Candle Cafe’s Cornmeal-Crusted Tempeh…Friggin’ Awesome!

Candle Cafe's Cornmeal-Crusted Tempeh

Candle Cafe’s Cornmeal-Crusted Tempeh

I’ve been staring at the same two packages of tempeh just sitting in my refrigerator for way too long. I couldn’t let them go to waste, but I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to prepare them. What a dilemma! What’s a vegan princess to do? This vegan princess pulled out her #1 favorite cookbook, The Candle Cafe Cookbook, in search of a simple tempeh recipe. Although I love Candle Cafe’s recipe for Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches, I wanted to make something different tonight. I had the ingredients on hand for this delicious Cornmeal-Crusted Tempeh recipe, and the rest is history. A delicious history! Sorry for the cursing in the title of the post, but “friggin’ awesome” was the only way I could think of to describe this dish.

In the cookbook, barbecued beans and sautéed kale are suggested as side dishes to the tempeh. So I sautéed a head of kale with garlic and olive oil (Sorry for the olive oil, Dr. Esselstyn!), and squeezed the juice from half of a lemon directly into the pan. I heated up a can of Amy’s Vegetarian Baked Beans on the stove top, and voilà! A beautiful vegan meal!

photo 1This Cornmeal-Crusted Tempeh was so easy to make. It merely required baking the tempeh in a simple marinade for one hour, and then cooking the tempeh pieces in olive oil after they have been coated with a cornmeal mixture (Sorry again, Dr. Ess!).


photo 1 copy 2

photo 3 copy 3Look at these golden brown triangles of deliciousness!

photo 3 copyA complete and hearty meal!

photo 3 copy 2Here’s the recipe, you lucky dogs…

photo 2 copy


From The Candle Cafe Cookbook

Serves 4


2 8-ounce packages tempeh, each cut into thirds

1/2 cup shoyu or tamari soy sauce

1/2 cup of water

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 slices of fresh ginger

1/2 cup medium- to fine ground cornmeal

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the tempeh in a baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the shoyu or tamari soy sauce, 1/2 cup of water, the maple syrup, garlic, and ginger and pour over the tempeh. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Drain and cut the tempeh into halves or triangles.

3. In a large shallow bowl, mix together the cornmeal, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, cumin, and sea salt. Dip the tempeh pieces into the cornmeal mixture to coat.

4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Cook the coated tempeh until golden brown, about a minute per side.

5. Remove from the heat and serve at once.


FYI, I was able to stuff down some of my favorite chocolate avocado pudding for dessert too! For the record, I think that some comforting Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes would have accompanied this meal very nicely too!

Click here to get recipe for Candle Cafe’s Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches.





Recipes Archive