Fakin’ Bacon

Tempeh Bacon. Oh yes. For those of you who don’t know what tempeh is, allow me to explain. It’s a grayish-yellowish-brownish rectangular block full of fermented brown rice and soybeans. Sounds appetizing, right? Yeah, I don’t love it either. But it’s super healthy, filling, and a GREAT source of fiber and protein. Damn those health benefits!

I’ve had a hard time finding a delicious way to incorporate this powerhouse into my diet. I got pretty close with my Tempeh Stuffed Cabbage. And I think I’ve finally hit the nail on the head with tempeh bacon. OK, it’s not my recipe and it doesn’t really taste like bacon, but it totally works. I forget where I found the original recipe (oh, giant blog world, why must you confuse me so?), but here’s my tweaked version:

Gather your short list of ingredients (plus the arrogant bastard beer in the corner for good measure):

  • 1 8 oz. block of tempeh (from Trader Joe’s, of course)
  • 3 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbs canola oil
  • 2 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (this is key!)
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Heavy pinch of brown sugar
  • Beer
Thinly slice tempeh into about 22 strips.

mmm...yummy...

In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients and whisk to form a marinade.
Dump those strips of weirdness into the marinade and let sit for at least 10 minutes (if you’re not starving, give it 30 minutes to tenderize the tempeh).
After marinating, use some tongs your fingers to layer the tempeh in a heavy duty pan (no doubling up here).

I didn't marinate beforehand, so my tempeh and sauce didn't meet until they got in the pan. And then things started to sizzle! Haha!

Bring that sh*t to a boil and turn down to simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

While your fakin’ bacon is sizzling, you could:

1. Make giant peanut butter sandwiches for your husband:

 2. Enjoy the very few dishes you’ll have to clean up after this easy recipe:

3. Admire the kitty who sits patiently by the stairs waiting for daddy to come home:

awwwww 🙂

Oooh bacon’s almost ready! This stuff is really good with everything (what a descriptive sentence!)…in a sandwich, on top of greens, paired with a hummus covered bagel for breakfast (yes, hummus). The strips are slightly sweet, salty, and smoky and taste even better after a couple days in the fridge.

Tempeh, I'm starting to like you!

Enjoy!
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