Two Lives, One Lifestyle


2-4-1: Tempeh “Bacon” “Burgers” by Katie
January 19, 2010, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Food, Katie, Snacks, Two-4-One

Ok, let me begin with the fact that my 2-4-1 recipe selection did not turn out as planned.  I saw tons of recipes out there for fake bacon made with tempeh and since I LOVE bacon, I though it would be the perfect 2-4-1 experiment.

[Sidenote- I hated bacon for years. Then I cooked it for Thanksgiving and the smell overwhelmed me and I started going AT IT.  I also used to hate all seafood, peanut butter, and pickles.  If you haven’t tried a food you “hate” in years, I say give it a go.]

Anyway, I thought what goes good with bacon other than eggs?  Cheeseburgers!  Since I don’t usually buy meat during the week, I decided to use a portobello mushroom as my “burger” with real cheese on top.

I found a ton of recipes but wanted something that involved things that were in my pantry.  I went with this recipe using the spices rather than liquid smoke.  I upped the proportions to cook the whole 8 oz. pack of tempeh.

First up, slice the tempeh.  I used 5-grain tempeh but I would suggest using the non-grain version.  It was tough to slice thinly as it continued to crumble.

I whisked together the “bacon” marinade and then drizzled it over the tempeh strips.  It didn’t flow over the slices so I used a basting brush.  Tip: basting brushes are for the kitchen but work well to touch up dyed hair roots in a pinch.  Just don’t return it to the kitchen. Thanks for that knowledge mom. 😉

Next, I heated up a teaspoon of oil over high heat and tossed the marinated tempeh strips in.  Holy burning tempeh!  If you try this at home, be prepared to flip it rapidly a few times.

Well, the final product looked nothing like the bacon (or the pictures on the blog where I found the recipe)!

Of course I still tried it and the first flavor I noted was semi-bacon-ish, but more just a definite meaty taste.  After chewing, the tempeh flavor was there but not overpowering.  It didn’t taste bad, it was actually good, but it was not bacon-y.

Next, I season my portobello with olive oil + steak seasoning.  I used the basting brush again, it’s just so versatile!

I cooked the portobello and a few slivers of red onion while prepping toasted Ezekiel.  I spread mushed avocado on one slice and dijon mustard on the other.

I sliced up some cheese- notice the little bite marks?  I may have opened this as I sat in traffic for a “sample.”  So hard to resist freshly bought grocery snack attacks, right Allie?

Then in the pan, I topped the upside-down portobello with some “bacon” and smoked gouda slices.

Once the cheese was melty, I transferred the whole “bacon” cheese”burger” to the toasted bread.

I forgot to mention that while the tempeh marinated for a few minutes, I threw some pre-cut frozen sweet potato fries in the oven.

My “burger” and fries:

All in all, a few bites really did taste as though there was bacon.  Maybe the very smokey cheese paired with the almost bacon-y tempeh helped that.

Way back before this semi-failed tempeh experiment, there was some cereal and Kefir before working out, and some salsa and chips post-workout.  The workout was a CRAZY spin class.  The instructor was back after 8 months of maternity leave and just going nuts on the bike.

Goodnight, oh and hi to my roommate Matt, who just discovered the blog :).

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Oh my freakin’ goodness!! THAT IS MY DREAM BURGER RIGHT THERE! I love portobellos and I think I just died with the addition of avocado and smoked gouda. AND on top of that sweet potato fries?! I’m so hungry now 🙂

I’ve had so many snack attacks in my car!! I was impressed I lasted the car ride yesterday….just to get home and dig in!

Comment by Allie (Live Laugh Eat)

If I repeat it, I will probably leave out the tempeh fake bacon or maybe use real bacon. But still, it was delish if I do say so! -Katie

Comment by kandkfood

Wow, I love bacon, but I would actually eat that. Too sad you don’t like bacon, what with the bacon craze going on! Bacon vodka, anyone? 😉

Comment by sophia

There was a time when I was naive and thought I didn’t like bacon… then I tried it a few months ago and thought WTF am I thinkinggggg? I LOVE it now!! Bacon vodka? I’m intrigued..

Comment by kandkfood




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