TEMPEH! In the MICROWAVE!!!
So Here’s My Pickle.
(food pun? no? ok)
I have basically blogged a thousand times about making eggs in the microwave, and how it’s my favorite depression meal, cheap source of protein, and basically the thing I eat for breakfast every day.
One day at work, I found myself kneeling on the floor and breathing hard, to keep from vomiting. The next time I ate eggs, I had a terrible stomach cramp (maybe they were undercooked?). Third try’s the charm: I made an omelette for dinner, and made sure to cook it all the way through. Details to a minimum, I couldn’t sleep that night because of terrible stomach cramps and running to the bathroom nonstop. So I think I have to face the fact that I just can’t eat eggs in large quantities anymore.
This fucks me Big Time because eggs are super cheap, a staple of my diet. As a vegetarian, it’s hard enough to get protein, but now that I’ve officially given up fish, I’m worried about keeping myself healthy. And with a kitchen that I share with three other people, access to clean cooking tools and utensils is never guaranteed. I need an affordable, gluten-free protein that requires minimal prep and can, ideally, be cooked in the microwave.
Add to this that I live in a food desert. The nearest supermarkets are half a mile from me. Everything closer is an overpriced “gourmet” bodega that sells only processed and some frozen foods. Unless I take a train to another borough, I have to walk a mile round-trip to a grocery store. Wah wah, my life is so difficult. So being vegetarian is just playing the game on “Hard” level on purpose.
So, HERE’S what I’ve been doing: cutting the tempeh into thick slices, then cutting the long slices in half. Taking one of my GLAD screw-top containers and filling it up with barbecue sauce, hot sauce, or some other kind of marinade. This is key, because I leave it in the fridge for at least an hour, if not overnight, to soak up those sauces! Then, when I’m ready to eat, I take a microwave-safe dish, scoop out some tempeh (like a dozen bite-sized pieces or so? I can get about 2 servings from a brick of tempeh this way). I throw the tempeh in the microwave for just ONE minute, and it comes out STEAMIN’ hot and super saucy.
Frankly, I love the flavor of tempeh on its own, so I don’t really think it needs a lot of extra flavor, and this totally does it for me. I’m really excited to try a lot of different sauces — maybe even Speidie sauce! And the kicker is: my closest bodega actually sells tempeh for a reasonable price! Check, and MATE!