Post 27: Sukot: NOT A SUITABLE CANDIDATE… Chasam Sofer, Two Tempeh dishes, one with Tahini, one with coconut – east meets Middle East-Ketchup from your homemade tomato paste

NOT A SUITABLE CANDIDATE….I meant to post this back during Sukot. I requested permission from Yated Newspaper to use the story. However there was no reply. All other sources approve with citation.

A bochur (student in yeshivah) once applied to the Chasam Sofer’s yeshiva, asking to be accepted for the winter zeman (term). It was shortly before Sukkos, and the yard was filled with sukkah boards. The bochur was tested, and did very well. The Chasam Sofer watched him leave, and then decided not to accept him.

When asked about his decision, the Chasam Sofer explained, “I watched how the bochur carelessly stepped on the sukkah boards. One may not step on these boards, as they are Tashmishei (used) for the Mitzvah. A bochur who is not careful with the kovod of sukkah does not belong in the yeshiva.”

All things require respect: So much more so is respect central to our relationships:

Tempeh with Tahini

Total servings: 6

Recipe ingredients

 1 red bell pepper, deseeded, cut in small pieces

 2 onions, chopped

 2 Tsp oil

 200 g tempeh, cut in small cubes

 2 cups vegetable stock

 2 Tbs white miso

 1 tsp soy sauce

 1 Tbs vinegar

 5 Tbs tahini

 1 scallion, chopped

Recipe directions

Saute onions and pepper in the oil in a skillet. Add the vegetable stock, miso, and tempeh and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Mix vinegar, soy sauce and tahini (tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds). Add this mixture to the skillet.

Garnish the Tempeh with Tahini with scallions. Serve hot with rice.

Panko & Coconut Crusted Tempeh with Caramelized Onions, Sweet Potato & Kale

I’ve made this dish a couple of times and I love it! It’s definitely comfort food and maybe not for summer but who cares. Tempeh is a fermented soy product loaded with protein. Some people are intimidated by this food because if not prepared properly can be bitter, so steaming is crucial. Many meat eaters assume that being vegan means eating boring foods well not true. In fact I’ve learned no much more about foods since eliminating meat and dairy and finding satisfying alternatives. Even if you are not vegan you will be sure to love this dish – good food is good food, plain and simple.

You will notice I use raw coconut oil in most of my dishes because it doesn’t turn rancid in heat and maintains it’s nutrients – I also don’t think it overpowers my dish. Feel free to substitute but nutrition is my goal here.


One package Tempeh

2 small sweet potatoes

1 bunch Kale

1 large white sweet onion

panko – simply means flaky bread crumbs-see our recipe Post 25

unsweetened shredded coconut

coconut milk or almond/rice milk

coconut oil

flour – I used whole wheat but I will try Spelt next time.

Marinade for Tempeh

1 tbsp Shoyu or Tamari/ white miso

1 garlic clove minced

2 inches fresh ginger grated and juice squeezed

juice of ½ lime

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

t tbsp rice vinegar

pinch of red pepper flakes

½ tsp Umeboshi Paste – optional

Combine all the ingredients for marinade in wide bowl or plate.


  1. Remove tempeh carefully from package and cut it in half so you have two rectangles. Using a medium pot steam the tempeh for 20 minutes covered – this removes the bitterness tempeh is known to have and allows for more absorption of the marinade.
  1. Remove the tempeh from pot and quickly add to the marinade. Turn over about 6 times in a row until most of the marinade is absorbed – an hour of marinating time is sufficient.

Crust for Tempeh-Use  My Homemade Panko Crumbs (Post 25) made from whole grains and bake

Add Panko Crumbs to a  plate, and a wide bowl for the coconut milk and another plate  for the combined panko and shredded coconut . Coat the marinated tempeh on both sides with the flour, then dip both sides in the coconut milk and then in the coconut panko. Set on a plate and repeat the step with the other piece.

Bake on bottom of oven on lined paper tray – crusted tempeh on both sides in 1 tbsp coconut oil. Bake until golden and flip.

Directions for Caramelized Onions

Large onion thinly sliced

1 tsp coconut oil added to skillet

Sauté in large skillet over medium heat until golden brown, not burnt

When done set aside until ready to plate

Sweet Potato

Wash and peel potato, cut into 1 inch cubes– boil until fork tender when ready mash and add sea salt and pepper

Sauted Kale

1. Wash kale, remove stems and tear into pieces.

2. In large skillet add 2 tsp coconut oil and one clove minced garlic sauté for 30 seconds and quickly add the kale with a pinch of sea salt. Mix well and remove just as it begins to wilt.

Plating the Food

To each plate add heaping portion of kale, followed by mashed sweet potatoes, then the caramelized onions and topped with tempeh

Enjoy!!! from


Homemade Ketchup

white vinegar is gluten usually, so I would put in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar]
  • 5 lbs. very ripe tomatoes – use pressure cooker paste from Post 25 to get 1 lb. paste
  • 1/2 c. white vinegar/lemon juice or apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar ( 1/4tsp. of Stevia)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. onion
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 6 cloves
  1. Use 1 lb. of homemade tomato paste.
  2. Add half the vinegar and a few pinches of the salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, mashing with a wooden spoon.
  4. Strain the liquid into a saucepan without pressing on the solids (this may be obvious to others, but was not to me…use a very fine wire strainer-not a colander).
  5. Press the solids into another saucepan by forcing them through the strainer, leaving the seeds and skins behind. Rinse the strainer.
  6. Stir in the sugar substitute into the solids.
  7. Add all the remaining ingredients to the liquid.
  8. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until very syrupy.
  9. Strain into the solids, and bring to a simmer, stirring well. Simmer for 5 more minutes or until the desired consistency is reached. (it took about an hour of simmering for it to be as thick as I wanted) Puree with a hand blender, food processor or blender if necessary.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasonings. The mixture should be sweet and faintly tangy; if more tanginess is needed, sprinkle in some vinegar or tamarind paste.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s