Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Tempeh’ Category

Summer joy: Cooking fresh vegetables

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Just cooking some dinner. Starting at upper left and going roughly clockwise, we have:

• Russian red garlic — I used two of the (enormous) cloves
• ginger root — I used all of the piece shown
• turmeric root — just below the ginger and mostly hidden — chopped fine
• red habanero pepper — just to the right of the ginger; I seeded this and chopped it
• 2 red cayenne peppers — above the habanero; I chopped these without seeding
• 3 garlic scapes — mostly hidden; cut into short sections
• 2 long sweet peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow — seeded and chopped
• 1 zucchini — quartered lengthwise and cut into good-sized pieces
• a few kale leaves — chopped
• diced red kidney bean and millet tempeh, marinated in Smoky-Maple overnight
• 1 leek, chopped including leaves
• a few scallions, ditto
• several crimini mushrooms, sliced
• a few spears asparagus, chopped
• 1 San Marzano tomato, chopped

That’s my Bulat knife in the photo. Not shown but added:

• a couple of pinches of MSG
• a good amount of ground black pepper
• roughly 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
• roughly 1.5 tablespoons dried mint
• good shaking of salt substitute (potassium chloride, iodized)
• good dash of tamari — a tablespoon or two
• about 1/4 cup Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar

I added all of the above to my 12″ MSMK nonstick skillet which was sprayed with about 1.5 teaspoons olive oil, covered the skillet, turned the induction burner to “3,” and cooked it for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


And here it is after cooking.

It tastes good, and the presence of the habanero is definitely noted. It was a good decision to use only one. (I bought three.)

The Smoky Maple Marinade is a hit, and the tempeh tastes great. I think I probably should have used the entire 8 ounces I made. I’ll add the rest now and cook the dish a bit longer. 

Overall, a good meal. Other elements of the Daily Dozen I got earlier — for example, the chia pudding included spices (cinnamon and cloves), walnuts, flaxseed, and berries (frozen berries plus dried barberries plus 1 teaspoon amla). And I had a 1.71-mile walk (3.32 mph, so 31 minutes).

Update: I added the rest of the tempeh, including the marinade, and cooked for six minutes. I just had a bowl of that — also delicious. Also, the aftereffect of the habanero (and cayenne, I imagine) is a sustained warmth in the mouth — not heat, not painful, but warm and pleasant.

Written by Leisureguy

16 September 2022 at 4:31 pm

Smoky Maple Tempeh Marinade

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While I was walking, I got to thinking about dinner and decided I wanted to marinate my tempeh before I used it in a stir fry, so I did a search and found this one (a couple of adjustments made in the version below):

Smoky Maple Tempeh Marinade

• 1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tsp liquid smoke
• 1/2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1 garlic clove, crushed

  1. … Add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. Alternatively, add all the ingredients into an air-tight jar and shake until combined. You can either store the marinade in the refrigerator or freezer as is or marinate the tempeh (steps below).
  2. Pour marinade over tempeh in a freezer-safe container or bag and toss until tempeh is fully coated in the marinade. Each marinade is enough for 8 ounces of tempeh.
  3. Immediate Use: Refrigerate and let the tempeh marinate for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight).
  4. Freezing: Transfer the marinated tempeh to the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, place the frozen marinated tempeh in the refrigerator overnight or until completely thawed. Alternatively, place the tempeh in a bowl of hot water and change water as it cools until thawed. Now the tempeh is ready to be cooked!

I cut off a chunk of my red-kidney-bean-and-millets tempeh that weighed 7.9 oz. (Good eye, eh?) I diced it bite-size put it in a Glasslock storage container, and poured the marinade over, snapped the lid in place, and gave it a shake. It will marinate a total of two hours, and then I’ll make my stir-fry.

Written by Leisureguy

12 September 2022 at 3:00 pm

Red Kidney Bean and Millet Tempeh done

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This is the red kidney bean and millets (fox-tail millet and little-millet, both unpolished) that I started three days ago. It fermented about 75 hours total. The very pale areas in the photo are an artefact of the lighting. 

It turned out okay, though I think the millet was a bit challenging. Here is a cross-section:

This will meet my bean and grain quota for a few days. I think I had better luck with my soybean and kodo millet tempeh, and also with my chana dal and barnyard millet (which was more matched in size).

