Tempeh is one of the ingredients that terrified me when I was a new vegan, much like tofu. It comes in 8 ounce blocks, is generally brown, and looks like someone smashed a bunch of soybeans into a brick. BECAUSE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID, these magical tempeh makers. Tempeh has a strong, nutty flavor and strangely tastes nothing like soybeans. It’s an excellent ingredient to use in vegan meatballs, can be crusted and baked or fried, and if you boil it with spices it mellows out some of the nutty flavor. I’ve been looking for new ways to use tempeh, and when I came across Tempeh with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, I knew it was meant to be! Trust me, if tempeh makes you nervous, this is the recipe for you.
This recipe is best served with a starch on the side. For example, it would be divine with mashed potatoes. You MUST try this recipe with mashed potatoes. I didn’t, but only because I am out of potatoes. I know, I know. How does that even happen?! Thankfully, I had some cooked barley in the freezer. I tossed the barley with steamed french cut green beans (because those are fancier) and it was a perfect accompaniment to this garlicky tempeh.
Pros about this recipe:
-This recipe uses a lot of garlic! It calls for 40 cloves. I only had about 25, so that’s what I used. Garlic is fantastic for you, and most people don’t eat enough of it.
-The tempeh is delicious. SO GOOD. It is my favorite tempeh recipe so far. I’m going to make it again and again.
-This recipe is simple. All you need is a large nonstick pan, some tempeh, lots of garlic, and a few ingredients that most people have in their pantry already.
Cons about this recipe:
-This recipe uses ALOT of garlic. Yes, this is both a pro and a con. I have some kickin’ garlic breath right now. I’ll have to be careful to pop a breath mint after lunch tomorrow when I eat the leftovers.
-Peeling all the garlic cloves is a labor of love. To be fair, I’m just complaining. You can totally buy those pre-peeled garlic cloves and save your time.
Those are the only two cons. This recipe is SO GOOD.
Extra Thoughts on Tempeh with 40 Cloves of Garlic:
-I only made two modifications to this recipe. I left out the parsley, because I didn’t have any. I also left out the tablespoon of vegan butter, and the oil used for sautéing. If you use a nonstick pan, and a spritz of cooking spray, you can save all the oil calories!
-DON’T skip the step where you brown the tempeh and garlic before adding the veggie broth. It creates a depth of flavor that you just don’t want to miss, and also an amazing crust on the tempeh. If you don’t use any oil whatsoever (including any cooking spray) you can brown the tempeh and garlic in a ceramic pan. Just watch it carefully so that it doesn’t scorch.
I couldn’t find this recipe online, so you’ll have to buy the book (Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen)! It’s worth it. I bought the book, and I’m going to be making this Tempeh again and again.
Vegan Test Kitchen is a way to share my collection of vegan cookbooks with you, my wonderful readers! This way, you can “try before you buy” on many recipes from the best vegan chefs out there