Tempeh and Vegetable Stew in my new french oven, or Peter Berley does it again.

I had wanted to prepare this dish a few weeks ago, but after reading the recipe I noticed that it required a pot that you could transfer from stove top to oven and back again. I wasn’t sure if my pots were up to this, so I refrained. Although I am sure that you could modify the recipe and use two pots, I figured why not use this as an opportunity to get another piece of cookware for the kitchen.

Sometimes we need an excuse, don’t we?

My husband complied, and instead of getting me a boring cast iron dutch oven, he delighted me on my birthday with a beautiful enameled cast iron 3 quart french oven!

Now that I had the appropriate cookware, I decided that I would make this delicious stew out of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast.  I was excited to use my new pot and to cook with tempeh, something I had not done before.

After preparing a few recipes from two of Berley’s cookbooks, I should not be surprised with how amazing this dish turned out.  So far everything I have cooked of his has been fantastic.  To be quite honest, I am putting off purchasing The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen and Fresh Food Fast, because I wonder if I will every use any of my other cookbooks again. Realistically though, when these go back to the library in a few weeks I will undoubtedly place an order for them.

The only unfortunate thing about the meal was that I was unable to get the sauce to thicken.  Perhaps I was too hungry to take the time needed.  Of course the sauce was still delicious, but a thick texture would have made the dish even more stew-like.

To round out the meal, I took Berley’s recommendation and served it atop a bulgur and kasha pilaf.  A pleasant nutty departure from brown rice, our usual grain of choice.  Happily, we have enough left over my lunch and dinner for both of us tomorrow.

After tasting the delicious meal that I served tonight EPC did not have any regrets about spoiling me with a new french oven.  I guess this is another example of one good turn deserving another.  However, with a 30 year warranty he will be eating delicious meals out of that pot for many years to come.

Tempeh and Vegetable Stew

4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 8-ounce packages of tempeh cut into 1-inch squares
4 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 medium onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 large yam, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder

  • Preheat the oven to 375°C
  • Heat the olive oil in a 3-5 qt dutch oven medium heat
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and rosemary and lay the tempeh on top
  • In a small bowl whisk 1 cup of water with the soya sauce and maple syrup.  Pour this over the tempeh
  • Add a layer of onions, yam, parsnip and carrot over the tempeh- in that order.  Cover and bring to a boil
  • Put  into the oven and bake for 30- 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender
  • Transfer the vegetables and tempeh to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon and reserve the juices.
  • In a small bowl whisk the arrowroot in 1 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of soya sauce.  Pour into the dutch oven and stir constantly over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Pour the thickened sauce over the vegetables and tempeh and serve.

Serves four

Click to print

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