It definitely has a different look.

Written by Leisureguy

9 September 2022 at 6:26 pm

Peppers galore!

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Our produce market had many peppers of different varieties so I got a selection:

• Red cayenne peppers
• Red habanero peppers
• Pale green Hungarian peppers
• Banana peppers, some red, some yellow, some orange
• Dove peppers, some yellow, some red

I just made a dish to use a bunch of the peppers. I sprayed my MSMK 12″ nonstick skillet with a few sprays of EVOO and then added:

• 3″ or so of ginger root, sliced thin and then minced
• 3 large clove Russian red garlic, sliced thin on garlic mandoline

I let that rest for 10 minutes, then put it into the skillet along with:

• 2 San Marzano tomatoes, diced fairly large (quarter lengthwise, then cut into pieces)
• 1 seedless lemon, peeled and then diced (as described at the link)
• 1 large yellow zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into thick pieces
• 3 red cayenne peppers, chopped small
• 1 Hungarian pepper, seeded and chopped
• 3 banana peppers (2 red, 1 yellow) seeded and chopped
• 1 bunch scallions, chopped
• about 1/4 cup walnuts
• about 8 oz soybean and Kamut tempeh, diced medium-large
• about 8 stalks asparagus, chopped
• 4 or 5 leaves kale, chopped
• 1 large baby bok choy sliced
• about a tablespoon of dried mint
• about a tablespoon of dried majoram
• about two tablespoons dried oregano
• about 1 teaspoon MSG
• about 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
• about 2 teaspoons Windsor salt substitute (iodized)

I covered the skillet turned my induction burner to “3” and cooked it for six minutes. The I stirred to mix, covered again, and cooked on “3” for another six minutes (the last two minutes with cover removed).

This will be enough for several meals. I have some Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce and some Kikkoman Stir-Fry Sauce and I’ll use one of those on a bowl. I also have some fermented raw Stokes Purple potatoes, diced, and I think I’ll put some of those in a bowl, top with the dish I made, and add some sauce.

When I write up what I’ve done to make a dish, I’ll often forget an ingredient or two; when I remember, I return to the post and revise the recipe — in fact, I just remember something I left out: a diced peeled lemon — so I’ll add it now.

I’m having a bowl. Damn good.

A couple of additional notes

First, I use tempeh just because I like it, and also it takes care of two Daily Dozen categories: each meal (if you follow the Daily Dozen) includes both beans (or lentils) and grain (or pseudograin like quinoa, amaranth, or buckwheat). By making tempeh that includes both, in a 50-50 ratio, I can use a serving of tempeh to meet that requirement. And, as I said, like tempeh. I also like to make it. But certainly one could just eat some beans and also some (intact whole) grain.

Second, I put the above meal together by just looking around and seeing what I had on hand. But take a look at how it relates to the Daily Dozen and, parentheses, what I had in mind.

• ginger root – Other Vegetable (good health benefits, says Johns Hopkins University)
• garlic — Other Veg (good taste, health benefits, with excellent prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS))
• tomatoes — Other Veg (good source of lycopene if cooked; umami; adds liquid)
• lemon — Fruit (vitamin C, acid to brighten taste, adds liquid)
• zucchini — Other Veg (good fiber, good taste, adds liquid)
• cayenne peppers — Other Veg (capsaicin good for diabetics, good taste)
• Hungarian pepper — Other Veg (good taste, vitamin C, fiber)
• banana peppers — Other Veg (ditto)
• scallions — Other Veg (good fiber (FOS), good taste, leaves with good flavonoids)
• walnuts — Nuts&Seeds (omega 3, good fiber, good texture and taste)
• soybean and Kamut tempeh — Beans and Grain (fiber, protein, minerals, taste)
• asparagus — Other Veg (FOS, taste, phytonutrients)
• kale — Greens; Cruciferous Veg (fiber, minerals, phytonutrients)
• bok choy — ditto
• mint, marjoram, oregano — Spices&Herbs (loads of antioxidants, good taste)
• MSG — umami and flavor enhancement
• fish sauce — umami
•  Windsor salt substitute — potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iodine; no sodium; taste)

One thing I omitted that I should have included: turmeric (and of course black pepper so I can get the benefit of it). I have some fresh turmeric root, or I could have used dried turmeric or turmeric paste. I’ll add that when I warm up a serving.

