Savory Soy: Mediterranean Ragout with Tempeh and Herbs

Fermented soy foods, including tempeh and miso, may be at the root of Asian women’s lower rates of breast cancer. Like tofu, tempeh has a mild flavor that blends with most seasonings, including the Mediterranean herbs in this dish.

| June/July 2001

Serves 4.

  • 3 cups assorted wild mushrooms such as shiitake, portobello, or cremini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red, yellow, or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Coarse or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Greek oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Clean the mushrooms using a damp cloth. Dry thoroughly, chop, and set aside.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, and scallions and season with salt, ground pepper, and lemon juice. Sauté on low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the tempeh, parsley, oregano, mint, paprika, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the mushroom mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Add the tomato sauce to the tempeh mixture. Mix gently. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with the crumbled goat cheese. Serve hot.

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