Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.
Today: Prepare a batch of tempeh on Sunday and enjoy stress-free, hearty meals all week long -- starting with these Mexican-inspired tostadas.
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Tempeh is my favorite soy-based protein, but I tend to overlook it in favor of tofu, which seems easier to prepare. Part of the problem, I think, is that I tend to conceptualize overly complicated uses for tempeh: stews, chilis, burgers, and so on. But it’s easy to enjoy tempeh simply by marinating and baking a batch at the start of each week. The salty, savory, flavorful strips can then be used in quick stir-fries, in pasta dishes, in sandwiches (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato -- a vegan BLT -- is a favorite of mine), or in Mexican-inspired dishes, like these easy and stress-free tostadas.
More: What exactly is tempeh? Learn everything you need to know about it right here.
My basic tempeh marinade is tamari, apple cider vinegar, a touch of maple syrup, and a dash of smoked paprika. Sometimes I add sesame oil for a little extra flavor, or if a stir fry is imminent. I bake the tempeh at 375° F for about twenty minutes, until it starts to get crispy, and then keep it in the fridge for up to five days.
On this particular afternoon, I had some leftover marinated raw kale salad lying around, so I toasted two corn tortillas, layered them with the greens, and topped it all with my tempeh. Quick, easy, and hearty.
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.