Written by Leisureguy

8 September 2022 at 3:20 pm

New batch of tempeh: Red Kidney Bean plus Little and Foxtail Millets

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I had a small amount of Foxtail millet, so I added enough Little millet to make a total of 1.5 cups before cooking. I also cooked (separately) 1.5 cups red kidney beans (measured before cooking).

The millet seems to want to clump and stick together, so I’m a little apprehensive about this batch. In the future, for a 3-cup batch I might go with 2 cups beans and 1 cup millet instead of 1.5 cups of each.

Still, there it is bagged after cooking, drying, cooling, adding vinegar, and adding starter culture. It is now on the rack in the incubator for the next 24 hours. If all goes well, I’ll have a new batch of tempeh ready about this time on Friday afternoon. 

I am following my usual method of making tempeh.

Tempeh done

I called a finish after about 75 hours. Cross-section is at the right, and more details can be found in this post.

I’m not totally happy with how it turned out. I think a couple of problems might have been a) the red kidney beans were a lot larger than the grains of millet, and b) the millet tended to clump.

Still, it’s perfectly edible, and before I know it, I’ll be fermenting the next batch.

Written by Leisureguy

6 September 2022 at 2:13 pm

66 tempeh recipes

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I just received an email from Better Nature, a company with an interesting backstory. That page has at the bottom a link to download a free cookbook of 11 of their favorite tempeh recipes, but check out the page of 66 recipes on their website. The photo above is from one of those recipes (Creamy Lemon & Garlic Tempeh Pasta).

Written by Leisureguy

30 August 2022 at 8:06 am

Plant-based breakfast bites

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Long-time readers may recall my recipe for a breakfast on the go, Breakfast Bites, from back when I was following a low-carb/keto diet. That recipe is basically a sausage-and-greens frittata, and it was really good, if I say so myself. I made them for The Wife to have as breakfast for her commute. (That recipe superseded the bran muffin recipe that I had been making until we switched to a low-carb diet, a switch I now see as a mistake.)

I switched to my current whole-food plant-based diet a few years ago. Still, I did miss the breakfast bites idea: tasty, filling, and handy to eat on the go.

Simnett Nutrition today has a recipe from Crystal for an equivalent breakfast without eggs and meat. (I subscribe to that channel because they regularly have interesting and helpful food ideas.) Today’s recipe looks quite good: Plant-based breakfast bites. (I don’t call the “frittatas” because a frittata is made using eggs. This recipe does not use eggs.)

I would make one addition. I would dice 8 ounces of one of my homemade tempehs (my current tempeh of soybeans and Kamut would be ideal) into small dice, Evo-spray those with some extra-virgin olive oil, and toss them with (say) Merguez seasoning. Then I would cook them in a skillet Evo-sprayed with a little olive oil until they were toasted. Let them cool, then add them to the recipe in the video below. That would get beans and grain into the mix, and I try to have those with every meal (since I basically structure my meals with Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen in mind — example).

Here’s the recipe. Click the “watch on YouTube” to get to the video Description, which includes the list of ingredients and the steps to make the frittatas. Important: The silicone muffin tray is terrific, but it lacks the rigidity of a metal muffin pan and so must be supported as it is filled. You will see in the video that the tray is placed on a wire rack, which provides the support the filled tray requires.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2022 at 12:28 pm

Soybean and Kamut tempeh done

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This batch turned out exceptionally well. The slab at the end — 3 days and 4 hours — was slightly warm, velvety smooth, and solid with good rigidity. Aove is a cross section, with the bigger pieces being soybeans and the smaller ones Kamut.

There as not a trace of sporing or any bad patches. Really this was a perfect batch. And I now have the timing down — today I used the last of the previous batch, and this new batch is ready for tomorrow. I didn’t really have to think about it: on Thursday as I looked at how much tempeh I had on hand, I thought, “I should start a new batch” and put 1.5 cups of soybeans in the pot to soak overnight. Friday morning I cooked those and, separately, 1.5 cups of Kamut and combined them to start this new batch.

I followed my usual method. You can take a look at the full post for this batch to see earlier stages.

Below is the batch at the end, in the Ziploc Fresh Produce bag on the left and lying unbagged on the cutting board on the right.

