4/23/12

Tempeh with balsamic strawberry mustard sauce


Oh, hi there! I'm still in Belgrade! Still don't have a real camera (just my phone) and still eating some pretty un-blog-worthy meals. Due to my rather confining work schedule I'm spending a lot of days eating huge lunches and then just scavenging the fridge for dinner. (Oh you know, peanut butter spoonfuls, potato chips, toast with nooch, red peppers and half dried out carrots...isn't that what you eat when you are busy?)

The lunch has been excellent though. Right down the street from my office is a salad bar place called "Suppe y Salate" where one can find pumpkin and pear chunks, fresh walnuts, and diced rainbow paprika among other toppings for a salad. When I'm not in the mood for that, I go for a falafel wrap at this AMAZING place Gyros Sofra around the corner where they make their own fluffy bread right in front of you, then fill it with homemade falafel, red pepper paste, hummus and tahini sauce. It's so good that I actually went there 4 times in one week but I decided to give them a break in case they think I'm weird. (Although let's be real: I'm going today.)
Plus the guys that work there are cute Palestinians
Sometimes, to make a real treat I'll sometimes spring for a carrot-orange-ginger juice from a nearby juice shop. Just to give you some reference of how cheap Belgrade is, this whole meal costs about 4 euros. If I go for the huge salad its more like 2 euros. Eat your heart out, New Yorkers.

Anyways, although I don't usually splash out for dinner, this weekend was different. Instead of my usual bumbling around Belgrade, this weekend I stayed in to work the whole time. As a reward for staying inside despite the gorgeous weather, I decided to make something rich and delicious for Sunday dinner. Thus my creation: Tempeh and vegetables with strawberry-balsamic-mustard sauce and polenta with [not sure what kind of green this is].
Don't be fooled by the crappy Instagram photo, this was good.


As I often like to do when I have plenty of time to mess around, I took my time with this meal (*all for meeeee*) and stretched out the cooking process to get great results. In my non-stick pan I cooked just the sliced tempeh in some oil until browned, then set aside. Then I did the same with some brown mushrooms, and then with the diced red peppers and carrots. This is a great method if you have a little time and you have ingredients that cook at different temps and times.

For the sauce, I sauteed thinly sliced onion until almost caramelized. Then I added in a ton of garlic (like 4 cloves) and cooked for a minute more before de-glazing with a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Next I added in a tablespoon each of mustard and strawberry preserves, and a tablespoon or two of water. Then I added back in the cooked tempeh and vegetables, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked until each piece was coated in the sauce and heated through. (Just a few minutes.)

The polenta was merely  prepared according to instruction (+ a bit of nooch and soymilk) and then I swirled in this green, which is maybe bok choy, but who can say for sure?

The sauce was thick and sweet and sour and very tasty with the crunchy tempeh and browned veggies. It tasted very sophisticated with the polenta, but I must say that I gobbled it all down in about 20 seconds. Oh well. :)

It definitely spiced up a weekend in Konjarnik which was otherwise dominated by Turkish soap operas and Dutch civil law.
Near my apartment


Song of the Day: Hoodie Allen- No Interruption

4 comments:

Amey said...

I always love your posts, but I'm really grooving on these posts from Belgrade. I wish I could zip over there and have some suppe y salate and falafel with you... Especially if there are cute boys AND fresh bread! Does life get better than that!? :)

lazysmurf said...

I am loving these posts! I can't believe I've been missing them since you moved to Belgrade, what an incredible city, totally unlike everywhere else I've been. I wish I could go back!

Megan Guacamole said...

Mangelwurzel, maybe? Kinda related to chard, I think. But looks like bok choy. :)

http://s25.stockmediaserver.com/imgs24/TH170/Cusp/42-15265165.jpg

Vegan Miam said...

Nice to see your cooking in Belgrade. I haven't thought about going there, but it is affordable to make your own food you know and cook in your own kitchen rather than eating out! :) Always have a kitchen whilst traveling!

Vegan Miam
www.veganmiam.com