Food Network Friday: Seared Rosemary Tempeh with Sweet Potato & Shiitake Risotto

It’s Food Network Friday and today’s dish was my pick!

I know I should be a little excited but looking back, I have no idea why I picked this dish. I know I wanted something a little complicated and I had risotto on the brain, I also know that when I came across this recipe, I immediately formed a plan in my mind. Well, when the time came for me to make the meal, whatever ideas I seemed to have had, had completely vanished! I didn’t have a clue on how to go about veganizing this, I’m sure originally I had a really great idea, but instead I had to make do with whatever fragmented memories were still lingering up in my little old noggin.

I wasn’t in the mood to try and make something taste like lamb, mostly because I have no idea how you would even go about doing that. Instead I wanted something that would go well with the sauce and risotto. I picked up some tempeh and simmered it in mushroom stock to give it a nice, rich, hearty flavor, then I seared it with rosemary and parsley. When it came to the sauce, I started off making it as written, but when I got to the serrano peppers and red wine vinegar, I came to a halt, 1 full cup of red wine vinegar?! Screw that. The flavor combination didn’t sound very appetizing to me, so I left it out.

When it came to the mushrooms, I couldn’t find chanterelles anywhere! So I picked up some shiitakes instead, although really I think the risotto would be pretty good without the mushrooms, they don’t really add a whole lot to the dish. I thought roasting them in the oven would make them way too chewy, so I sautéed them with a bit of oil and a sprinkling of salt. All in all I think it turned out pretty darn good, I loved the addition of the balsamic reduction, I could pretty much pour that stuff on anything and call it delicious.

With the craziness of the two bake sales, I haven’t had much time to edit photos or write posts, which sucks because I have a whole bunch of amazing recipes to tell you about! So expect to see some yummy write-ups in the next week 🙂 Until then, here’s the recipe. I looks  crazy long (well, it is!) but honestly, it’s not a complicated dish, just not something you through together on a weeknight. If you’re planning on having people over for dinner, or you have some free time on a weekend, then I totally suggest you give it a try!

Seared Rosemary Tempeh with Sweet Potato & Shiitake Risotto

Tempeh and Red Wine Reduction


  • 1 (8-ounce) package of tempeh, cut once lengthwise, then cut each piece into four strips
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons mushroom bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and mushroom bouillon to a boil. Add tempeh and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from broth and let drain.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Season tempeh pieces on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Coat with flour then add tempeh, and spices and sear on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a plate.

Add olive oil, onion, carrots and celery to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are golden brown. Add the wine, and cook until completely reduced. Add stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Add tempeh and let simmer uncovered until reduced by half.

Remove tempeh and strain sauce through a fine strainer into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, and vinegar, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sautéed Shiitakes


  • 5 ounces shiitakes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the mushrooms then season with salt and pepper. Sautee until mushrooms begin to release their juices, then set aside.

Sweet Potato Risotto with Shiitakes


  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked, peeled and pureed
  • 1 teaspoon cold margarine
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to 2 tablespoons
  • Sauteed Shiitakes, recipe above
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)


Place broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Heat oil in a medium high-sided saute pan. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft. Add rice and toss to coat in the mixture. Add wine and cook until completely reduced. Add 1 cup of the boiling water and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue adding 1/2 cup of water at a time and cook, stirring often, until all liquid is absorbed. Repeat until rice is al dente.

Stir in the sweet potato and mix until combined. Add the margarine and nutritional yeast, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold in the pine nuts and reserved shiitakes, and scrape the mixture into a bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and the white truffle oil.

To serve: Place some of the sweet potato risotto on a plate, top with tempeh and sauce. Garnish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.

Check out what everyone else came up with over at Vegan Appetite!


12 thoughts on “Food Network Friday: Seared Rosemary Tempeh with Sweet Potato & Shiitake Risotto

  1. veganappetite says:

    Your risotto is beautiful! Look at the texture! And the tempeh looks perfect.

    Truth be told, when you first picked this I came up with a plan, Then I went out of town, ate at a Caribbean/pasta place (yes, really), and totally deviated. This was a really fun one! Thanks for picking!

  2. marlee says:

    This looks and sounds incredible delicious!! I just ate a massive dinner (and my belly is exploding) but I’m somehow salivating!! I mentioned the words “sweet potato risotto with shiitake” to my fiance and he immediately nodded (meaning we definitely have to make it!

    • Maggie Muggins says:

      They always say you shouldn’t look at pictures of food when you’re hungry, but I find that hungry or full, it makes no difference. If it looks good, I want it in my belly!
      If you’ve got the time, then you should definitely try this!

  3. Chad says:

    That looks fantastic! Risotto is something I have long considered making but always view as too daunting a task!

    A small note, in your directions for the risotto it says to add water one cup at a time, when I assume it is supposed to say stock?

    Either way, it all looks fantastic and I would let you cook for me anytime!

  4. Allysia Kerney (@_happyvegan) says:

    Everything about this meal looks incredible – the risotto looks so creamy! I miss Food Network Fridays, I’ll have to play along again. Oh, and I definitely had no idea you were a Calgary resident, or else I would have mentioned I was in town! Next time. 🙂

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