Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ginger-Raisin Tempeh With Coconut Milk + Fluffy Rice With Cinnamon And Cashews

Ginger-Raisin Tempeh With Coconut Milk + Fluffy Rice With Cinnamon And Cashews Recipe

When you hear an ingredient list that includes coconut milk, raisins, cinnamon, and cashews you know you are in for a sweet treat. Now add in savory ingredients like garlic, ginger and scallions {the holy trinity of Asian cuisine?} and you have an amazing dinner. It is these ingredients that helped me complete the difficult task of choosing just two recipes to prepare  - among a bevy of crave-worthy dishes found in my new favorite cookbook, Clean Food. Normally I share one recipe at a time, but I am sharing these two simultaneously as they pair together so nicely. The tempeh is bold and the rice is subtle and both dishes have similar and complimentary ingredients.  

First the tempeh.  If you are not  familiar it is soy bean based -  an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals and good-for-you soy isoflavones.  I have mentioned before that I am a fan of sauteing and baking tempeh but this recipe calls for steaming it, which I will begin experimenting with in the future. Steaming makes the tempeh puffy and moist and allows the flavor from the sauce to remain pronounced.  I know I have said this about other tempeh dishes, but I will say it again about this one. Prepare this sweet, Asian- inspired dish for anyone who has never had tempeh or does not care for tempeh and you will have a new fan. 

clean food terry walters coconut milk tempeh recipe

Now the rice. I think there are two kinds of rice dishes.  Those that are robust and are the star of the meal, maybe served with a basic steamed fish fillet. Then there are those, like this one, that are a mellow accompaniment to a flavor packed entree. This dish works so well with the tempeh dish that I cannot imagine consuming one dish without the other. The result is fluffy rice with hints of cinnamon, ginger, cumin and orange - a side dish that allows the tempeh to take center stage.

clean food terry walters basmati rice cinnamon cumin recipe

I hesitate to use the word vegan because for those who are not familiar with this way of eating, it evokes a notion of chewing on bland tree bark.  But this is a vegan meal and very much in line with the vegan food I know - healthy, light and bursting with flavor. As a matter of fact, my husband said last night after dinner, "yum, and I feel so good after eating this.  this has got to be good for us, right?". I wanted to say, "it's vegan!". But I didn't want to spoil his Saturday night. The fact that we left all animal products off our plates will be just between you and me. 

Ginger-Raisin Tempeh With Coconut Milk

2 8-oz packages of plain tempeh {in perusing labels, it seems that West Soy brand is the most nutritional}
1 c snow peas {I used peas - this dinner was unplanned}
2 T grapeseed oil {I think canola oil would be fine}
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T fresh grated ginger
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 c coconut milk 
2 T tamari
2 T maple syrup
1 T mirin
5 scallions, chopped
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro

Cut tempeh into bite size pieces and steam for 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, drop in peas and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.  Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute garlic and ginger in oil until soft, about 2 minutes. Add tempeh, raisins, coconut milk, tamari, maple syrup and mirin. Cook for 5 minutes barely stirring so tempeh can begin to brown. If the pan goes dry, deglaze it with a little bit of water. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving platter and top with scallions and cilantro.

Fluffy Rice With Cinnamon And Cashews

1 c brown basmati rice {I used white - unplanned dinner - using what I had on hand}
2 c vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
1 T grated fresh ginger
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t salt
zest of 1 orange
1 T sesame oil
1/2 c toasted cashew pieces (place them in a small skillet over medium until they turn golden}
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro

Soak rice for 1 hour in a bowl with enough water to cover. Drain and place in a large saucepan with stock, cinnamon stick, ginger, cumin, salt and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer low until water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick. Fluff with a fork and toss in sesame oil, cashews and cilantro.

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Source:  Adapted from Clean Food, Terry Walters

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