Ok so I’ve made up a word. I’ll confess. It’s supposed to be a cross between tempeh and bacon but it’s also a tribute to Peyton Manning. So just deal with it. I love Peyton. I would enjoy being married to him. I think we would have cute kids. Not that I’ve ever thought about marrying him and having 3 kids named Peyton II, Peyton III and Tony Dungy II. We would obviously have three sons just like Archie. And a golden doodle named Vince Lombardi.
Anyway, all of Indianapolis and pretty much the entire state of Indiana (except for the part by Chicago which should technically surrender and become part of Illinois) is super depressed about Peyton leaving. Like super depressed. And this is part of a tribute to a legend who turned a silly little city into a really great town. It was great to have him here and we are sad to say good bye. As for my future with Peyton, I guess I could get used to Miami. Or Arizona. Or Denver. Or Washington. For now, let’s move on to the “bacon.”
Bacon was on of the last “red meat” items for me to give up. I don’t think I’ve eaten bacon for at least 8 years now. When I did eat it, I enjoyed it. However, there are much better things to consume. Like tempeh. I’ll admit: tempeh took me a while to warm up to. I still prefer tofu and seitan over tempeh but they serve other distinct purposes. Tempeh consists of fermented soybeans and it is probably the best item to use for fake bacon. It can be sliced thinly without completely crumbling.
I first had fake bacon during my freshman year of college. I had been a vegetarian for about two years by that point. Our RA (resident assistant) in our dorm made breakfast for everyone one morning. At the end, she announced it was completely vegetarian from the sausages to the bacon. No one seemed very amused (I was excited!) but it was probably just too early in the morning for college students to care about nutrition. Anyway, I found it interesting that she announced this fact shortly after serving the fake bacon. She probably waited until this point because the bacon looked like this:
Ah Morningstar. Bless your little hearts for trying. There’s really no confusing a meat eater here. With many meat products there’s not much use in trying to “veganize” it. And why try? I hate this Freudian idea that food companies have. They insist that we all have meat envy. I very rarely will eat “fake meat” products unless it’s something I’ve made myself. Fake meat can also be incredibly expensive in comparison to the costs of making “meat” yourself. So here’s a DIY bacon recipe from good ole Vegetarian Times. I definitely want to try this on a BLT asap.
- 1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, sliced into 24 very thin slices
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke, optional
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- Smoked paprika, optional
1. Lay tempeh slices in 2 13- x 9-inch baking dishes. Bring soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, ancho chile powder, and ½ cup water to a boil in small saucepan. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat, and stir in liquid smoke, if using. Pour over tempeh slices. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully transfer tempeh slices to prepared baking sheet, and discard marinade.
3. Brush slices with canola oil, and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Flip tempeh slices, brush with oil, and bake 5 to 7 minutes more, or until crisp and dark brown.
Morningstar picture source: http://www.morningstarfarms.com/morningstar-farms-veggie-bacon-strips.html