Below are photos of the batch at the end, bagged on the left, unbagged on the right.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2022 at 4:35 pm

Another nameless dish that I liked a lot

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The “nameless dish” refers to the idea discussed in an earlier post. This one I ate before I could take a photo.  Very tasty. I Evo-sprayed the MSMK 12″ skillet with olive oil, about six sprays ( = 1.5 teaspoons oil), and then I put into the skillet the following (showing the Daily Dozen categories, which is how I now think of (and put together) my meals):

• 2″ fresh ginger root, minced (Herbs & Spices)
• 3″ fresh turmeric root, minced (Herbs & Spices)
• 5 cloves garlic, chopped small (Other Vegetables)
• 1 medium yellow onion (still no red onion in the store), chopped (Other Vegetables)
• 2 teaspoons chipotle-garlic paste (Other Vegetables)

Greens (and Cruciferous Vegetable)
• 4 large Brussels sprouts, halved vertically, then sliced thinly

Other Vegetables
• 1/2 large yellow zucchini, quartered vertically, then cut into largish pieces
• 1 medium yellow pattypan squash, diced
• 3 large crimini mushrooms, halved, then thickly sliced (a fungus, not a vegetable)
• 1/2 large yellow bell pepper, chopped

Beans and Grain
• 6-8 oz chana dal and Kamut tempeh, diced smallish

Herbs & Spices
• about 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (for the turmeric)
• about 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
• about 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

• 2 pinches MSG
• 1 large lemon with thin skin, diced (counts as Fruit, I would say)
• dash of tamari
• splash of Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar

I covered the skillet — it comes with a good lid — and cooked it on my induction burner at “3” for 8 minutes, then stirred it well and cooked for 8 minutes more. To serve, I put into a bowl:

Nuts & Seeds
• 2 tablespoons walnuts
• 1 tablespoon flaxseed, ground

And I topped that with the cooked dish, and then added:

• about 1.5 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seed (also counts as Nuts & Seeds)
• good dash of Louisiana Hot Sauce

The Louisiana Hot Sauce link is just so you can see the bottle. I buy that same bottle in my supermarket for CA$4.29.

I had another bowl of it for a second meal. For that, I omitted walnuts and flaxseed but did include pumpkin seed and Louisiana Hot Sauce.

I really like the texture and taste of zucchini if it is cut into fairly large pieces.

Written by Leisureguy

21 August 2022 at 5:47 pm

Soybean and Kamut® tempeh after 2 days

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This batch is looking quite good, if I do say so myself. Not a trace of sporing, and the mycelium has propagated well and thickly. Some might stop it here — the slab is well filled out and has good rigidity — but I like to let it ferment for a full three days at least, so I’ll wait until tomorrow afternoon to cut it up and store it in the fridge. 

This is the batch started in this post, which has the details. I followed my usual method in making it.

Written by Leisureguy

21 August 2022 at 12:06 pm

Soybean + Kamut tempeh after 1 day

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Above is the photo after 24 hours (roughly), with the batch removed from the incubator to the table to finish its growth. This post describes the start.

Written by Leisureguy

20 August 2022 at 2:28 pm

Not quite chili

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I used my 12″ MSMK nonstick skillet, which I Evo-sprayed about six sprays, so about 1.5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Then I put into the skillet:

• 6 Russian red garlic cloves, chopped and rested; these are large but not so pungent
• about 1″ thick fresh ginger root, chopped small
• 2 small spring onions, chopped including leaves
• 1 bunch scallions, chopped including leaves
• 1 Stokes Purple® potato, diced rather small
• 3 large crimini mushrooms, sliced thick
• about 8 ounces Kamut and chana dal tempeh, diced fairly large (beans and grain)
• 2 heads baby bok choy (greens and also cruciferous vegetable)
• 2 teaspoons chipotle-garlic paste
• about 2 teaspoons dried spearmint
• about 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
• about 2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• about 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile 
• about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• about 3-4 tablespoons Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar
• good dash tamari
• 2 pinches MSG
• about 1 teaspoon Wright’s liquid smoke

I turned the induction burner to “3” and its timer to 8 minutes, covered the pan, and left it to cook. When the timer went off, I added:

• 18.3-oz can Aylmer Accents Tomatoes, Garlic and Olive Oil
• 1 diced lemon (large lemon but thin peel)

I mixed that well into the vegetables and tempeh in the pan, then turned burner to “3, timer to 10 minutes, cover the pan, and left it to cook.

