I have a bit of a love affair with tempeh. I don't feel like I cook with it nearly enough. My grainy mistress is always there, ready and waiting to make something yummy with me. We whisper sweet nothings about steaming and sauteeing and baking endlessly. Oh, tempeh, how I love you.
I decided that I needed to find a way to sneak tempeh into lunches, so I created this super simple, but fabulous tempeh salad sandwich. It's sorta like a faux chicken salad, but I don't want to hurt tempeh's feelings by calling her faux anything as she's already super terrific all on her own.
The best thing about this was taking the pictures. I took the ones of the making of the tempeh salad the night before, but didn't want to assemble the sandwich yet since I was making this for something to take to work for lunch. After all, soggy pita makes baby Elvis cry. I brought the camera to work with me yesterday to take pictures of my sandwich at lunch. My plan was to sneak outside onto the patio, put my plate down, snap a few pictures and sneak back inside before anyone noticed what I was doing. Instead, when I walked outside with my plate of yum, camera in hand, there was already someone outside. Dang it.
Coworker: "You think your lunch will be so good that you want to take a picture to remember it by?"
ha ha ha
Too funny. I took my picture and plopped right down next to him and enjoyed my tempeh salad pitas in the sun, totally not caring that I have now transitioned from "that weird vegan chick" to "that weird vegan chick that takes pictures of her lunch". :D
Tempeh Salad Sandwiches
1 package of tempeh
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup halved red grapes*** (though if they're super huge like the ones I bought, I'll quarter them)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Veganaise
Open your package of tempeh lovingly and cut it into smallish cubes. Put a metal colander or steamer basket inside a large pot and boil some water under it. Make sure that the water level isn't high enough that it's going into the colander or steamer basket. You don't want to get the tempeh wet. If you have a steamer, you can use that. Steam the tempeh for 20 minutes.
Remove the tempeh from heat and set aside to cool. If you're impatient, you can always stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to make it cool down faster. I have a tendency to do that when I make this.
In a medium bowl, combine the celery and grapes with the tempeh and stir it gently until everything's pretty evenly combined. Add the veganaise and stir it up again. You can add as little or as much as you like. Some people like these things to be more mayo-ey than others. You can always just add a spoonful at a time until you find the right amount for you.
Put that awesomeness into a pita or on some bread and enjoy! This will make 4 sandwiches.
Sometimes I like to make this and eat it with crackers. If you do that, it makes a nifty appetizer if you're having people over. Just cut everything a little smaller than you normally would and put a few spoonsful on top of crackers and serve them on a little plate like you're all fancy and stuff.
*** A word about the grapes... I know that some people will be less willing to want to make this just because they don't want to cut up the grapes. You really need to use red grapes for this, the white ones make it taste weird. You can get seedless grapes, but I don't like to buy anything that's "seedless" because it just reeks of genetic engineering. The seeds inside of the red grapes are super huge and always right smack dab in the center. It really doesn't take that much effort to get them out. Besides if you have a significant other, you can always pull the "If you really loved me, you'd cut these grapes for me" and get them to do it.