Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Product Review: New Lightlife Tempehtations!

One of the perks of being a blogger is trying new products you may not necessarily pick up at the store. I feel confident that this is part of the reason you registered the domain VeganFoodRulesAlot on wordpress last year.
The Goods:

This was the case for me with Lightlife's Tempehtations. Since moving to Portland (5 years
this September!) and learning my way around a block of tempeh, I hadn't bought any Fakin' Bacon -
Prior to the point in my life where I learned to make sense of what I throw around a kitchen, I had regularly scheduled sandwiches based on this product. It meant so much to me!

Now I make my own tempeh bacon based on the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance, but there was a point in my life Fakin Bacon was one of my favorite things to eat. So, right off the bat, I had faith in Lightlife's new tempeh series, and on top of that - they threw in a package of the strips! I passed out when opening it. Thanks, Lightlife!

Their new tempeh series is basically this: a block of cubed & flavored tempeh, ready to cook or simply warm, wrapped in plastic, and put in a colorful little box. I've tried the Classic BBQ and Ginger Teriyaki - the Zesty Lemon is conveniently waiting in my freezer for future use, I'm thinking over a salad or pasta. Convenience is key here - no need to marinate overnight or bake for 30+ minutes.

Served with soy dipping sauce, wasabi and garnished with sesame seeds.

The big stand out in my Tempehtations trial was this sushi. I clicked on my rice cooker, prepped the filling, quickly sauteed the Ginger Teriyaki tempeh cubes with some garlic in peanut oil, and when it was all ready to go, filled sushi with the tempeh, shredded carrot and avocado and rolled. The tempeh had a nicely mellow Teriyaki taste and didn't overpower the bites, I could also easily see this flavor grilled kabob-style, drizzled with a spicy sesame dressing.

Ready to be rolled:

The first time I tried the BBQ, I sauteed it and served it in a grain bowl with rice, collards, pink beans and hot sauce. Need I say more besides, classic?

Dinner time BBQ tempeh bowl #1 - a quick meal before a trip out of town

The one thing I felt like my bowl above was missing was sauce, but you don't always need your grains coated in sauce.....but below I totally wanted it. I used extra BBQ sauce from a PPK test recipe and heated the second half of the BBQ tempeh in it for a few minutes, and served with roasted mushrooms and cauliflower over quinoa.
I'll out the classic card for tempeh, BBQ sauce and quinoa again. The Lightlight Tempehtations are not sitting in sauce in their little box, so if you like things saucy, take 1-3 minutes and whip up a simple sauce or pull that bottle of Trader Joe's BBQ sauce you keep in the fridge for dipping emergencies out.

Dinner time BBQ Tempeh bowl #2 - a quick meal returning from a trip!

And lastly, I used the dear tempeh strips for a quick couple quick meals that were not sandwich based. Because if you know me, I rarely have bread at home the past few years. Huh, sandwiches? What are peanut butter and jelly doing together on soft bread?

Collards with Fakin Bacon and Roasted Apple Sage Seitan Sausage

Vegan Brunch Chelsea Waffles with chocolate chips;
more collards and tempeh bacon.

Collards cooked with olive oil, garlic, liquid smoke, tamari, hot sauce, teeny bit of maple syrup, broth/water and apple cider vinegar.

I think these products are a great stepping stone for the tempeh-phobic and those looking to incorporate more vegan proteins in their diet! I have no hesitation to cook my own tempeh these days, in fact, I made baked mango ginger tempeh for dinner last night, but there's no denying this product's consumer friendliness. If it had been around when I was younger, it would have been in my fridge! I would have kept an eye on it being on sale. Don't be scared of tempeh, folks.


veggievixen said...

woah, i love your tempeh sushi! what a fab idea.

urban vegan said...

WHo says it's hard being vegan? It's HARD not to try every damn yummy-looking thing out there. That's what's hard.

Mary said...

I love tempeh! So nutty and rich. Like (insert wealthy, crazy celebrity's name here).

I also loved fakin' bacon in high school. I believe I even used to lick the container.

Caity said...

OH MY GOSH. My mouth is watering. I need to find me some of that stuff once I'm done with my 6 week detox. I have decided that I am staying vegan afterwards.


You know in the pre veg days I had *seen* people make collards with piggy.. I never thought of using this fakin bacon instead! Great idea.. yum yum yum.. though I love the french toast (vegan.. chickpea flour) and have had issues making waffles.. maybe I will make some!!
Thanks for the inspiration!

Adriana said...

This is the first time tempeh has looked tempting to me.

Marija said...

That sushi looks delicious (and I bet it was, too).
Great ideas!!!
Thanks for sharing this, and keep the posts coming.

Cafe Cyan said...

Yay for tempeh sushi! Love the stuff from Veganomicon.

Sounds like I will need to expand my tempeh collection - I typically just go for the plain old tempeh.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Yum! That sushi looks great so I need to get my hands on this stuff.

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