Better Beef and Broccoli

Hi eaters!
Holy hell, eaters, how is it the last day of June? In all honesty, I don’t know if I’m okay with that.
On the one hand, it means we’re closer to the 4th so I’m closer to being in Virginia Beach with Papa and Co, spending the day sipping on the beach with all their friends and watching Sister and her friends pretend they got stung by jellyfish. (Yeah, I’m calling them out.) But on the other hand, it seems like the taste of bad pineapple tequila shots from New Years’ is still in the back of my throat. Or maybe someone spiked my water.
Either way, tomorrow is July and I have a very “Meal Plan: Produce and Protein” recipe for you.
One might be better than the other. I’ll let you decide.
Vegan “Beef” and Broccoli
Serves 2
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 package tempeh
½ lemon, juiced
~3 T soy sauce/tamari
¼ c Thai green curry simmer sauce (I used TJ’s)
sriracha, to taste
~ 2 c spinach
water (for steaming)
Slice your tempeh into bite-sized pieces. Normally, I’m a tempeh crumbler, but for this recipe you really want hunks. Once your tempeh is hunked, set it to steam.
I set up my rice cooker to steam, because I knew I’d have to steam the broccoli, also. Once the tempeh has steamed for about ten minutes, gently dump the hunks into a wide, shallow bowl and pour on some soy/tamari. I said about 3 T, but really, you want enough to leave a small puddle in the bottom of the bowl. Gently toss the tempeh every 10 minutes or so to ensure even absorption.
After the tempeh has marinated for about half and hour, heat a large pan to medium heat and drizzle it with oil. (This would be the perfect time to start steaming the broccoli.) Then add the tempeh. You’re going to cook this just like tofu, so place it large side down, cook for a few minutes and then flip.
Money, money, money. Money!
Incase you didn’t know, those dark golden bits are where the money’s at. They’re worth the carpal tunnel in your wrist from flipping so many tiny cubes.
Give the second side a couple of minutes to cook before getting saucy.
First, squeeze the lemon half over the pan, making sure not to drop any seeds. Then toss in the steamed broccoli and pour on the simmer sauce and sriracha. Gently toss everything to coat and let the sauce do what it’s supposed to do — simmer — for a few minutes. You’ll want to toss it a bit as it simmers, to make sure everything gets good. Then dish up half the pan atop a big bed of spinach and you’re set!
If I had any lingering Chinese cravings, this would have completely satisfied them.
I promise there is spinach under there.
Thanks to the salty marinade and the drippy sauce, this tastes like it’s chock-full-o-MSG. Except it’s not.
And because of the mix of the well-sauced broccoli and the hearty, tender chunks of tempeh, if you close your eyes you might even believe you’re eating take-out Chinese beef and broccoli. Except you won’t be a sodium-filled balloon an hour later.
And for all of you eaters who stick solely to broccoli crowns this is the perfect time to venture south a little and try some of the stalk.
Chop it small and steam it with the rest of the broccoli, you won’t notice it’s in there.
Except that your insides will thank you for the fiber. Yeah, try getting that kind of bodily reaction from real beef and broccoli.
You’re welcome, eater’s intestines. You’re so very welcome.
Later eaters!

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