(Tempeh-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms)
What can I say about Tom Penny that wasn’t already said in his Menikmati intro seventeen years ago? Skateboarding’s humble equivalent of Where’s Waldo has amassed a decades-long following with unassuming ease (indeed, one might even assume he’s oblivious to it). While few (if any) skateboarders have ever lost themselves in the “I’m the raddest, I’m this, I’m that” rhetoric, none have stayed as effortlessly distanced from those chains as the man living “in his own little Penny world.”
While skateboarding and drug-use have never existed in entirely separate spheres, it’s safe to say that Penny is more iconic than most for embracing the overlap in the skateboarding/narcotics Venn diagram: look no further than the psychedelic tint to his Sorry and Extremely Sorry parts or his iconic Flip graphics like Cheech and Chong or unmistakably hallucinogenic mushrooms. I have not done any independent investigation on this lead, but it is rumored that Tom Penny’s onslaught of brain-melters on the San Dieguito rail was carried out while he was on, well, brain-melters. I’d like to believe that he was high on a natural, plant-based diet when he destroyed the San Diego chain to bank, but, alas, I have nothing to corroborate that.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t wax paternal here and clarify that it’s probably not illicit substances that give Penny the most beautiful switch frontside flip in history. Further, I should clarify that, despite the fact that his alleged proclivities lead to very interesting, stylized video parts that flirt with morphine-induced hallucinations and subtle, Cronenberg-esque body horror, he has plenty of other comparatively benign trademarks, including (most notably) his patented fashion sense (Kelly Hart knows what’s up).
As a SAFE AND LEGAL tribute to Tom Penny’s lovably controversial aura, I present to you this week’s recipe, Tom-peh Stuffed Shrooms (tempeh-stuffed mushrooms).
While I would never endorse psychedelic shrooms as a way to enhance your skating (as a former attorney, I advise against them in any non-skating capacity, as well), I do recommend adding mushrooms that aren’t grown from cow shit to your diet. While there is dueling research on whether the vitamin D benefits provided by mushrooms are overstated, it’s undisputed that mushrooms are a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and potassium.
If you haven’t tried tempeh (pronounced tem-PEY), it is not to be feared or jeered; it is to be celebrated. Tempeh is a soy product, like tofu, but fermented. Hailing from Indonesia, it’s kind of like whole-bean tofu with a higher protein content and a nuttier flavor. The fermented nature of tempeh provides a probiotic benefit which, among other things, can help boost your immune system, reduce refined sugar/carb cravings, and fight indigestion and inflammation. Throw it in with some other veggies and then stuff that into some hollowed-out mushrooms and you’ve got a filling, healthy meal worthy of a Velvet Underground-narrated morphine dream.
In Penny’s own (slightly modified) words, “Arto. Arto, wake up. Wake up, let’s go [cook], man.”
- 8 large Portobello mushroom caps (hollowed out)
- 1 block tempeh (8-12 oz)
- 2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15-oz can, drained)
- 1 crown (2 cups) broccoli
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 bell pepper (diced)
- 1 jalapeno (minced, optional)
- 1 serrano pepper (minced, optional)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced; that pre-minced garlic in a jar is fine, too)
- 2-3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. olive oil (for skillet)
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. oregano
- Lime juice from 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Time to hollow out your shrooms. Turn your mushrooms over and scoop out the “gills” using a spoon and discard (see photo below). Remove the stems with a knife and discard.
- In order to get the tempeh to absorb more flavor while cooking, it is helpful to simmer the tempeh. Fill a pot with a few inches of water and set to a boil. Once it starts boiling, throw the whole block of tempeh in there and take the temperature down to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Take the tempeh out and set it aside.
- While the tempeh is simmering/cooling, chop up the onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno, serrano and broccoli (I just rip the broccoli with my hands). Ideally, the broccoli, onions, and pepper should all be dime-sized and the serrano, jalapeño and garlic should be minced as small as possible. That said, if you don’t mind crunching down on a sizable chunk of serrano and riding the flame, then chop it as large as you want.
- In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Once it’s nice and hot, throw in the onion and let that cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally (and enjoy that smell). Then throw in the broccoli and red pepper and let that cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, toss in the jalapeno, serrano and garlic for about a minute.
- Grab the softened tempeh and start crumbling it up and throwing it in. As far as size, it’s up to you. I like bigger chunks, but if you want to start breaking it down to individual beans, it’s going to be just as delicious. After you’ve finished throwing the tempeh in, throw the black beans in and stir it all around for a 2-3 minutes.
- Next toss in the soy sauce and squeeze in the lime juice. Stir it around a bit and then, finally, mix up the cumin, oregano and chili powder and toss them in. Stir it around and let it all cook and soak together for a 2-3 minutes until you have a vibrant skillet full of nutritious tempeh stuffing.
- Pile the mix into the mushrooms until they’re full (or, if you like, stack even more on top). Place the stuffed mushrooms on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the mushrooms start to wilt inward a little and the scramble looks slightly toasted.
Makes 4 servings of 2 stuffed mushrooms; per serving: 295 calories, 5g fat, 37g carbs, 26g protein.