Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tamale Pie

Does it make me a bad wife if I fib to my husband?  Notice I used the word fib and NOT lie.  Webster’s dictionary defines a fib as a trivial or childish lie.  I would say that my misleading was somewhat trivial. 
Definitely necessary, but trivial all the same. 

See a few weeks ago I started to try and plan at least one meatless dinner each week.  This dinner was to be something a bit different and new – black bean nachos did not count. 

You may remember my attempt at Yukon Gold White Bean and Basil burgers.  Well, they were eaten but not without some begrudging comments.  Mr. J is quite interested in knowing what is for dinner.  He asks in the morning and at lunch what the dinner plans are for the evening.  It is never something that just happens without him knowing.  The earlier he knows what dinner will be, the sooner he can start changing it if the idea doesn’t sound so appealing to him. 

Being the super wife I am, (laughing) I tried to make Monday night’s dinner on Sunday afternoon.  Or at least get it started.  I saw Mama Pea’s tamale pie recipe the other day and thought it sounded and more importantly looked delicious!  I wanted to try it. 

There was one problem: Tempeh

I had never used it and thought it looked somewhat disgusting in the stores.  Just so you know “like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but tempeh is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh's fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor which becomes more pronounced as the tempeh ages. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine; some consider it to be a meat analogue.”  Thanks Wikipedia!

I knew I could overcome my reservations about tempeh.  I wasn’t so sure about Mr. J.  After buying it in the store, I hid it in one of the drawers in the fridge.  No more than two hours later, he found it.  I quickly told him to shut the door because it was hot out and he was wasting electricity.  I then said that it was some of my special food and he should leave it alone.  Done and done.

Now back to Sunday afternoon.  While Mr. J was occupied with the women’s world cup finals, I quickly made the tempeh portion of the tamale pie and hid the evidence.  (I literally dug through the garbage bury the wrapper about 1 foot down.)  Maybe I should feel more guilty about hiding garbage?

Genius Mama Pea instructs using a grater to make the tempeh pieces the same size.  This process pretty much makes the tempeh look like ground turkey or chicken. 

The dish was still hot though and sitting on the counter when dinner preparations begun.  Immediately, Mr. J spotted the dish and started asking questions. 

The first being, “What is that?” 
Me: Tamale pie
The second being, “Is that ground chicken or turkey?”
Me: Yep

There you have it, my fib.  I am 99% confident this dish would not touch his mouth without this little fib.  So back to my question, does this make me a bad wife?

Turns out he didn't even remember our conversation Sunday.  He ended up loving dinner.  So did I.  It was delicious!  He asked again if I used turkey or chicken.  I couldn't lie fib again so I told him it was tempeh.  He said "really?!?" in complete disbelief.  He agreed again it was good.  Then asked if we could make it with meat.  Small steps.


  1. You are just too funny! Men sometimes need some more encouragement to eat "unusual" food. So a "little white lie" is not bad, not bad at all. Well done wify!

  2. ha ha ha ha ha ha,
    Love it!

  3. Haha I agree it's a fib, maybe not even that since you told him later. =) Boys, always got to trick them into trying new foods. Sometimes its just easier that way!

  4. What a delicious recipe, looks so incredible! :)

  5. Haha. This had me cracking up. I can't tell you how many uh, "fibs" I've told in the service of getting someone to try something vegetarian or vegan. Like you, I always come clean in the end, but sometimes you do what you gotta do. :)

  6. Luckily my husband always asks after he tastes. This is when he doesn't like the taste. Otherwise if it tastes good to him what is in it is irrelevant. Great healthy recipe for tamale pie!

  7. What a great story! My husband is the same way, but never asks what's for dinner - just eats what's in front of him! He prefers a bit of meat with his meals, but has an adventurous palate and willing to go vegetarian once a week!

  8. Must be a man thing. My husband is exactly same way! Looks like a great dish though, so glad he liked it!


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