Smoky Tempeh and Chard Stew
After the early bedtime on Sunday, I thankfully got my mojo back in the kitchen! My brain and body got the rest they needed for me to become prolific in the kitchen once again.
The next day, after work, I tackled the rest of my week’s menu which included this smoky tempeh and chard stew, adapted from Appetite for Reduction. It came together seamlessly, as I prepped while things steamed, fried and simmered.
I obviously decided to make this stew last week, when we were in the midst of heavy, dreary rainy weather. It was a hearty stew, and after a few tweaks, filled with ingredients already in my kitchen when I didn’t want to head out to the grocery store. Unfortunately, by the time I made it (or fortunately, depending how you look at it), the weather turned around completely. This week we have been enjoying sunny, bright days with highs around 18C. Perfect, spring weather. More akin to spring salads, but this smoky tempeh stew still tastes great.
It is a lovely, hearty stew. It is filled with a tomato-based sauce with a smokiness coming from sweet smoked paprika. Carrots are added for additional flavour and you have a good nutritional punch from Swiss chard, or your favourite green. In fact, I liked using the stems from the Swiss chard for additional crunch (don’t discard the stems!). Tempeh is steamed, then fried to get a crispy coating, and added for an interesting texture and source of protein. While the original recipe called for frozen lima beans, I used frozen shelled edamame instead. Together, we have a winning combination of a hearty, healthy and filling stew. Perfect for the winter, or rainy days, but I am certainly not complaining about the wonderful spring weather that has finally arrived.
Smoky Tempeh and Chard Stew
1 tbsp canola oil, divided
8 oz tempeh (if you don’t have tempeh, I feel like 2 cans of white beans or chickpeas would be a great substitute)
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp lemon pepper (or freshly ground pepper, to taste)
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 bunch (350g) Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped, leaves finely chopped (or kale, spinach, , etc)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine or water
28-oz canned crushed tomatoes (I used a can of whole tomatoes and mashed them with a potato masher instead)
1 cup vegetable broth
4 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame (or frozen baby lima beans)
salt, to taste
1. Place the tempeh in a microwave-safe dish with half a cup of water. Cover it with a lid and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes. Drain any excess water. Let cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
2. Heat 1.5 tsp of oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add tempeh and fry for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add remaining 1.5 tsp of oil to the same pot over medium heat. Add onion, bay leaves, thyme and lemon pepper and saute until softened and lightly browned, around 6-8 minutes.
4. Add carrots and the stems of the Swiss chard, cover and cook for 10 more minutes until the vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally.
5. Add garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
6. Deglaze with red wine, then add tomatoes, broth, paprika and the leaves of the Swiss chard. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the leaves are evenly cooked. Add edamame and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Remove bay leaves.
7. Serve warm, with a piece of bread and salad.