Thursday, July 16, 2009

7 Shades July 16

Black cherries and water can only get one so far into the afternoon. At some point that deep hunger creeps up, and fruit won't do. But wait, it's vegan day- I can't reach for a flank of steak or even a piece of brie! Is this the end? Heck no! Tempeh, ho hayoh! You say flaxseed and I'll say wheat!

Yet another great opportunity to eat. Dinner comes along nicely with gas-stove and a flat skillet. Have I said enough about tempeh? I don't think so; like those cooking shows are crazy about pork, "it rules!" I'm crazy about an alternate protein source, and for many like myself, a staple. Check it:

Tempeh Griddle Grill w/o Dill & Brown Rice w/Lentil

1 c brown rice
¼ c lentils

1 package flaxseed tempeh
3 carrot sticks, washed
3-4 celery sticks, washed
½ head red (purple) cabbage
1 broccoli crown, washed

1 tspn onion flakes
1 tspn garlic flakes
½ tspn black pepper
½ tspn basil
½ tspn thyme

1-2 tspns organic kosher veggie boullion powder
(or 1-2 veggie boullion cubes)

1/8 c balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
½ tspn Bragg's aminos
1 tspn apricot preserves
1 tspn “general tsaos sauce”

canola oil
olive or sesame oil

Cook rice and lentils in a medium pot with something like 3-5 cups of water, 1 tspn olive oil, veggie boullion, and a dash of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing heat and covering. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or so.

Slice carrots diagonally and add to wok with 2 tblspn canola and 1 tblspn olive (or sesame.) Stir. Add the onion and garlic flakes (a little unorthodox I know, be patient!) Stir. Add the celery sliced diagonally at this time. Stir.

Slice the tempeh into grillable slices, and toss with balsamic vinegar and Bragg's aminos. Heat a flat skillet to about medium heat (takes no time with propane) and add 1 tblspn canola and 1 tblspn olive oil. Arrange the tempeh on the skillet as you like. Flip in 3-5 minutes (watch color.) After another 3-5 minutes, it is ready.

Check your rice- add water if needed. Chop cabbage into medium strips, and add to the wok. Stir stir stir. Add gnr'l tsao sauce and any leftover balsamic from tempeh toss. Add preserves. Mix it up, add the broccoli. All should be coming together at this point. If broccoli is taking too long, push the other veggies up on the wall of the wok so brocc gets full exposure to bottom of pan. You may even add a little water, raise heat to med-hi, and cover for 2-3 minutes.

Serve in a plateau bowl; start with a mound of rice, add the veggies & save broccoli for side of bowl to enhance visual. Lay tempeh strips across top of veg & rice. C'est si bon -bon.

Lunch – leftover take-out fried tofu with red pepper and lemon grass.

For breakfast, try making a gluten-free granola,nut, & dried fruit mix; serve cold with soy milk (like cereal.) For some reason I liked soy milk on this better than rice milk. Add fresh blueberries if you have access to them or blackberries (maybe in August mine will be ready.) Send me a comment if you want the recipe for the gluten-free toasted granola mix- it is easy and I like to make big quantities for road trips and hikes. Stores great in plastic bags or a plasticware tub. A bowl of that, coffee, and another piece of fruit on its own make a good morning happen. Be sure to bring some to your community service group. Thanks to the big-O.

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