Readers, I have a problem. You see, I can’t get myself to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s tremendously often. In fact, I don’t really want to go to either of those places nearly as often as I usually have to. Whenever I go to Trader Joe’s I inevitably end up stocking up on the ridiculously good produce deals and of course I bring home produce that goes bad before I can eat it (I mean, those pears did not have a long shelf life AT ALL, but that is not a rant for this blog). Whenever I go to Whole Foods I manage to get sucked in by the Field Roast sausages and the fact that every food item there looks like it was marinated in pure joy before being served, and so naturally I need to eat everything RIGHT NOW. Besides, no grocery store should be pretentious enough that a woman can go grocery shopping with a glass of wine in her free hand (yes, I have seen this happen, and yes, I threw up a little bit).
So typically, I do my grocery shopping at your standard local grocery store. In my region of the world, that means I’m usually at a Kroger or Giant Eagle. The great thing about these grocery stores is that they have really reasonable prices on the stuff we eat the most of, such as produce and beans. Unfortunately, though, I live in a part of town that is economically depressed, so while I’m lucky enough to find non dairy milk and tofu at my grocery store, I’m just not going to find certain items on my shopping list. On my side of town, veggies and healthy foods aren’t prioritized and it frankly makes no sense to have something called “vegan cheese” on hand when pretty much every customer is there for their meat and potatoes. It’s sad, but understandable. As such, I make do with what I can.
This is why whenever I see tempeh, EVER, I stock up! What’s that you ask? What is tempeh? GASP! You mean you’ve never heard of it? Tempeh is an amazing fermented soy product that puts tofu to shame! It’s chewy, nutty, and so yummy if you know how to prepare it, and there are TONS of ways to prepare it! In fact, I have a recipe for you today AND tomorrow featuring tempeh, and both are super yummy.
Wait, why did I have the two blocks of tempeh necessary for those recipes, you ask? Isn’t this stuff supposed to be hard to find? Actually, I had six blocks of tempeh. That’s where the “I have a problem” part of this blog post comes in. At a recent trip to my local grocery store not only did they had tempeh, but it was only $1.50 a block. Readers, this is a steal. They might as well have been paying me to take the tempeh from them it was such a good deal. Naturally, I bought all of it. However, there was one caveat–I had two weeks to eat it all before it expired.
Pffft, like that was even a challenge. Give me two days and I’ll be done with it! Or at least that’s what I told myself until the realization that I now had SIX BLOCKS OF TEMPEH just hanging out in my fridge in dire need of being eaten. I’d already crumbled it into pasta sauce, I’d marinated some of it for grilling, and I had plans for tacos (recipe coming tomorrow). I needed to find something to do with three more blocks, and fast!
Thank god I love these sandwiches.
1 8 oz block of tempeh
3 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Veganaise (or mayo replacement of your choice)
1/2 of an apple, diced (Save the other half for lunch!)
1/4 cup raisins
Pepper to taste
Realize that you have no vegan mayo and become overwhelmed with wrath. Take it out on one of the dogs, it doesn’t matter which, and resolve to pick some up at the store later.
Come home from the store and meet with the cold realization that you forgot the mayo. Kick something and spend the rest of the night nursing your sore foot.
I like to top this with salad greens and tomato. It requires very little effort, travels really well (the beauty of vegan mayo is the lack of eggs. Accidentally leaving this in your car for a few hours is far less concerning than it would be were this tuna salad), and is so delectable as a lunch that it should be illegal. This will make tons and tons and tons of sandwiches, too, making that $1.50 spread over the course of a week.
Take THAT extreme couponers!
Note: When I say tempeh is hard to find, I mean it is hard to find at my local grocery store. I have found tempeh at every single suburban grocery store I’ve been to, as well as the nicer grocery stores on the giant college campus here (I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we kind of have a University in Columbus 🙂 ). At any rate, unless you live in one of the poor neighborhoods of Columbus, or Mike’s hometown of Coudersport, Pennsylvania (if you successfully find it on a map and prove it to me I will literally mail you the Courtney Money I made a few posts ago. I’m not even kidding. Find it, send me an address, and it’s yours) you’ll probably be able to find it pretty easily and for a decent enough price. And then I’ll give you another recipe for it.
Eat, be happy, and don’t sweat the vegan mayo!