Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Orange Glazed Tempeh Cutlets

Do you have one of those favorite entrees from a restaurant that you love so much that you can't bring yourself to even consider trying anything else from the menu? I do. It's the tempeh cutlet from the French Meadow in Uptown. They put some kind of yummy crust on the tempeh and I don't know if it's deep fried or what...but it's seriously delicious. It comes with a sweet and tangy orange sauce on top with braised greens and beans and rice on the side.

Well, after I tried (successfully, I might add) to re-create the French Meadow's BBQ Wrap, I decided I might as well try to copy the tempeh cutlet as well. My approach was ridiculously easy, and the results were very tasty. I thought beans were overkill on the protein side so I did quinoa instead. And, of course my ever-present sauteed lacinato (or Tuscan, or dinosaur) kale makes another appearance on Green and Lean - I can't help it, I love the stuff so much!

This dish was fabulous! It was not, however, quite up to the French Meadow standard. I am OK with that. There are just a few things that are best when left to the experts and next time I want the real deal, I'll haul my cookies over to Lyndale for the good stuff. In the meantime, this is a super simple, quick, and mega healthy substitute.

Orange Glazed Tempeh Cutlets with Kale and Quinoa
1 package tempeh
1 cup orange juice (I had ripe tangelos and juiced a couple of them)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tempeh into smaller pieces (I did triangles). Heat some olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add tempeh to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until tempeh is browned on bottom. Add a bit more oil to the dry side of the tempeh and turn each piece over to cook the other side.

Meanwhile, juice your oranges (or tangelos or clementines) and whisk together with the balsamic vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper. Add this mixture to your tempeh pan. Cook for 2 minutes or so and flip your tempeh again so it's all coated in the orange glaze. The glaze should thicken a bit.

Serve on top of sauteed kale and quinoa (or rice). Pour the rest of your orange glaze over your tempeh and top the whole plate with some orange zest.

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