the market had the most wonderful, unusual deli salads ~ full of the freshest ingredients ~ and so many traditional & vegetarian options to choose from.  I was like a kid in a candy shop!  I became an instant deli convert ~ having fun deciding which items to taste test & then deciding which ones to buy/eat now & which ones to take home for later.  I still remember all the fun I had going into that market ~ it was such a great way to get introduced to vegetarian cuisine.  I didn't know it yet, but I was well on my way to becoming a foodie, and this place was a goldmine ~ full of edible goodies, just waiting to be sampled/explored.  Karen & Steve had always had the best salads at their BBQ's & get-togethers, and now I knew their little secret ~ cool!   I've always loved being in-the-know

Tempeh has been my friend ever since & I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try that feature it ~ in either a salad, a side dish or as an entree.  I recently came across these two wonderful recipes (that I made for today's post) from a blog that I follow called ~ The Hungry Hungry Hippie.  I just love reading about what Elise does, day to day & really enjoy trying out some of her recipes.  The recipe for her Tempeh Stew is really easy & really, really good! (really cubed ~ in more ways than one ~haha ~sorry, I crack myself up sometimes :)  She makes hers in the crockpot, but I just did it on the stove, in about 1/2 hour & added some fresh spinach.  It's perfect for a Meatless Monday meal or for anytime you want a satisfying meal that's full of flavor & filling, without being heavy.

Tempeh Salad ~ a WONDERFUL homemade version of Whole Foods Vegan Tempeh Salad

Another one of ~ The Hungry Hungry Hippie ~ recipe's, one that I just love, is her version of ~ Whole Foods Vegan Tempeh Salad.  To put it mildly, it is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!  I felt just like I was back at the deli counter of Alfalfa's ~ oh, so many years ago, and it felt so right!  You can eat the salad as a spread on some sliced bread, or stuffed in a pita, or as part of a big salad ~ or like I did, as a spread for your favorite crackers.  I.am.in.heaven!!!  This is my new favorite vegetarian/vegan salad.  Now, if you want to try either of these dishes for your Meatless Monday meal, but don't have some of the vegetarian/vegan ingredients (like the vegan mayo), don't let that stop you.  Just use what you do have & enjoy it for what it is ~ a really tasty dish ~ that may or may not be vegan.  Like I always say, never let not having a certain ingredient stop you from making/trying a new recipe ~ adopt, adapt & improve!  :)

I hope you give either one (or both) of these recipes a try ~and you don't even have to be a hippie to enjoy them!   ~ peace, love & tempeh ~   :)

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