I just had a bowl (which included 1 tablespoon flaxseed, freshly ground, and 1 teaspoon Bragg’s nutritional yeast. It’s very tasty, in a chili-ish direction. 

I should have included minced turmeric root and ground black pepper. Perhaps I’ll add that when I warm it up for the next meal, cooking a while to soften the turmeric. — update: that’s what I did; good to get the turmeric in.

Written by Leisureguy

19 August 2022 at 3:10 pm

Soybean and Kamut® tempeh: A good batch

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Today’s batch is pretty pedestrian: 1.5 cups soybeans and 1.5 cups intact whole-grain Kamut® (organically raised khorasan wheat), measured before cooking and cooked separately. Here they are bagged in a Ziploc Fresh Produce bag, with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and a packet of tempeh culture starter added and mixed well to ensure the starter culture is evenly distributed. 

The batch is now in my incubator, where it will reside for 24 hours. Then it will probably be ready 48 hours after that. 

An earlier post describes in detail how to make tempeh and includes the guidelines that I’ve found to give the best chance of success — and in fact I’ve not had a failed batch since posting that method.

Click any photo to enlarge it.

1 day later

The first 24 hours has allowed the fungus to establish itself well, with the even growth showing that the starter culture was well mixed. At this point, the incubator box is not needed and is even somewhat undesired: continued high heat will induce sporting (black spots) that, though edible, are unsightly. And once the mycelium gets going, the batch throws off a lot of heat, so in a insulated box the temperature will rise sharply.

So at this point I move the batch to the tabletop, where it rests on a raised rack. Normally it will be read i two more days: Monday around noon, today being Saturday.

2 days later

The batch looks exceptionally good after 48 hours: thick, even mycelium growth and coverage and no sign of sporing. Some would stop the fermentation at this point, but I prefer to let it grow another day.

The slab is already fairly strong and rigid, but another 24 hours will improve that, and the mycelium will be thicker.

My diet includes having beans and (intact whole) grain at each meal, and dicing some of this tempeh and including it in a stir-fry or semi-chili will meet that requirement easily and deliciously.

Done after 3 days and 4 hours

On the left is the slab cut free of the bag, and on the right is a cross-section view as I cut the slab to put it into storage containers to refrigerate. This batch did exceptionally well — lovely smooth, velvety mycelium totally coating the slab with no trace of sporing. The slab at the end was warm, solid, and with good rigidity. The last-day post also has a photo of the slab in the bag.

I don’t think I’ve made a better batch than this one, and my timing was perfect. On Thursday as I cut a section from the previous batch (chana dal and Kamut), I thought it was time to start a new batch, so I soaked 1.5 cups of soybeans overnight. On Friday, I cooked those and (separately) 1.5 cups of Kamut, then put them, bagged, into the incubator. Today I used the last of the previous batch and the new batch is ready to go. 

Written by Leisureguy

19 August 2022 at 1:47 pm

Chayote Plus

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I just had a tasty meal. I improvised a recipe from foods I have on hand (and in the light of Greger’s Daily Dozen).

I realized as I was eating it that, were I to serve it to a guest, they would ask, “What is this?” (And I would of course pay careful attention to the tone in which the question was asked. 🙂 ) People like to have a name for what they eat.

I could just rattle off the list of ingredients, and while they might want to know that as well, that’s not what they asked. I think that, even knowing the ingredients, they would still want the name of the dish. Even though a name is often arbitrary, it does provide a mental handle, as it were. (Some names are indeed just a list of the ingredients — example: a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich — but some names are just names — example: a Reuben Sandwich.) 

So I decided on the name “Chayote Plus.” It’s completely made up, but then so is the dish. “Chayote” because the chayote was (in my mind) the new thing in the dish — everything else is more or less bog standard chez Leisureguy.

