Colleen Week: Day 5 (Tempeh Bacon and Lemon Bars)

I didn’t get around to blogging yesterday, but I made Colleen’s Tempeh Bacon, from The Vegan Table, for breakfast in the morning.  (For those of you just joining me, I’m cooking entirely from Colleen Patrick Goudreau‘s three cookbooks this week.)  I’ve bought tempeh bacon before, pre-marinated in the package, and I really liked it, so I was excited to try it homemade.

The funny thing is, the night before I planned to cook this, Colleen posted a how-to video for this on her facebook page!  It was awesome to get to watch a little tutorial before attempting it.  I’ll share it here for those of you who want to try this recipe:

The only drawback that we found was that the liquid smoke was a little too strong.  I marinated this for a couple of hours and it really soaked into the tempeh.  I might try this again without any liquid smoke.  It was really caramelized and crispy though!

We went to my parents’ house for dinner yesterday, and I took over some Lemon Bars (Joy of Vegan Baking) for dessert.

Unfortunately the topping didn’t quite set.  I put them in the freezer for about a half hour to help them to firm up, before sprinkling with the powdered sugar.  They were also quite tart.  So, I came home last night and whipped up a second batch!  This time, I increased the amount of silken tofu in the topping (from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup – exactly half of the package of Mori-Nu) and I only zested a single lemon rather than both of the lemons, to reduce the bitterness.  They came out perfectly!  (Pictured above is that second batch.)

If I had to choose between the lemon bars and the date bars from last Friday, I would probably choose the date bars.  Both were delicious, but I liked the date bars just a little bit more.  So if you have this cookbook and you want to try a recipe, go for the date bars!  If you don’t have the book, go buy it.  😉

Tonight I made butternut squash risotto from The Vegan Table…look for that post tomorrow…

7 comments Add yours
  1. I am a fan of both of those recipes. It’s been my experience that the variety of silken tofu makes a big difference in the lemon bars. When I’ve made it with silken tofu that comes in the refrigerated section in water-packaged packages (alongside of your typical water-packaged tofu), the measurements/baking time are perfect. When I’ve made it with the silken tofu that’s in aseptic packages, I had to bake the lemon bars longer to get them to set properly. I think those boxes contain more liquid.

    Of all of the tempeh bacon recipes I’ve tried, Colleen’s is my favorite. Like you, I tend to use less liquid smoke – a 1/2 teaspoon is my preferred amount in that recipe.

    I haven’t tried the date bars yet. I’ll add them to the list! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tip! That is so interesting about the refrigerated silken tofu. I’ve never used it before. The funny thing is, I made this lemon bar recipe several years ago when I first got the cookbook, but I didn’t measure the tofu and assumed that 1/2 cup was 1/2 the package, and it came out perfectly. I also baked it an extra 5 minutes. I’ll have to try out your adjustment to the tempeh bacon recipe, too.

  2. Oooh, tempeh bacon . . . swoon!! I’ll have to check out the lemon bars recipe and compare it to the omni recipe from a dear old friend (it came from her mother) that I have tried to “veganize” but the topping was always a challenge (sound familiar?) and the bars came out good, but not great. I refuse to concede that you cannot have good lemon bars without eggs! Seriously, thanks for the inspiration and all the hard work introducing me to some wonderful cookbooks that I already own!

    1. Oh, don’t give up on the vegan lemon bars! The second batch turned out so delicious. I’m glad I could help reignite a desire to cook from books you already have. That was one reason I wanted to do this series. It is so easy to continually get distracted by all the beautiful new vegan cookbooks that keep coming out, and forgetting to fully explore the ones we already have!

  3. My first batch of lemon bars were awesome. They did need an extra minute or two. I used Meyer lemons for my bars, which are sweeter than standard lemons. They were awesome and my family assumed they were my regular old lemon bars. Lemon bars are my favorite in the winter. Meyer lemons in season and cold snow on the ground. Reminds me that spring WILL come. I need to try those date bars too!

  4. I, too, am a fan of Colleen’s tempeh bacon. I have used two different varieties of liquid smoke. “Try Me” is “real hickory smoke flavor concentrate which I did not care for at all. Way too concentrated and biting for my taste. “Colgin Liquid Smoke” natural mesquite I love. Perhaps the mesquite makes the taste difference for me. It is great with the tempeh bacon, when added to soaked dried beans (great recipe on the Compassionate Cooks message board under general discussion topic trouble cooking dried beans), fresh green beans, anything I once used bacon, ham or fatback to flavor.

    I haveThe Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook but have not used it, not much of a baker but a great fan of Colleen’s. I will give the date and lemon bars a try. Thanks for posting.

    I wish I could find the Wildwood Tempeh in my area. The Wildwood Tofu is by far the best I have used.

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