If you love to eat local and are in search of vegan or vegetarian proteins, allow me to teach you how to cook with Hempeh.
This virtual class starts with an introduction to my friends at Smiling Hara in Barnardsville, NC. Later on, in the recipes, I’ll also make introductions to several other local products you’ll want to plan to have on hand as we start to cook and share recipes. You’ll find links to individual product websites in a paragraph below. In each recipe, local items are highlighted and linked to other recipes I think you are going to love.
When You Cook With Hempeh, Start with Smiling Hara
Smiling Hara is owned and operated by Sarah and Chad Yancey just outside of Asheville, NC. Together with a small handful of employees, Sarah And Chad produce a line of soy-based and soy-free hempeh products all of which are GMO and gluten free. Hempeh, is quite simply, traditional tempeh that has been fortified with hemp, for a high protein flavorful plant-based protein.
Both tempeh and Hempeh are fermented products, so they are good for you on all sorts of levels. And Hempeh is packed with protein. The trio of hempeh available at Smiling Hara, each come in their own delicious marinade, offering an extra punch of flavor.
Smiling Hara in the Spotlight as we Cook with Hempeh on TV
It was my pleasure to appear on Charlotte Cooks with Chef Pamela Harris recently and I had a blast sharing lots of ways to cook with hempeh and lots of other local products too!
I say it often, but it always bears repeating, I love what I do!! It was so much fun to appear on Charlotte Cooks, the locally broadcast PBS show filmed from the kitchens at Central Piedmont Community College and WTVI with chef Pamela Roberts. Thanks for inviting me to cook with you Pamela!
As always I was delighted to share the joys of eating Local. This segment talk shares ways to cook with Hempeh and Tempeh, but you know I kept it local with shout outs to Smiling Hara, Miso Master Miso, Olive Crate Kores Estate EVOO, Vegetable Kingdom Spicy Ketchup, Dukes Bread, Duke’s Mayonnaise, Tega Hills Farm microgreens and more.
The link to the video is here. Or, if you are viewing this post on my website at HeidiBillottoFood.com you can watch it below. The details for the two recipes follow! (Plus, for fun, I’ve included a fun breadless variation on the grilled Reuben recipe – which makes it gluten free!) I hope you love them all as much as we do!
Where to Buy
Smiling Hara Hempeh is a perishable and should be kept in the fridge or freezer. That said, the refrigerator shelf life is long, so its an easy product to have on hand. Keep several packages in the freezer ehlps makes meal prep even easier. You’ll find it in the refrigerated section of every Whole Foods and in a myriad of natural food stores up and down the east coast.
Sarah, Chad and their team have also made it very easy to order online and delivered directly to your door. You’ll find links for ordering by the box or by the case on the Smiling Hara Website, here.
Heidi’s Grilled Hempeh Reuben
Here, I’ve taken the classic recipe, made vegetarian and oh so, North and South Carolina local…
As seen on Charlotte Cooks on WTVI at PBS.org with show host chef Pamela Roberts
Here is what you’ll need:
For four sandwiches:
2 ( 8 oz) packages of Smiling Hara Hempeh, cut into slices and sautéed.
1 ½ cups of sauerkraut sautéed in Olive Crate Kores Estate EVOO with a tablespoon or two of caraway seeds
8 slices of your favorite rye or pumpernickel bread. In the Charlotte area I love Duke’s Bread Rye Bread or their Pumpernickle Swirl.
4-6 Tbsp. 1000 Island dressing – buy your favorite brand; Or do as I do, and make your own. Simply combine 1/3 cup of chili sauce or, even better, the locally produced Spicy Ketchup from Vegetable Kingdom in Asheville, NC (Or use any commercially produced organic ketchup mixed with a tablespoon each of minced onion, sweet pickle relish and minced roasted red peppers) with 1 cup of Duke’s mayonnaise and lemon juice to taste.
