Yid.Dish: Apricot Glazed Tempeh & Onions

By Leah Koenig

Published November 21, 2008.
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Thanksgiving can be a tough time for a vegetarian. Sure there are a million delicious side acts to choose from, but the star of the show – that juicy, golden-brown turkey, straight out of Norman Rockwell’s fantasy – is strictly off limits. But that’s no reason for meat eaters to have all of the fun.

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I’m absolutely terrified at the thought of consuming a Tofurkey, and think its a bit of a cop-out to try to replicate and entire turkey for one’s vegetarian Thanksgiving table. I’m also a bit scared to think that someone out there dreamed up the bacon-wrapped Turbaconducken. (It’s probably delicious – but come on people!) Instead, here’s a delicious recipe for apricot-glazed tempeh & onions that will keep any vegetarian happy at the Thanksgiving table.

Below the jump: The recipe and a bonus Thanksgiving surprise! Keep your eyes peeled next week for more Thanksgiving recipes.

Apricot & Apple Glazed Tempeh with Onions

Serves 6-8

For Tempeh

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbs minced ginger

1 cup tamari

2 Tbs toasted sesame oil

16 oz tempeh (I use Soy Boy’s 5-grain brand)

1 large white onion, quartered, and sliced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 Tbs olive oil

For Glaze

Remainder of marinade

1 cup apple butter

1 cup apricot jam

1/4 cup brown vinegar

Make the marinade: combine ginger, garlic, tamari, and sesame oil in a bowl.

Cut Tempeh into 1 inch x 1/2 inch rectangles. Place tempeh rectangles into a large, sturdy plastic bag, and pour marinade into bag. Let sit for one hour, rotating bag occasionally, to evenly coat tempeh. Meanwhile, slice onions and set aside. Combine apple butter, apricot jam, and vinegar in 2-cup measuring bowl.

After one hour, remove tempeh from plastic bag and place in one layer onto baking sheet and broil on either side for 5 minutes. Stir remaining marinade into glaze mixture.

In a large pot, heat 2 Tbs olive oil and red pepper flakes over medium heat. Turn heat up slightly and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions turn fragrant and brown. Add glaze and stir to coat onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until glaze thickens slightly.

To serve: Arrange tempeh on a flat serving dish. Pile glazed onions on top.


BONUS: Tips for being a happy vegetarian on Thanksgiving (via Treehugger)

1) If a relative is baiting you, don’t rise to it. Some wag once said, “Of course your family can push your buttons, they installed them.” Chances are the uncle who is goading you is never going to see things from your point of view, and is just trying to get you going, so don’t bother arguing with him.

2) Offer to bring a vegetarian main course so that you aren’t making extra work for your parents. Make something that is ready to serve and doesn’t require precious oven or stove space.

3) Don’t cover old ground. Families have a way of endlessly reprising touchy topics. Keep in mind a list of things to talk about that will help you avoid the mobius strip of argument.

4) Before the big day, ask the cook to keep unnecessary meat additions out of the side dishes. Really, no one is going to miss bacon bits in the salad.

5) Be open to friendly discussion about your food choices if this is your first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian is a normal, everyday thing for you and if you are matter of fact about it your family will see that it needn’t be a big deal.

6) If you’ve already had the friendly discussion and you don’t want to keep having it, it’s time to set some limits. Politely point out that there may be other topics more interesting than what you eat.

7) Don’t apologize to your family for your food choices, but also recognize that they have the right to their own choices as well.

8) Smile and be thankful.


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