Archive | February, 2013

Fakin’ the Bacon! Dee’s Tempeh Ruben Sandwich on Arbutus Bread

27 Feb Dee's Tempeh Ruben Sandwich

Are you about to ask “Why do vegetarians eat fake meat?”

This is a question that is often raised when there is a discussion about vegetarian food.  All meat-eaters should be asked in response, “Well, why do you eat meat?    The answer would more than likely be, because it tastes delicious.  O.K!  That being the case, then it is actually the cooked flavours of meat that meat-eaters like; roast, grilled, BBQ, charred.  I don’t think any person would say they want to eat raw meat, unless of course you live in France!  If you are a meat-eater ask yourself what is your favourite thing about bacon, is it the salty, smokey, maple flavour?  It probably is and the good news for vegetarians is  if you use natural products like Tofu, Tempeh or even Seitan these flavours can be easily replicated by marinating, using spice rubs and char-grilling.  I’m not saying it will be exactly the same, but in a sandwich or or as an ingredient in a meal dish all the flavours will be there.

I believe it is the flavours people want to replicate, not the meaty texture as such.  I think most meat-eaters would happily eat a tempeh bacon sandwich for instance if it tasted like bacon.  The maple, smoky flavour is easy to replicate at home!

What the heck is tempeh I hear you ask?  It’s basically cooked soybeans inoculated with a starter culture (like the type you would use in yoghurt or cheese) the soybeans ferment forming a solid block that you can cut and slice.  Tempeh gives you protein and fibre and beneficial bacteria.  Soybeans served this way are very easy to digest.  Tempeh has a firmer, more chewy texture than tofu.  If your tempeh tastes slightly bitter, I recommend boiling or steaming for 10 minutes first, as I do here.


1 block of tempeh


2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 teaspoon of soy sauce

1tsp of ground cumin

3 tsp of smoked paprika

1 tsp of chipotle chilli powder (if you have it)

1 tsp of marmite (optional)

If you can get your hands on some liquid smoke (add a teaspoon in too)

1 tsp of black pepper

1 clove of crushed garlic or 1 tsp of garlic powder








Simmer 1/2 the  tempeh block in boiling water for 10 mins, make up the marinade by mixing everything together.  Slice the tempeh into thin slices and pour the marinade on top.  Marinade for 1 hour at least and cook on a grill pan or under a grill until brown and crispy.

Assemble the sandwich by lightly spreading mayo on the bread (I like to mix some Sriracha into the mayo), place some lettuce leaves on top and add the Sauerkraut and gherkins.  Sauerkraut is a necessary ingredient in this sandwich, it is  fermented sliced cabbage that gives you loads of beneficial bacteria which is great for your digestion (especially if you are a vegan and don’t eat natural yoghurt)  Top this with your tempeh “bacon” and Enjoy!  Himself gave this the thumbs up, even though I will admit he was HIGHLY sceptical to start and wanted to put tuna on his sandwich instead : )

This recipe makes loads of “bacon” slices that you can store in the fridge for a couple of days, or store in the freezer for cooking.

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Dee’s vegan Miso Ramen Noodles with Crispy Tofu and Kimchee. Yum!

26 Feb Dee's Miso Ramen Noodles

This is a delicious way to eat fresh greens, most of the vegetables are prepared in advance of the soup and just placed on top before serving.

Serves 2


3 tablespoons of miso (I like white miso)

1 vegetable or mushroom stock cube

I litre of warm water

nori sprinkles (optional)

2 handful of beansprouts

2 Spring onions, chopped

1 red chilli chopped

Pak Choi/Spinach or other leafy green veg chopped, I used some celery too

Tofu ( I used gm free tofu that is made in Dublin)

2 servings of Noodles.


Turn on oven to 220.

Place the veg stock, water and miso in a large saucepan and heat gently, do not boil or the goodness of the miso gets destroyed!  Boil the kettle a second time and pour the water over your dried noodles in a large bowl.  Leave for 5 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables; rinse the beansprouts, chop the spring onions, slice the chilli and the green vegetables.

It is worth pressing the tofu an hour before hand to take the water our, but you don’t have to.  Dice the tofu and place in a very hot oven with a sprinkling of oil for 10 mins.

After about 5 mins, pour the soup into bowls, add your noodles, then to the sides add, the vegetables, tofu, spring onions and chillis.

I love this dish with a side of Kimchee, I bought the Kimchee (which is a spicy fermented cabbage) in the Asian supermarket.  Kimchee is full of natural probiotics which help your digestion and immunity, so is a great addition to your diet if you are a vegan and don’t like to eat natural yoghurts.  You can also make it at home, but I’ve yet to try that!


This dish is low calorie, but will be higher in sodium due to the miso than my recipes normally are

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Dee’s Gluten-Free Vegan Pancake Recipe

11 Feb Dee's Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

Tomorrow is pancake Tuesday and I have just perfected this gluten-free, vegan pancake recipe for you!


3/4 cup of brown rice flour

1/2 cup cornflour

3/4 cup milk (almond/soy/dairy)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon  breadsoda (if you have it, if not it will work out ok)

1 tablespoon of agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)

Chia Egg:-

2 tsp of chia seeds

100ml of boiling water

coconut oil/ butter (if not vegan) for frying


Sieve the flours into  a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the chia egg mixture (this is made by adding the boiling water to the chia and blending, use an electric blender if you have one), vanilla extract, agave nectar, breadsoda, and milk.  Blend together until well mixed.

Heat a pan to quite hot and add some coconut oil, I used a cast-iron pan for this.  Fill a ladle to 3/4 full  with your mixture and swirl around the pan, wait for 20 seconds until bubbles form on the pancake, then flip it.  Drop the heat down to medium and continue to cook for 40 secs.

This recipe makes 4 pancakes (you can double it if you wish) Serve with lemon juice and maple syrup or even fresh berries if you have them.

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Enjoy!  Dee

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