8 thin slices of Gruyere or Emmenthaler cheese, or if you’d like to keep it local try Looking Glass Creamery’s Bear Wallow Alpine Swiss or Chapel Hill Creamery’s Hickory Grove.
Heidi’s secret ingredient here: real mayonnaise for grilling
On the side: half of a dill pickle for each sandwich
Here is what to do:
Prepare the Hempeh according to Heidi’s master recipe by cutting the block into slices and then sautéing in a bit of EVOO, until the slices are nicely browned. Add about ¼ cup of the liquid from the sauerkraut to the pan. Cover for a minute and then remove the pan from the stovetop. Uncover. And reserve the cooked hempeh
In another saute pan toast the caraway seed all on its own – with no added oil, until the spice becomes aromatic. Add the sauerkraut and saute until the liquid from the kraut has evaporated.
Start with a slice of bread for each sandwich. Spread on the 1000 dressing. Top with a slice or two of cheese, the sautéed hempeh, the sautéed kraut, another slice of two of cheese, and the second slice of bread again spread with 1000 dressing.
To grill, spread a little mayo on the outside of each slice of bread. Heat a bit of melted butter in a hot pan and grill for a minute or two on each side jut until the bread is nicely browned and the cheese layer is melted.
For a vegan version of this sandwich use vegan cheese, mayo and butter
Serve while the sandwich is still warm with a dill pickle on the side.
Fun Variation on the Theme: Vegetarian Reuben Dip
It’s so easy you won’t believe it. You’ll need all the same ingredients as are in the recipe for the sandwich, except the bread. This time you’ll need your favorite chip or cracker. PS – this is a great way to make the Reuben recipe gluten free!
First brown the Hempeh in exactly the same way you would for the sandwich, but instead of slicing it before you saute, this time grate it with a box grater to make a crumble.
Once the Hempeh is browned, top with the sauerkraut, just as you would for the sandwich. Then, transfer the hempeh and kraut saute to a mixing bowl. Add in a couple of cups of grated cheese, a spoonful or too of 1000 Island Dressing and a enough mayonnaise to bind. Place the mix in a buttered or oiled oven proof pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 mins or until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve with chips or crackers. Yes, please!
Heidi’s Miso Sesame Hempeh Salad on Fennel and Carrot Slaw
As seen on Charlotte Cooks with host Chef Pamela Roberts
For the Marinade:
Zest of two lemons
3 Tbsp. each: lemon juice and lime juice
2 Tbsp. fresh minced basil leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh minced mint leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh minced gingerroot
1 clove minced garlic
¼ cup Nam Pla
½ cup canned Asian coconut milk or coconut cream
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1/4 cup traditional red Miso Masters Miso
2 packages Smiling Hara Hempeh, any variety sliced or cubed and sautéed in EVOO till nicely browned
For the slaw:
1 bulb fennel, shredded
3-4 carrots, shredded
1 small head cabbage, shredded
3-4 small Kirby cukes, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced.
For the slaw/salad dressing:
3 Tbsp. each: dark sesame oil and Nam Pla
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup mellow white Miso Masters miso
Your favorite hot sauce to taste
¼ cup brown sugar (or local sorghum syrup molasses)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
Minced cilantro or local microgreens ( the ones I used are from Tega Hill Farm in Ft. Mill SC) and wedges of lime to garnish
Here’s What to Do
Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well to blend.
Cut tempeh or hempeh into cubes or slice into thick slices and saute in a hot pan in a bit of EVOO. Once the tempeh is browned. Add the marinade to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Once cool you may serve immediately or keep in the fridge for a week or so to eat as you would like.
Before serving, make the slaw be shredded carrots, fennel and cabbage with the shredding blade of a food processor, or using a sharp knife or grater.
Combine the slaw/salad dressing ingredients. Toss the shredded veggies in the dressing and allow to mellow for an hour or so.
To serve; Place shredded dressed slaw in the center of a serving plate. Top with room temperature marinated and sautéed tempeh or hempeh. Top with Tega Hills Farm microgreens, toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy!
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