I had my first tempeh bacon experience about a month ago at True Food in San Diego. I wrote about its glory here. It was a salivating happiness. In my current cash-strapped state, tempeh bacon would not be something I would purchase for myself, but my mom, who is probably the best person I know, bought me some, in addition to some other specialty foods I had that spoiled in San Diego’s recent heat wave. I could go on and on in a tearful gush of how grateful I am to her for helping me stick to my food commitments, but I’ll save that for another time and leave it at, “Mom, I love you.”
So! I have some tempeh bacon! The directions of the box say to fry it, but I didn’t want to do that, so instead I placed four slices on a foil lined baking sheet and baked them at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes on one side and 5-6 on the other. The retained all their mapley bacony goodness, but I didn’t have to add the fat. Thumbs up.
I prepped all my other ingredients – couple thick tomato slices, some thinly sliced red onion and cucumber, and a little handful of alfalfa sprouts. I piled them up on doubled up romaine leaves, topped with the tempeh bacon and made my spread, which I am calling a spread because I think it would be awesome on a sandwich, but let’s be honest, in this case, it’s kind of more of a sauce or even dressing :P. I’m still calling it a spread.
- 1/8 cup plain soy yogurt
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- pinch of salt and pepper
Everything goes into the blender, except the chia seeds and mixes until smooth. I add the chia seeds in once I pour it into a jar for two reasons. 1. I like each seed to stay whole, and 2. They seem to stay behind in the blender when I pour the mixture out, and chia seeds are expensive, so I want to make sure I get them all. Once the chia seeds hang out in the spread for a bit, it thickens up to a much more spread-like consistency.
This was a surprisingly mild topper – just very cool and fresh, and could be used on a variety of dishes – sandwiches, pasta, quinoa or cous cous salad – totally versatile and very yummy.