Barbecued Tempeh and Twice Baked Potatoes

Yesterday, around 5:30 PM I thought, Julie, what are you making for dinner tonight? The Mister would be home soon, no kids in the house, a semi-full refrigerator, and no cravings whatsoever. To aid my decision, I drank a beer, edited some photos, then finished up some laundry. Barbecued tempeh strips and twice baked potatoes sounded doable.


I don’t ever crave tempeh. It’s often one of my least favorite sources of vegetarian protein. A slab of fermented soybeans is difficult to talk yourself into wanting to eat. Actually, it’s not that bad, really. In fact I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of different tempeh brands, flavors, cuts, etc. and have found that I can make it quite tasty with a little creativity.  

There are various brands of tempeh available. Some of my favorites include Surata Soy’s multi-grain tempeh, Lightlife’s garden veggie flavor or smoky tempeh strips,  and Turtle Island Food’s five-grain flavor.



Barbecued Tempeh Strips

Ingredients:

1 package tempeh, cut into strips approx. ¼” thick   
1 bottle of dark beer (whatever you like)

½ cups barbecue sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ – ½ tsp. chili pepper flakes

½ tsp. freshly grated ginger
olive oil

Note: Typically I make my own barbecue sauce.  I imagine I’ll share that recipe soon enough. Last night, however, I took the quick and easy, cheater method and used bottled Red Tail Ale sauce with some alterations. 







Directions:



In a 9″ skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic, ginger, and chili pepper flakes in a ½ tsp. or so of olive oil. Add the barbecue sauce. Add about ¼ cup of beer and mix well. 



Add your tempeh strips and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Let the strips cook for 5 minutes, then flip. Spoon sauce over the tops. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a stove-top grill to high.  Generously brush with olive oil.


Place the tempeh strips on the heated grill.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.  Keep the pan of barbecue sauce over low heat.

Add the grilled tempeh strips back to the barbecue sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes then serve.










Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 large (or 6 smaller) baking potatoes
¼ – ½ cup sour cream
½ cup milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced very fine
½ tsp. onion powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste



Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Scrub the potatoes under cold running water. Dry and then using a fork, poke 12 – 16 deep holes all over the potato (so moisture can escape during cooking). Bake potatoes for 1 hour, directly on oven rack.  





When the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Slice each potato in half, lengthwise.


Turn your oven onto the broiler setting (high) and place the wire rack 6 inches from the flame.  



Scoop all of the flesh from each potato skin into a large bowl, making sure to save the skins.  Use a potato masher to slightly break up the potatoes.  Add in your butter, garlic, onion powder, sour cream, ½ cup cheese, milk, salt, and pepper.  Mix until well blended and creamy.  










Spoon the mixture into the potato skins.  Top each with the remaining cheese. 




Note: I over stuffed my potato skins and ended up with three leftover skins. This is entirely okay to do!


 



Place the potatoes back into the oven for approximately 6 minutes.  Turn the pan halfway through that cooking time.  When done, the cheese should be lightly browned and crisp.









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