Tempeh Hash with Poached Avocado and Hollandaise Sauce

Last weekend, Alex and I were in Philadelphia. It was our first time visiting the city so we did some research and made a list of all the vegan restaurants within 5 miles of our hotel. (Quite serendipitously, the current issue of Chickpea Magazine had a vegan guide to Philly! I took copious notes as I made my lists in Evernote.) One restaurant that did not come up on our radar during this research, however, was Vegan Commissary. It only opened in December 2013 so it is brand new, explaining why we only stumbled upon it on Saturday morning as we searched for a place to get vegan breakfast/brunch. For such a new restaurant, though, it already had a lot of good reviews on Yelp so we decided to go there.

…Man, oh, man, was this place amazing! I had the breakfast wrap while Alex had the tempeh hash with poached avocado. We then followed that up with cinnamon rolls and quinoa porridge. (Walking everywhere, especially in snow and slush, works up quite an appetite!) We were in absolute vegan food bliss.

Now, I didn’t get to try the tempeh hash with poached avocado but I decided to recreate it—or my version of it—for breakfast today. The following is what I came up with and it was quite divine, if I do say so myself.

Tempeh Hash with Poached Avocado and Hollandaise Sauce
Serves 2
My attempt at recreating a delicious brunch item from Vegan Commissary, an amazing vegan restaurant in Philadelphia.
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
973 calories
59 g
0 g
72 g
39 g
12 g
621 g
404 g
5 g
0 g
55 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 973
Calories from Fat 620
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 72g
Saturated Fat 12g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 14g
Monounsaturated Fat 41g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 404mg
Total Carbohydrates 59g
Dietary Fiber 19g
Sugars 5g
Protein 39g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Tempeh Hash
  1. 8-oz tempeh, cubed
  2. 1/4 C onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  4. 1/2 C potato, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  5. 1/2 C sweet potato, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  6. 4 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds, chopped
  7. 2 Tbsp, rounded, nutritional yeast
  8. 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  9. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
  11. paprika, to taste
Poached Avocado
  1. 1 avocado, halved and peeled, pit removed
  2. 2 Tbsp water, divided
Hollandaise Sauce
  1. 1/4 C cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
  2. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  3. pinch sea salt
  4. pinch cayenne pepper
  5. 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
  6. 5 Tbsp water
  7. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  8. 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
To serve
  1. 1 handful of baby spinach
  2. 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  3. Sriracha, to taste (optional)
Tempeh Hash
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except paprika in a bowl and stir until everything is well coated in oil. (Add more oil as needed.)
  3. Lay out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet or in a shallow, wide dish. (If the dish is too deep, the top will brown and the rest will simply cook. You want to achieve maximum crispiness here.)
  4. Dust with paprika and bake for about 18 minutes, or until beginning to brown.
Poached Avocado
  1. While the hash is cooking, take out two square sheets of foil.
  2. Place an avocado half in the middle of one foil sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp water, and seal it (like a roomy pouch). Repeat for the other half.
  3. Once the time is up on the hash, stir the tempeh mixture and place the foil packets on a separate rack.
  4. Crank up the temperature to 400°F. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Hollandaise Sauce
  1. Drain and rinse the cashews. Place them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  2. Just before serving, heat the sauce in a microwave until warm (15-20 seconds).
To serve
  1. Divide the spinach among two plates.
  2. Spoon tempeh hash onto the dishes.
  3. Top with poached avocado.
  4. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce and sriracha (if using).
  5. Sprinkle on the fresh parsley.
  6. Enjoy!
acid-stars.com https://acid-stars.com/
When I make this next, I’ll try to get some photos before Alex and I gobble it all up.

Hands in the air like it’s good to be alive

Planning a bike tour is no easy feat. Depending on where one goes and for how long, one would need a lot of gear to get through the trip:

    Bicycle leaning against rail on boardwalk; overlooking ocean

  • Tent with footprint and rainfly
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Pillow
  • Clothes (cycling & street)
  • Stove, pot, bowls, and utensils
  • Food
  • Water bottles & filtration system
  • Camp towel
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Bike tools and spare parts
  • Bike cover
  • Bike lock

I’ve been looking at /r/bicycletouring/ for inspiration as well as advice. I’ve also come across a complete bicycle touring gear checklist that’s proving quite handy.

