Orange tempeh

Orange tempeh

My mouth is still happy as I write this.  I love oranges, and I especially love when I can cook with it.  It adds such a great flavor to the food.
I also have a new love affair with tempeh.  I never liked it before, but I found a few tricks and now it tastes so good.  Nutty and flavorful, and the perfect addition to this recipe.  I will share the simple trick to make the tempeh turn out without that "beany" flavor.

I have included many pictures for this recipe, so I hope it is easy to follow.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, just let me know and we will figure it out.
Ingredients: (2-3 servings)

1 small onion, or half a large onion, peeled and sliced into thin half moons
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks (see illustration)

4 oz. enoki mushrooms (if you can't find enoki, any type will work, just cut thin)
1 8oz. block tempeh, washed

4 cups water
1 tsp. salt

For the sauce 

In a blender, combine the following ingredients:

2 cups orange juice.  Make sure its is freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice with no added sugars.
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
8 large medjool dates, pitted

3 tablespoons tapioca starch 
zest of 1/2 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
Blend for about a minute.  You can strain if you want, I didn't, the dates broke down so much that it was smooth.  Set aside.

Place a pot on the stove big enough to hold your tempeh.  Pour the 4c water and 1 tsp. salt into the pan and add the tempeh.  Place on medium high heat, and bring to a soft boil.  When it starts to boil, start a timer for 10 minutes.  Let simmer for the 10 minutes, uncovered.

After 10 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for another 5 minutes.  Drain carefully and slice into bite sized pieces.
Place a large, nonstick pan on the stove over medium high heat.  Place the cut up tempeh in the pan and start browning.  They will not stick if you let each side brown long enough. 

If it doesn't move easy, let it brown a bit more.  It will move.  Brown all sides, making sure to be gentle, you don't want to break the pieces up.

After all pieces are browned, remove from pan (into a bowl or plate) and set aside.
Place the pan back on the heat, and add the onions.  Stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the garlic and stir fry another minute.

Add the carrots, and stir fry for 2 minutes.

If anything is sticking, add a little water.  Otherwise keep going.  Add the peppers next.  Stir fry for another minute or so, until they are starting to wilt.

Finally, add the mushrooms, and stir fry for 1 minute.  Now reduce the heat to medium low.  

Add the sauce, and stir well.  It will start to thicken almost right away.  Keep stirring, and add the tempeh.  Let it cook, while stirring the whole time for about 2 minutes.  It will be thick and almost creamy looking.

Check seasonings, and serve hot.  I garnished with a few mushrooms, and green onions.  Serve over your favorite rice. 

**(Note) If you don't like tempeh, you could use tofu or even cauliflower as a sub**


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