Thursday, January 12, 2012


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I'm still toiling away on the palm-oil-free vegan "butter" recipe (and have invented a "shortening" as well, as you can see).  I'm waiting for some more supplies to arrive before I can finish up some refinements and share it with you!  (UPDATE: See this page for the "Buttah" recipe. )
So, for now,  here's one of the few tempeh recipes that my husband actually enjoys!

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Makes 9 burgers 

DH ordinarily dislikes tempeh, but he loves these. They are moist and tasty. I usually double this recipe and freeze leftovers. I use a food processor and/or mini-chopper to mince everything finely, which saves alot of time. The pre-steaming of the burgers cooks the gluten and keeps the burgers moist. After they are cool they can be browned in a non-stick pan (or seasoned cast iron, or carbon steel, or hard-anodized 
skillet, or a flat indoor grill. I have been working on this recipe off and on for a few years. (Sorry the pics are so fuzzy!)
Note:  If you prefer to serve these on a bun, check out the homemade vegan bun recipes at this blog post.

TVP Mixture:
1 cup textured soy protein granules (these are the best) OR Soy Curl Crumbs (either save them from the bottom of your Soy Curl bags, or purchase)
7/8 cup boiling water mixed with a vegetarian broth cube, powder or paste for 1 c. broth
1 Tbs soy sauce
Steam-Fried Mixture:
1/2 Tbs olive oil or dark sesame oil
water, broth or dry sherry for steam-frying, if necessary
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
6 oz raw mushrooms, minced finely
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs yeast extract (Marmite, etc.) OR 2 T. red or dark miso
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
8 oz tempeh (I prefer the milder 5 or 7 grain tempeh), thawed and crumbled
1 Tbs soy sauce
Additional Ingredients:
1 cup well-cooked cooked bulgur wheat (fine [#1] or medium [#2]
(See Cooking Tip below)

1/2 tsp EACH dried thyme and marjoram, or other herbs or spices that you like
1/3 cup pure gluten flour (Vital wheat gluten)
1/2-1 tsp liquid smoke (OPTIONAL)

1.) In a large bowl, mix the textured soy protein with the boiling water, broth cube, and 1 T. soy sauce. Let stand while you prepare the other ingredients.

NOTE: FOR THE STEAM-FRIED MIXTURE, I mince the garlic in a food processor, then add the onion, chunked and mince it well. After I empty that out, I mince the halved mushrooms in the same processor container-- you don't need to wash it first.

2.) Steam-Frying
Stove-Top Option: Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic til the onion starts to soften, adding a bit of water, broth or sherry as needed to keep the mixture from sticking.

Add the mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in the tomato paste and Marmite or miso, and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer to cool quickly for a few minutes.

Microwave option: This saves time and effort, so it's the one I use. Place the onions and garlic in a microwave-safe pie plate or casserole with the oil, and cover. Microwave 5 minutes. Stir in the minced mushrooms and microwave 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and Marmite or miso, and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer to cool quickly for a few minutes.

3.) Crumble the tempeh into a bowl and stir in the 1 T. soy sauce. Mash it with the tines of a fork, mixing well.

4.) Add the bulgur, herbs, and optional liquid smoke, if using, to the soaked TVP mixture. Mix in the tempeh and the cooled sautéed mushroom mixture. Mix well.

5.) When the mixture is on the cool side (you can spread it on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for a few minutes for a quick cool-down), add the gluten flour (don't add it to a hot mixture, or it will be” stringy"). Mix well again.

6.) Divide the mixture into 9 / 1/2-cup balls and pat into patties (4" across) with wet hands. I pat them down on a baking parchment-covered cookie sheet to get an even shape.

7.) Steam over simmering water for 20 minutes. (I line the steamer with cooking parchment, with holes poked in it with a bamboo skewer.) Place on cookie sheets and chill thoroughly before stacking with sheets of waxed paper in between and refrigerating or freezing in a rigid plastic container with a tight lid.

8.) To brown, use a seasoned cast iron, carbon steel or hard-anodized skillet with a bit of olive or toasted sesame oil, or a flat sandwich grill. Serve on buns, or on their own with a favorite sauce or gravy.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
 138.9 calories; 22% calories from fat; 3.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 221.3mg sodium; 329.5mg potassium; 13.4g carbohydrates; 1.5g fiber; 1.4g sugar; 14.7g protein, 2.8 points.

Cooking Tip:
To cook bulgur wheat--
 use a fine or medium grain bulgur. Bring 1 cup bulgur to a boil in a small saucepan with 2 cups water and a little salt. Turn down to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Use leftovers for a dinner grain side dish, like rice.



Matt said...

Bryanna, I admire you for taking on the challenge of vegan butter. Do keep us updated, it's an interesting project! Look forward to trying these burgers, too! :)

Pat Meadows said...

Hi Bryanna - I ordered (Laura) soybeans this afternoon and noticed that Fairview Farms is now shipping them to Canada - just thought you might be interested. Fairviewfarms dot com.
Pat Meadows

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks Matthew-- I will!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hi, Pat! let me know how they work for you!

Kerstin said...

Have I tokd you lately that I love you?
If anyone should be able to come up with a really vegan butter, it's got to be you :^)
Kudos from Germany!