Category Archives: Food

Tempeh Salad & Carrot-Ginger Soup

Since becoming vegan, people around the office are curious about what I’m eating. I suspect that one person makes a trip down the hall daily just to check out my lunch. I am totally ok with this! I’m happy to report that the interactions have progressed from strange looks, to ingredient questions, and finally, to recipe requests. I love my colleagues.

Today I picked up a soup and sandwich from The Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant. It was worth the trip across post-blizzard snow and ice, in sub-zero temps.

This is a Tempeh Salad Sandwich, and I’m happy to report, my first positive tempeh experience! I want to like it, since fermented soy products like tempeh have numerous health benefits. The salad is a blend of tempeh, Vegenaise, peppers, onions, and a bit of lemon juice. It’s served with spinach and tomatoes on a whole wheat pita, but nine-grain bread is also an option.

The vivid green pickles in the background are Green Oil Pickles, made and canned by my mom. They’re a sweet pickle flavored with cinnamon and clove oils, and were a nice accompaniment to the sandwich.

The moist, lightly-sweetened cornbread goes with this Carrot-Ginger Soup.

Carrot Ginger Soup

This was perfect for a cold day like today: sweet, spicy, and just a little bit creamy. Excellent.

Cilantro Haters: Not for You.

I love cilantro. Everyone in my house loves it too. We can’t get enough of the stuff. But I know it’s a very polarizing herb, and there are a large number of (unfortunate) people who think it tastes like soap. Whatever. That means more for me!

Lately I have taken to buying more than one bunch at a time. If it starts to go bad, I make Cilantro Lime Rice. Just chop up some cilantro and toss it into some rice that you’ve cooked with salt and lime juice. (Do not use the ironically-named “RealLime” stuff – only fresh-squeezed juice, or Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice will do.) This rice is fantastic in burritos, especially with Chipotle Black Beans.

I also puree the cilantro with onions, garlic, other herbs, etc. and freeze it in plastic bags or ice cube trays for a near-instant sofrito.

Like most other fresh herbs, cilantro likes to stay dry. I can keep it for about twice as long if I remove it from the produce bag when I get home, pat it dry, and place it in a plastic container lined with a paper towel. A leftover plastic salad container works well for this.

The most recent recipe I tried, Ginger-Cilantro Rice with Green Onion and Sesame from Kalyn’s Kitchen, was a crowd-pleaser. I should have doubled it because it is great the next day – hot or cold. The sesame oil adds a rich flavor that I always like, and the cilantro is refreshing, as always. I used basmati rice, and veggie broth (of course). I think next time I would add more chopped ginger near the end, to get that spicy sensation of biting into an occasional ginger bit.

I’m Roasting Everything in Sight

It’s the season, you know?

I started the week with roasted yellow and red potatoes seasoned with sage. Then I roasted a large quantity of red peppers (on sale 10 for $10, 11th free, at Meijer). Mmm.

Tonight I roasted some root vegetables: parsnips, sweet potatoes, red beets, and a miscellaneous red and white striped beet – the last of the CSA produce (*sniff*). Seasoned simply, with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mmm.

roasted root vegetables

Next up: butternut squash.

Seitan Chorizo

I can barely live without having these in my refrigerator at all times. They are seriously tasty. The texture and flavor is just right. I think they might even fool a meat-eating chorizo lover if you tucked them into a breakfast burrito with some black beans and rice.

I’ve varied the recipe from mild to extra spicy. I like to use smoked paprika, and add a little extra. One thing is always the same: I have to put it away promptly or I’ll end up eating it all, right out of the pan. It sounds like I’m not the only person with this problem. I recommend doubling your batch.

Seitan Chorizo Crumbles

Thank you, Celine Steen at “have cake, will travel“. You rock.

Spicy Indian Cauliflower

I love this Spicy Indian Cauliflower.

spicy indian cauliflower

It’s so delicious, I could eat the whole recipe. I would probably regret that later. I use less oil than the recipe calls for, about 1/2 tsp just to make the mustard seeds pop. Then I add a bit of water to help distribute the spices. I would serve this with basmati rice, or as a side dish to Crockpot Channa Masala. It would also be good stuffed into some naan or pita bread for lunch.