Starting in about 1990, I stopped eating meat. No real reason, it just disgusted me. I swear it started with a dream about ground beef that grossed me out. That dream apparently made a lasting impression - I didn't eat meat again for at least 7 years!
I credit that time for making me a more creative cook. (And I was lucky to have a patient and tolerant DH who was willing to go along with the ride.) When you're not relying on burgers or steak and potatoes, you need to get a bit creative. or eat pasta every night. I tried lots of things I might never have tried - hummus, falafel, tabouli, millet cakes, etc. And tofu.
I like tofu, but I have a texture problem with it. It's best at a restaurant where they prepare it really well, but I've never been able to recreat that texture at home. I don't like it to be soft and mushy - firm and chewy, please. I tried all the recommended methods - freezing and thawing, draining, squishing, you name it. Still couldn't quite get into it.
Tempeh, however, is a different beast. I was really surprised how high in fiber it is - apparently this is because it has parts of the whole soy bean in it.
I did an internet search for tempeh recipes and came upon a recipe for tempeh quesadillas. Quesadillas are a family favorite in this house, so I figured it would be a good way to introduce this new food to the family (we've tried tempeh before, but I've never cooked with it). I decided this recipe from Whole Foods Market. I did hesitate - the combination of wild mushrooms and Mexican flavors didn't quite seem to fit. Still, you never know until you try, so why not?
Overall these were quite good, but I probably wouldn't make them again without some modifications. As I feared, the earthy flavor of the wild mushrooms just didn't seem to fit with salsa and Mexican flavors. I would consider using tempeh in quesadillas again, but I'd pair it with more traditional fillings such as corn and black beans.
We thought the tempeh was a bit bitter. Perhaps I need to do more research in to tempeh preparation before I try it next time. And there will be a next time. I still have an 8-ounce package in the fridge - 16 ounces seemed like too much for the amount of mushrooms and for the amount of filling I needed for four of us. Even with one package, we had much more filling than we needed.
This meal was made especially healthful by preparing the quesadillas with La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortillas. These have 8 grams of fiber per tortilla! I don't know that I would use these for regular quesadillas, such as steak fajita quesadillas - the whole wheat flavor comes through pretty strong - but they paired well with the earthy wild mushrooms. The texture of these is a little off (a bit flaky, not as tender and flexible) since they are low fat, but they worked well for a quesadilla since they are fried in oil.
I served the quesadillas with a salad of fresh tomato and avocado dressed with olive oil, lime juice, cumin, ground chipotle pepper, salt and pepper. Mmmmm....it was delicious.
I look forward to trying tempeh again, but more research first.............