Black Pepper Tempeh & Cauliflower

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This Black Pepper Tempeh is a recipe from Heidi Swanson’s great cookbook called Super Natural Everyday.  I don’t often follow a recipe exactly.  I will look through cookbooks for ideas and inspiration.  I enjoy looking through Heidi’s cookbooks so much, that I decided I had to try some of her recipes.  I mean really try them.  Get all the ingredients and follow all the steps as they are written.  Something I find difficult to do.

The guys at Kitchen Arts & Letters in New York city told me about her. I told them I liked lots of vegetarian cooking and one of them asked, “do you follow Heidi Swanson ?”  He asked the question assuming I should know about her.  There is a reason for that.  She is incredible.  I was a little embarrassed to answer no, but am incredibly thankful that he asked me anyways.  The book he handed to me was Super Natural Cooking.  I was out the door about 3 minutes later, book in hand.  I liked it so much that shortly after I ordered her other book.  Super Natural Everyday.  She is incredibly inspiring.  She makes delicious healthy food, takes beautiful photos and is a captivating writer.  Check out her website 101 cookbooks.

It wasn’t too long ago that I developed a love for tempeh and when I saw this recipe it sounded delicious.  Slow cooked garlic and shallots. Mmmmm.  She describes it as “a substantial meal in a skillet exploding with spicy, peppery, gingery madness”.  Now that’s my kind of meal description.

And it didn’t disappoint.  I wouldn’t say I made it perfectly, but it was spicy, sweet and more.  I am curious to try it again and see how it turns out.  If you give it a try let me know what you think and how it turns out.

Black Pepper Tempeh

A recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day

3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
15 small cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons water, more if needed
8 ounces tempeh, sliced pencil thin
12 ounces cauliflower, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


In a large deep pan on low heat, combine the coconut oil, shallots, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. The key to this dish is cooking these ingredients slowly and not letting them brown.  Cook for about 15 minutes.  This is what will give you the sweet flavour to compliment the pepper and ginger.  Garlic cloves should be soft.

While the garlic is cooking, whisk together the shoyu, sugar, and water in a small bowl.

Increase the temperature in the pan to medium-high and add the tempeh. Gently mix to coat the tempeh. Add the shoyu mixture and mix again to coat.

Cook for a couple minutes and then add the cauliflower.  Cover and cook for about 3 minutes.

Remove the cover and turn up the heat to high and cook until the tempeh and cauliflower start to brown.  If you need to add a little water do so carefully, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Remove from heat and stir in the black pepper. Taste and add more pepper if you like.

Serve immediately.

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Filed under Blog, Main Courses, Recipes

2 Responses to Black Pepper Tempeh & Cauliflower

  1. Pingback: {pantry challenge} Week #3 Meal Plan

  2. Abigail

    I make this often, but find the original a tad too sweet, so I cut the sugar down to a tablespoon. :)

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