Balsamic Tempeh Wild Rice Bowl with Sauteed Kale and Radicchio

Balsamic Tempeh Wild Rice Bowl with Sauteed Kale and RadicchioBalsamic Tempeh Wild Rice Bowl with Sauteed Kale and Radicchio

If you are in the mood for simple flavors and ingredients, you are in luck.  This isn’t a terribly fancy dish, and marinating the tempeh and cooking the rice are the two longest steps.  I think this is a good dish all year round, though like the previous couscous dish, the short cooking times and lightly sauteed greens make it a really lovely summer dish.  I only had to pick up a small head of radicchio to complete the dish, as i harvested about a half paper grocery bag full of pretty, tender kale from our garden.

I choose tempeh more often because of it’s easier digestibility and nutty flavor, but you could easily sub some well-pressed tofu if you’re not keen on the texture or flavor of tempeh.  Also, I used a rice cooker for both the wild rice and basmati–normally wild rice has a longer cooking time, but they worked really well together.

Real Minnesota wild rice is more expensive than its usually-corporate-California-grown (and not-usually-wild) cousin; living in Minnesota makes access to it easier and cheaper.  The best wild rice is hand-harvested and should smell like a lake, which is where this plant (actually a grass) grows.  If you get broken wild rice, it will also be cheaper than whole.  At the co-op I buy Native Harvest wild rice (and maple syrup!), which supports indigenous farmers and the campaign against the genetic manipulation and patenting of this heirloom crop.  (There is an ongoing battle between the biotech corporations and universities and the tribal entities of the Great Lakes region, sadly another manifestation of modern colonialism.)  If you can’t get wild rice or don’t want to use a blend, use whatever kind(s) you prefer.  Wild rice will retain a slight crunch after cooking which I really like, but might be strange if you’re used to soft grains.

Most of the flavors stem from the primary ingredients here, so if you are looking to cover up the slight bitterness of greens for example, you may want to increase the marinade amounts slightly so you have some extra sauce to work with.  And remember to simmer the tempeh in water for a few minutes before marinating to tone down the bitter flavor if that’s how you roll!

Balsamic Tempeh Wild Rice Bowl with Sauteed Kale and Radicchio(serves 2 hungry people or more):

8 oz tempeh
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp white wine
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
cracked black pepper to taste

1 c rice (use half wild and half other – I used basmati)
2 c vegetable stock

1 small head radicchio
1 bunch kale

Cut the block of tempeh in half lengthwise, then slice each half into thin strips (like domino pieces).  Place in a container with the olive oil, balsamic, wine, garlic, and pepper.  Marinate for at least one hour.

Cook the rice in vegetable broth in a rice cooker, or in a small saucepan on the stove according to your rice directions.  Meanwhile, remove the tough stems from the kale and tear into pieces.  Cut the radicchio in half, remove the core, and slice thinly.

Heat a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the marinated tempeh.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove to a serving bowl and return the skillet to the stove.  Add more oil if you need to, and saute the radicchio and kale for a few minutes until softened but still colorful.  Combine the tempeh, greens, and rice in the serving bowl and toss.  Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.