Chayote Plus

I used my 12″ MSMK skillet with lid. I gave the skillet about 6 Evo sprays of EVOO, so a total of about 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Then I added to the skillet:

• 1 good-sized fresh turmeric root, chopped quite small
• about 1 1/2″ fresh ginger root, chopped quite small
• 4 good-sized garlic scapes, chopped small
• 1 San Marzano tomato, diced
• 1/4 lage red onion, chopped
• 2 spring onions, chopped including leaves
• 3 good-sized white (or crimini if you want) mushrooms, chopped
• 1/2 chayote squash, diced fairly small (the other half is for tomorrow)
• 2 fairly large baby Shanghai bok choy, chopped — these were more toddler size
• about 8 ounces Kamut & chana dal tempeh, diced 
• about 1/3 cup frozen peas
• 1 red and 2 yellow cayenne peppers, chopped fairly small
• 2-3 tablespoons walnuts
• pinch of MSG
• freshly ground black pepper (for the turmeric)
• splash of Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar
• [forgot, but wish I had included: 1/2 tablespoon chipotle-garlic paste]

Once everything was in the skillet, I used a silicone flexible spatula to stir and mix it, then turned my induction burner to “3” and to 5 minutes and put the lid on the skillet. When the beeper sounded, I removed lid, stirred well to mix again, replaced lid, and cooked it for 8 minutes more at “3.”

I wanted a sauce, so I made up the following. Modify to your own taste. 

Genmai-Tahini Sauce

Put into the beaker for an immersion blender (or use a regular blender):

• 1/2 large lemon, peeled — South African lemon: quite large, with thin skin
• 2 tablespoons Amano Genmai miso
• 2-3 tablespoons Soom tahini
• ~1 tablespoon Maille Dijon Mustard with Horseradish (see photo)
• about 2-3 tablespoons water

Blend with immersion blender. Add water as needed for the consistency you want.

Written by Leisureguy

13 August 2022 at 2:08 pm

The Big Red One: A ferment

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The Big Red One here refers not to the famous 1st Infantry Division (aka “The Fighting First”) but to my new ferment:

red cabbage
• red kale
red beet
red onion
red apple
red cayenne peppers
red Russian garlic
• fresh ginger root
• Medjool dates
• chipotle and ancho chiles

I was aiming for 3 liters (two 1.5-liter jars), but on looking at the gathered ingredients, I thought I would exceed that by about a liter, and I was right:

The two large jars are 1.5 liter each, the small jar is 1 liter. The whole batch, once prepared in my biggest bowl, weighed 2,735g (6 pounds), not counting the weight of the bowl, so I used 55g Himalayan pink salt (a salt to veggie ratio of 2% by weight).

Below is what I did with each ingredient. (The links below are not affiliate links; they’re just meant to be specific and helpful.) It occurs to me that preparing the vegetables would be much easier and faster if I still had my big Cuisinart food processor: slicing and grating the vegetables would be a snap. However, doing it by hand wasn’t all that onerous.

  • red cabbage – quartered and cored it, then I sliced the wedges 1mm thick using my Oxo handheld mandoline (Oxo makes several; link is to the one that I use.)
  • red kale – chopped stems very small, then sliced leaves thin
  • red beet – coarsely grated using my Rösle coarse grater
  • red onion – quartered vertically, then quarters sliced thin with my chef’s knife. (Now that I think about it, I could have used the mandoline, and that may have worked better.)
  • red apple – grated using the Rösle coarse grater
  • red cayenne peppers – sliced in thin cross-sections, using the knife
  • red Russian garlic – peeled (very easy — this garlic’s skin is like a shell and it pops off readily) and then sliced thin using my Oxo garlic mandoline.
  • fresh ginger root – I used about 1/3 of the piece shown, and sliced it thin with my knife; I did not peel it.
  • Medjool dates – pitted and chopped
  • chipotle and ancho chiles – I ground these in my Cuisinart spice & nut grinder

After all the veggies were prepped (sliced or grated or chopped or ground) and in my big bowl, I poured 1/2 cup spring water into my 1-cup measure and stirred in a packet of starter culture. This must hydrate for 10 minutes before use, so I let it hydrate while I mixed and massaged the vegetables.

I added the 55g Himalayan coarse salt to the veggies, and then I massaged and mixed everything by hand, with some vigor and firmness. I made sure the ingredients were well mixed, which required some effort since when I started they were more or less layered in the bowl in the order I had prepared them.

Lesson learned: Mix as I go: add a vegetable or two, then mix that well with everything so far in the bowl. As a result, the mixing at the end will be easy, since I must mix only that last vegetable (in this case, the cabbage) into a well-mixed pile of the earlier ingredients. 

