Tempeh Rancheros (B-)

August 24, 2006 at 7:57 am (breakfast, B_minus, Quick weeknight recipe, Tempeh, The Vegan Gourmet)


This recipe is from 15-Minute Vegetarian by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay.Tempeh Rancheros

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
2 Tbsp. diced pickled jalapeno pepper
2 tsp. crushed garlic
2 tsp. pure chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
Several grinds black pepper
12 oz. soy tempeh, cut into 1/2 x 3-inch strips
8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers and saute, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and cook 8 minutes.

Remove the lid and nestle the tempeh pieces into the sauce. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Just before serving time, wrap the tortillas in a tea towel and heat in a microwave oven until steaming hot, about 1 minute (alternatively, you may toast the tortillas one at a time in a hot, dry skillet or over a gas flame, turning frequently).

Serve the tempeh in shallow bowls with a generous helping of sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese and nestle folded tortillas in each bowl.

Yield: 4 servings
Each will have: 401 calories; 16 g fat; 21 g protein; 44 g carbohydrate, 5 g dietary fiber; 3 mg cholesterol.

My notes:

I didn’t follow the recipe perfectly, since I had all green pepper and no red pepper, and fresh tomatoes rather than canned, but other than that I was pretty close.

Although it was a very pretty dish, with red and yellow tomatoes, green peppers, purple onions, and brown tempeh, the flavors didn’t excite me. The tempeh flavor was very strong, and I typically prefer tempeh when the flavor is more muted. This tasted pretty much like raw tempeh with the other flavors added–it didn’t combine to one new flavor. The veggie, cumin, chili combo was okay, but not exciting to me. I think Derek would have liked it though, since it was a relatively strong flavor combo which he tends to like more than me.

On corn tortillas and topped with salsa, more fresh tomato, and a bit of melted cheddar cheese this dish was reasonably tasty, but by itself I don’t think I would make it again. I preferred my bean rancheros that I posted last week to this dish.

This recipe actually reminds me of a dish I made from the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley for a mediterranean style tempeh with tomatoes and olives, that I also didn’t like that much (nor did Derek for that matter).

My favorite tempeh dishes all require baking it in the oven, but I’d love to find a quick stovetop recipe that I really enjoyed. Any suggestions?

Update: I added some Pace Picante Sauce then took the leftovers to work with some corn tortillas and a tomato and thoroughly enjoyed my tacos. Mostly I tasted the crispy corn and the fresh tomatoes, but the tempeh texture was pleasant. Occasionally I got a whiff of something very familiar, but I couldn’t place it–maybe chiliquiles?

Rating: B-

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2 Comments

  1. Two vegetarain cookbooks bite the dust « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] Tempeh rancheros were very pretty but tasted like raw tempeh with the ranchero flavors added on top.  The flavors were too strong and didn’t blend together well. […]

  2. Two vegetarian cookbooks bite the dust « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] Tempeh rancheros were very pretty but tasted like raw tempeh with the ranchero flavors added on top.  The flavors were too strong and didn’t blend together well. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Nigella Lawson Bites […]

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