Monday, February 4, 2013

Tempeh Hash with Mushrooms and Kale

Tempeh Hash with Mushrooms and Kale

Have you ever had tempeh?  This is a great quick meal that features tempeh as the main source of protein.  It's another recipe from Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbooks.  If you look at the ingredients, you'll notice that there aren't that many!  When I first read the recipe, I was skeptical if it would be flavorful enough.  However, Mollie described this dish as "multilayered and perfectly balanced", and I have to agree!

So what is tempeh?  Tempeh is a vegetarian protein that, like tofu, is made from soybeans.  However, tempeh is less processed than tofu and retains more of the whole soybean, so people who worry about having a lot of processed soy (like tofu and soymilk), aren't as concerned about tempeh.  I like to have it occasionally as a way to mix things up!   It is very dense and chewy and has a much more earthy flavor than tofu.  If you've never had it before, tempeh definitely looks weird, but I think in the right recipes it can be very good.  4 ounces of tempeh has about 20 grams of protein and 240 calories.  It also has a fair amount of fat, but most of that is good fats.  This means tempeh can be pretty filling!  Tempeh is usually sold in 8 ounce packages near the tofu, so one package of tempeh serves 2 people.

Tempeh Hash with Mushrooms and Kale

This is a great easy recipe to try if you've never had tempeh before, or... if you just want another way to cook it!  This recipe makes a LOT and is pretty filling, so we had it with only a slice of sourdough bread on the side.

Tempeh Hash with Mushrooms and Kale

serves: 2

Note:  If you would like to double this to serve 4, I would recommend cooking in a large pot as opposed to a skillet.  A skillet will have a hard time handling all of the kale!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cooking spray (ideally olive oil cooking spray)
  • 8 ounces tempeh, cut into small cubes (this will likely be 1 package of tempeh, feel free to get whatever variety you wish)
  • 1-2 small onions, sliced (should be about 1 cup)
  • 10 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, brushed clean, stemmed, and sliced (1 package)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ounces kale leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped (if you buy a bag of pre-chopped kale, don't worry too much about removing the stems)
  • water (up to 1/4 cup)
  • black pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • handful of feta or Parmesan cheese (optional)


1) Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Once pan is hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

2)  Add the tempeh cubes to the pan and cook the tempeh for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing frequently, until it is golden brown.  During cooking, spray with olive oil spray to prevent sticking if necessary.  Remove tempeh from pan to a dish and set aside.

3)  Add another 1/2 tablespoon of tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the onions.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to brown.

4)  Add mushrooms and salt and stir to combine.  Cover with aluminum foil (or a cover, if your pan has one!) and cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms have shrunk and are cooked through.

5)  Add the tempeh back to the pan.  Pour in the balsamic vinegar.  Stir until combined.  Return heat to medium and cook for about 2 minutes, to give the flavors a chance to meld.

6)  Add the kale a  handful at a time, stirring between additions.  You want the kale to wilt, so add a bit of water as necessary to help this to happen.  When all of the kale has been added and is wilted, season with black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

7)  Serve immediately.  Top with feta or Parmesan cheese if desired.

(recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen)

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