janet @ the taste space

Smoky Tempeh and Chard Stew

In Mains (Vegetarian) on May 12, 2011 at 6:20 AM

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. 🙂

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Simona from Briciole.

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 and the cooked tempeh. 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.

Serves 6.

  1. I’m okay with eating soups or stews in any weather! This sounds wonderful.

  2. This looks really great!

  3. this looks fantastic! i haven’t been cooking with tempeh much lately so this will be a perfect recipe to get back into it. And so packed with nutrition 🙂

    • Hey Nancy, This was great with tempeh, but I think other beans could easily be substituted if you are without – white beans or chickpeas. Sometimes tempeh can be so hard to find!

  4. This looks amazing. Can’t wait to make it.
    I’ve always put off looking for smoked paprika… where do you think I might find it? Whole Foods? Specialty spice stores? Or is it more widely available?

    • Hey Julia, I don’t think it is that hard to find, actually. I have seen smoked paprika in the regular grocery stores here. If that fails, Whole Foods should have it, or a specialty spice store (I bought mine from one in Toronto [House of Spice], as well as from Penzey’s when I went to the US). I have also seen it in Spanish grocery stores [Pimenton in Toronto] where they might sell it as pimenton. Hope that helps!

  5. Salivating stew, simply inviting..

  6. If there are two things in life I really really love, it’s smoked paprika and tempeh. Oh and stews. So three things. I will definitely be making this!

  7. This looks delicious in any weather! I might try it with butter beans instead of the tempeh, (can’t find it here). I love this type of food, hearty, healthy and full of flavour ! 😀

    • Butter beans would be lovely! I agree, though, that tempeh can even be hard to find in a city as big as Toronto! I usually stock up when I finally find it. 🙂

  8. This looks very nice: it has a lot of ingredients I like. I agree that it sounds good in any type of weather. And I am with you: don’t discard the chard stems! I wish recipes that don’t use stems gave useful directions on how to eat them in another context. Thank you for contributing to WHB!

  9. This chard dish looks good. Thanks for dropping by my blog to share the idea.

  10. I really want to like tempeh… I’ve only tried it a couple of times but one of those times it was terrible. Maybe I need to try that microwaving it in water first.

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  16. At what step are we supposed to add the tempeh back into the rest of the ingredients. Did I miss it? I’m making it right now–it’s on the stove!

    • Sorry about that! Hope I caught you in time! Add it back at the end, in step 6, when you add the chard.

      • Oh, thanks so much for your reply! I ended up adding it in when I added the edamame. I figured the tempeh was already cooked and just needed to be heated and allowed to absorb the different flavors. It tasted just great! Smoky-flavored dishes are so good in cold weather. Thanks so much for posting this one.

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