Smoky Tempeh and Greens Stew

Last week I impulsively signed up for a program called the Meltdown Fitness Challenge at my local YWCA, so my horizons have been cleared of cupcakes for the next six weeks. In the meantime, I’ve been experimenting with healthier meals and snacks, and honestly I feel like I could pick up a car and throw it. It is very easy to be vegan and still be pretty unhealthy, so I thought this fitness challenge would be a good way to remind me how delicious and satisfying eating super healthy is, and it is working like a charm.

I tried out a recipe for a mega-delicious-sounding stew with some local tempeh I had laying around, and I’ve been eating it all week long. It’s hearty enough to be a meal in itself, and it’s packed full of leafy greens, veggies, beans, and protein-rich tempeh. It’s from Isa Moskowitz’s cookbook Appetite for Reduction, which is an awesome cookbook for my current situation because it includes the nutrition facts for every recipe!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 teaspoons oil (I used olive oil)
  • 8 oz tempeh, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, diced finely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup baby carrots, sliced in half lenghwise
  • 1 bunch kale, chard, other other leafy greens, stems chopped separately and leaves chopped roughly (I used kale)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine or water (I used water)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika (don’t substitute regular paprika, this is what gives it it’s delightful smoky flavor!)
  • 1 cup frozen baby lima beans

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pot (5-6 quarts, cast iron/dutch oven if you’ve got it!) over medium-high heat.  Saute the tempeh in 1 teaspoon of the oil for about 10 minutes, until it’s lightly browned.  This is a great time to chop up your veggies.  Make sure to chop the stems of your greens thinly, they add great texture!  Remove the tempeh from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, saute the onion, bay leaves, thyme, and several pinches of pepper in the remaining teaspoon of oil for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and the stems from the greens. Partially cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, to soften the carrots.

Add the garlic and saute for about a minute, then deglaze the pan with the red wine (or water). Mix in the salt, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and paprika. Cover and bring to a simmer. Add the greens, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are completely cooked down. Add the lima beans and return the tempeh to the pot, then turn off the heat. Taste and adjust for salt and seasonings.

Let the stew sit for 10 minutes, uncovered, until the lima beans are heated through. Remove the bay leaves and serve! It’s great as-is, or you could serve it over some basmati rice, or over some leafy greens.

Check out Holly’s “real” food blog over at Babes In Soyland!