One advantage of using my hands to mix is that I occasionally came across a largish lump of cabbage or onion. When I did, I removed it, sliced it thin with the chef’s knife, and returned the slivers to the bowl.

After 15-20 minutes of mixing and massaging, the vegetables were softened and liquid had pooled in the bottom of the bowl.

At that point I added the culture water and continued to mix and massage for another five minutes to make sure the culture was well distributed throughout the vegetables.

I then packed the two 1.5 liter jars, put the leftover veggies into the 1-liter jar, split the liquid in the bowl among the three jars, and put a fermentation weight into each jar. Then I poured in enough spring water just to cover the weights, and put fermentation airlocks on two of the jars. For the Weck jar, I just rest the lid on top of its gasket.

This should be ready August 25. Lesson learned: start next batch before this is completely gone so I don’t have to go without for two weeks.

See also my general reference post on fermenting vegetables.

Update: I really like the Weck 1.5L jar — easy to pack and to unpack — and I’m thinking I’ll get two more, which for me is ideal. Having three of these jars means that I can make a 3-liter batch (using two of the three jars), and then after I’ve consumed the contents of one of the jars, I can wash it and use it and the third jar to make another 3-liter batch, which can ferment while I finish the earlier batch.

That way, I will never run out of fermented vegetables, and I can always make a 3-liter batch using Weck 1.5L cylindrical jars and let it ferment while I finish off the already-fermented vegetables in the third Weck jar.


I refrigerated the batch after two weeks and have been enjoying it. Very tasty with a little spiciness from the cayenne peppers — not too much, just some warmth. Very good taste. I eat about 1/2 cup a day, with a meal or as a snack.

And the fermented red cayenne pepper sauce also turned out excellent.

19 Sept 2022 – Just had another bowl after a brisk (3.4mph) walk. I have about 3/4 cup with 2 tablespoons hemp hearts poured over it. Really tasty and refreshing, quite apart from health and digestive benefits. Today I had my first serving from the last jar, the 1.5-liter jar on the right in the photo above. I’ll probably make something like this again once I’m close to finishing this batch.

Written by Leisureguy

11 August 2022 at 12:54 pm

Kamut and chana dal tempeh done

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Click a photo for slide show; right-click photo to enlarge it in a new tab. 

Above on the left you see the finished slab of tempeh out of the bag (and the grid of dots from the perforations in the Ziploc Fresh Produce bag) and on the right a cross section of the finished slab. I saw “finished” slab, but obviously the mycelium did not quite finish the job at the top (which is still perfectly edible, and in fact I am eating it right now.

I made a stir-fry in my 12″ nonstick MSMK skillet that I had Evo-sprayed with EVOO:

• about a cup of chopped red onion
• about the same amount of diced tempeh
• a chopped tomato
• 4 chopped mushrooms
• a good handful of chopped gai lan
• 2 tablespoons of walnuts
• 3 chopped yellow cayenne peppers
• a pinch of MSG.

update:  Damn! I just remembered I have some very nice garlic scapes that would have worked well in this dish. Oh, well. I’ll be making something else soon. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get some baby Shanghai bok choy.

I started that cooking at “4” on the induction burner, then put the lid on the skillet, turned the burner to 225ºF / 107ºC, and set the burner timer for 15 minutes.

When it was done, I took a bowl full, mixed in 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, and topped it with some Asian variant Hollyhock salad dressing.

This is the batch I began 4 days ago. Normally a batch in done in 3 days, but I went an extra day, hoping the mycelium would finish its job. Still, this tempeh tastes really good, and I just cooked and ate that top strip (diced). The tempeh — with Kamut and chana dal — has excellent texture with just the right amount of chewiness. I think this will be very good in a curry or a chili, and its certainly excellent in this little dish I improvised. (Tomorrow is the big shopping day.)

I don’t understand why more people are not making tempeh. For some, the reason is that their plate’s pretty full with jobs and young children, but I notice that even retired folk do little or no tempeh. Pity. They don’t know what they’re missing (but I do).


Written by Leisureguy

9 August 2022 at 2:23 pm

Speaking of mycelium, a slow start on the Kamut and chana dal tempeh

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Photo was taken a little over 27 hours after beginning. The mycelium is starting to take hold — the cloudy areas — but it’s off to a slow start. I’m going to leave it in the incubator until tonight.