However, since Alex and I are planning a short weekend trip before we embark on a longer (week- or 2-week-long) tour, we will require less gear than this. Essentially, we’ll just need the necessities: tent, sleeping bags, pillows, cycling clothes, street clothes, camp towel, toiletries, bike tools, spare tubes, pump, and bike locks. The problem is that we don’t currently have camping gear (nor have we ever camped!) so we’ll have to make that investment. We were looking at REI and Dick’s but then I remembered about craigslist! We can get a lot of the items we need second-hand without breaking the bank while helping me curb my tendencies to over-consume.

The trouble now is trying to figure out where we should go and for how long. I’ve long considered State Bike Route 9 for such an adventure but I’ve read some less-than-stellar accounts of it. New York is a big state with a lot of bike routes… and that’s if we decide to stay in NY. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are nearby and we’re considering them, too. (I’ve always wanted to bike through the Amish country!) So there’s still quite a bit of planning to do before this trip becomes reality but we’re excited for this adventure!

Take off your shoes and relax your feet

Water rushing down a mountainsideOne day in June, Alex and I packed our bags and headed up to Lake Luzerne for a mini vacation on Lake Vanare. The day we left, it was pouring rain but we couldn’t postpone our trip: the cabin was booked and everything was paid for. So we hitched our bikes to the trunk and headed upstate. The conditions were treacherous: we saw water rushing down mountainsides and cars abandoned in gigantic puddles on the side of the highway. So we slowly made our way through the Bronx, Yonkers, and beyond.

Because of the lousy weather, we were stuck indoors for the first few days. We ventured outside only to find food and get acquainted with the town. Luckily, my cellphone had reception up there so I was able to tether my iPad to my phone: we avoided cabin fever by streaming shows and movies via Netflix. (This was when we discovered Party Down, a funny show you’ve probably never heard of. It’s a shame it was canceled as early as it was.)

Alex hiking up Hadley MountainBy the third day, the weather cleared up enough for us to seek outdoor adventure. We asked some locals for an easy hiking trail and were recommended Hadley Mountain with its historic fire tower. So to the mountain we headed! The trail was very lush with foliage and sounds of running water always somewhere nearby. Some parts were very steep and I was glad to have found a good walking stick early on. It also helped to have something to lean on when I needed to catch my breath: we tired easily and the muggy weather made breathing difficult.

Hadley Mountain Fire TowerWe persevered, though, and finally reached the top. The weather was significantly different: it was foggy, windy, and cold by the fire tower. It looked like a scene out of a movie. It was very spooky and very surreal… yet very beautiful and striking. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see farther than a few feet ahead of us. Later, at dinner, we compared our view with that of a view on a fog-free day… and, to be perfectly honest, we were jealous. However, we quickly realized that, among the hundreds of photos taken from the summit of the mountain, very few show the tower the way we saw it that day. We decided we were actually some of the lucky ones.

The way down was easier, since we already knew the way and because gravity was helping us. We needed to be extra careful, though, because it was slippery and going down too quickly could have resulted in a fall. Of course, I managed to do just that: as we were nearing the bottom, I fell and slid on a muddy rock. Luckily, I only walked away with a bruised ego and a dirty backside. Just added to the experience!

Over the Hudson RiverThe following day, the weather finally cleared and we saw the sun for the first time in days. So we hopped on our bikes and pedaled away. I worked out a route that would take us in a loop around town. It was about 30 miles roundtrip. The first part of the ride was gorgeous and a pleasure to experience. As we approached our cabin, though, the ride got worse and we had difficulty staying interested: we were going down US-9 with cars, trucks, and buses. The view was awful and the noise was unnerving. It took me and Alex everything we had to keep going and not hail a passing pickup truck. By the time we made it back (some 5-6 hours later!), we were delirious with exhaustion. It was a challenging ride but a fantastic experience.

We went home the following day, our muscles aching but our spirits soaring. It was an unforgettable vacation and I’m eager to go on another adventure.