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Panko-Crusted Tempeh with Gravy

This comfort food dish is fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party or holiday meal. Served up with a side of mashed potatoes or cauliflower, you’ve got yourself a fantastic meal that everyone will love. If you really want to make this dish extra special, use wild mushrooms and a few drops of truffle oil in the gravy.

Makes 4 servings

what you’ll need:

8-oz package Tofurky Tempeh, any plain variety.

Marinade:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon dried granulated onion
1 teaspoon dried granulated garlic
Pinch of dried rubbed sage
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Coating:
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, gluten-free or regular
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Dash of white pepper or freshly ground black pepper

Gravy:
1/3 cup oat flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons tamari
1 cup thinly sliced cremini, button or shitake mushrooms
Dash white pepper or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste, optional

how to make:

Slice the tempeh cake diagonally into four triangles. Then slice each triangle in half horizontally (thickness-wise) so you have 8 thin triangles.

Marinade: In a saucepan, combine the water, tamari, nutritional yeast flakes, onion, garlic, sage and a few grinds of pepper, mixing well. Place the tempeh triangles in the marinade, making sure that they are totally submerged, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the lid, and let the tempeh cool to warm in the marinade mixture. At this point, you can refrigerate the cooled tempeh, submerged in the marinade, in a covered container overnight.

Coating:
While the tempeh is cooling, mix together your crispy coating. On a plate, place your rice flour. In a shallow bowl, stir together the soymilk and cornstarch until smooth. In another shallow bowl or dish, combine the panko, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, onion, sage, salt and white or black pepper, mixing until combined. Place the 3 dishes in a row, starting with the rice flour, then the soymilk mixture and ending with the panko mixture.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Working with one triangle of tempeh at a time, dip the tempeh in the rice flour, dusting all of the sides with a light coating. Then, give a quick stir to the milk mixture, and dip the entire triangle of tempeh covering it well. Remove the tempeh from the milk mixture and quickly place it in the panko mixture, pressing the coating onto all of the sides and edges. You want it completely coated. Place the tempeh on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining triangles of tempeh. Lightly mist the top of the tempeh triangles with a little spray oil, if desired.

Bake the tempeh in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping the triangles once halfway through.

Gravy: While the tempeh is baking, make the gravy. In a large saucepan, whisk together the oat flour, nutritional yeast, onion, and sage. Whisk in the soymilk, until the mixture is very smooth. Stir in the mushrooms. Cook the gravy over medium heat, whisking continuously, until it thickens. Then reduce to heat to low, and continue cooking whisking continuously, until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. If gravy is too thick, you can thin with a tablespoon or two of water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the tempeh hot out of the oven topped with the hot mushroom gravy.

Tip: For a richer flavor, you can also pan-fry the tempeh in a hot skillet with 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil, instead of baking. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 271 calories, 10 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 865 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 19 g protein.

Mollie Dickson, MS, focuses on Nutrition Science and Health Writing as the CEO and Education Director of The Heart’s Kitchen. She develops healthy recipes and curriculum for K-12 coursework and maternal education classes at Oregon Health & Science University.

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