Update: But looking much better this morning — this is about 44 hours in:

Written by Leisureguy

6 August 2022 at 2:50 pm

Kamut and chana dal tempeh

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Above is the mix of chana dal (split baby chickpeas) and Kamut® (a trademark for organic khorasan wheat — see this entry in Wikipedia) cooked, vinegared, cultured, and bagged, done in accordance with my usual method. This is a 3-cup batch: 1.5 cups chana dal and 1.5 cups Kamut, measured before being cooked (separately). 

The bag is now on a raised rack in my tempeh incubator, where it will rest for the next 24 hours, after which it will finish out in the open, at room temperature. It’s Friday morning.

After 27 hours

After 27 hours: early Saturday afternoon

The mycelium is starting to show — the hazy areas are where it is surfacing — but given the amount of time, this seems a slow start.

No problem, though. The fungus is clearly alive and well, and it will progress overnight. However, I think I’ll leave this batch in the incubator until I go to bed, 7 or 8 hours from now. 

Update: I took it out of the incubator 6 hours after the photo. It had more mycelium and the batch was also quite warm, starting to generate its own heat.

After 44 hours

After 44 hours: very early Sunday morning

At the left, what it looks like first thing (6:00am) Sunday morning. This is after starting it around 10:00am Friday morning. It clearly has at least another day to go, and I imagine I’ll let the mycelium continue at room temperature until Monday evening.

I’ve noticed before that Kamut is a bit challenging for Rhizopus oligosporus. The fungus seems to take hold slowly on kamut. 

At any rate, the tempeh is progressing satisfactorily. I think this will be a good batch. Right now I would say that rye and kamut work better than hulled barley, and I bet oat groats would work poorly (hard to dry, and would tend to stick together into a solid mass), and I bet the same would be true of white rice. Millets are also a little challenging in terms of getting them dry, but they work well enough, though I think they work better with a larger legume than lentils.

Someday soon I’m going to try wild rice (truly wild, from Minnesota or northern Canada, not cultivated “wild” rice, which has a much tougher bran shell). 

4 days and done

At right is the finished tempeh in cross section. This batch I took to almost 100 hours because the mycelium was struggling at the top (see this post). However, even that top strip is good — at the link, I have the recipe with which I tried it — and the rest of the slab is in fine shape.

This batch turned out very well indeed. Kamut imparts a good chewiness. Details at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

5 August 2022 at 10:25 am

Soybean-Barley Tempeh at 48 hours

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Still don’t have complete coverage by the mycelium, but it gets at least another 24 hours. This is the batch begun in this post.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 1:07 pm

Fresh vegetable improv

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I do like the food I make, even though it doesn’t fit into any neat category. Here’s what I just polished off, cooked in my 12″ MSMK skillet after Evo-spraying it with extra-virgin olive oil:

• 2 good-sized spring onions, sliced
• a small section of sweet Italian red onion, chopped — about 1/2 cup
• 2 tablespoons walnuts
• 3 large crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced thick
• 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 2 cayenne peppers, chopped (1 red, 1 yellow)
• about 1″ ginger root, sliced very thinly and then minced
• about 6 oz tempeh (beluga lentil and unpolished foxtail millet), diced small
• about 1/2 cup Colorful Collards
• pinch of MSG
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
• 1 teaspoon dried mint
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

I would have included a chopped San Marzano tomato, but the store had none when I shopped. As I’ve mentioned before, the lycopene in tomatoes is not bioavailable unless the tomatoes have been cooked.

I cooked on “3” for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then covered the pan, turned the burner to 225ºF, and set it for 8 minutes. When the burner beeped, I let it sit a few minutes, still covered (because I was reading something in the other room), then dished it up. I ate it with

• 1/2 roasted Stokes Purple® potato.

The potato, still cold from the refrigerator, I ate out of hand, with it serving much the same role as a roll.

That tasted really good, with good mouthfeel and variety of texture and temperature, but it’s not a dish familiar from (say) my childhood. I have blogged before that one interesting aspect of my whole-food plant-based diet is that the dishes I come up with, though excellent in nourishment, variety, and taste, don’t fit the categories with which I was familiar. This dish is an example.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 11:55 am

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