Quinoa with brussels sprouts, tempeh, and toasted almonds

March 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm (B_minus (2.5 stars), Fall recipes, Grains, Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe, Tempeh)

I’ve been eying this recipe in Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast for quite a while now.  I love brussels sprouts and I’m always looking for new tempeh recipes.  The recipe is basically a stir-fry.  You saute onion and caraway seeds, add tempeh and a sliced bell pepper, then toss in the halved brussels sprouts, water, soy sauce, and mirin.  The stir-fry is served over quinoa and sprinkled with toasted almonds and a squirt of lemon juice.

It did seem odd to me that you add the red bell pepper before the brussels sprouts, so I switched the order around to keep the pepper from getting overcooked.  I also cut back on the oil.  The recipe worked fine.  All the flavors went together, but we found the dish to be just a tad dull.   I couldn’t taste the caraway seeds at all. The brussels sprouts didn’t get a chance to caramelize.  If I make this again I’ll try to caramelize the brussels sprouts and add something a bit more exciting flavorwise.

Rating: B/B-.

Apparently I’ve made this before because I just found this note in a draft blog post:   This recipe looked like it could be a bit boring, but it was pretty tasty.  I really liked the flavor from the caraway seeds.  I used 1/4 cup oil instead of 1/3 cup but otherwise followed the instructions.  The quinoa was a bit overcooked for my taste, as were the brussels sprouts.  I liked the red pepper, and I usually don’t care for cooked red peppers.  The tempeh had a nice nutty, fatty taste.  I think tempeh does best when cooked or baked in a fatty braising liquid.  The almonds were essential–without them I think the recipe would be a bit too co-op tasting.  I really liked the braised vegetables mixed with the nutty quinoa taste–a very appropriate combination.  Derek also rated this a B.

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