Over-the-Humpday Challenge: Detours

About a week or so ago as I was doing my daily browse through Tastepotting, I came across this and simply had to show it to one of my roommates.

Photo Credit

BAH! Tell me that is not one of THE cutest things ever. Obviously, we had to make them. And it sounded like a darn good OTHd Challenge.

Ah, but the best laid plans…

I had a meeting at 2, and we both had to be places at 4, and the dough had to rise for an hour…so Friday it is!

Unfortunately, that left me challenge-less on Humpday. Oh dear.

But considering that most things involving a kitchen – that do not involve eating – is generally a challenge for me, I regrouped. And I remembered a block of tempeh in the freezer. Done.

A couple of weeks ago – again, on Tastespotting – I saw a recipe for vegan bolognese using tempeh to give the ground-meat texture. I thought it was quite clever, and reserved some tempeh just to try that.

Oh and yes, I am addicted to Tastespotting. I check it before I read the news. Problem? I don’t see one.

Ahem. So, I threw the tempeh in the microwave to defrost (only about 30-40 seconds) and starting heating some sauce from a *gasp* jar!! Oh, the horror, I used the dreaded processed pre-prepared product…yes, I know. But I had just woken up from a nap and the sleep  haze had not yet lifted. That is also why I forgot to add red wine and garlic to the sauce.

Moral: Don’t cook immediately after waking. Eat a cookie first.

Sleep-driven mistakes aside, after heating up the sauce in a saucepan and throwing in the tempeh and some chopped onion, I served it over a big bed of arugula. Why? Because I can.

Well, that, and because my roommate was using the only pot we own to cook lentils. Pasta in a saucepan = disaster.

You know, it wasn’t half bad! But please, please do not go into this thinking it is going to taste anything like traditional bolognese – a hugely important – if not crucial – part of the luscious flavor of that sauce is the beef/veal used, and the fat from the meat is what makes it so head-swimmingly delicious. I made this recipe because I was looking for something to do with tempeh that was a bit more interesting than slapping it in a sandwich or sauteing it with some balsamic. I was not expecting anything mind-blowing.

Disclaimer done. I did like this as an alternate way of preparing tempeh though! Especially tasty on top of extra-spicy arugula with a healthy sprinkling of parmesan. And some toast. With cheese melted on top, if possible. Mmm hmm. Definitely start with some fresh garlic in olive oil on the pan before adding the sauce – I missed it.

Another challenge accomplished – even if it involved a detour. Detours can be a good thing – sometimes you see things you would have really missed out on.

And sometimes, they drive you right into a ditch. It’s all about the experience, really.

Stay tuned for turtles!

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