Archive for February, 2011
Last night, I was really craving some deep fried Chinese food smothered in sauce. I almost broke down and got take-out, but I am way over my grocery budget this month – and it’s February, the shortest month of all, so I have no excuse. I’d been wanting to try out the Orange-Battered Tempeh recipe from the Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin; however, I didn’t have the main sauce ingredient – oranges. So I decided to roll the dice and substitute some apple juice for the orange juice and orange zest. Clearly, I was desperate.
This recipe had two main tasks – 1) covering the tempeh in beer batter and deep-frying, and 2) making the sauce. The deep-fried tempeh came out fabulous. The recipe yielded too much batter, but the fried tempeh (pre-sauce) was so good, I put the unused batter in the fridge and I’m planning on making tempura veggies with it sometime this weekend.
I used SoyBoy brand 5-grain tempeh, which I had never tried before. Not everyone is a fan of tempeh, but I think it’s sort of like tofu in that you can’t rely on it for flavor – you really need to sauce it or season it well. And my sauce was weird. But I was expecting that because of the whole apple juice thing. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a good meal, but next time I will gather up my nickels and go to the grocery store like any sane person would.
Aside from my ridiculous apple juice substitution, this recipe was a winner. It was surprisingly fast, considering you need to make batter, dredge, and deep-fry the tempeh, plus make a sauce. I know I’ve said this before, but I love this cookbook.
Last night, I made this tasty Italian dinner while talking to my lovely friend Sarah. It turned out so well, I’m going to add this to my “regular” dinner meals rotation. I ate it with a side of stir-fried baby bok choy, red peppers, and onions. Next time, I’ll stir-fry kale and garlic instead, which I think would complement the Italian flavors of this dish much better than bok choy.
Gardein and Eggplant Marinara Ingredients:
- About 2 cups Prepared Brown Rice
- 8 – 10 Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
- 1 large Eggplant
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
- Olive Oil
- Spices: Garlic, Italian seasoning, Parsley
Preheat oven to 430. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lightly brush or spray half of a cookie sheet with olive oil, then place a single layer of the eggplant slices on the oiled part of the sheet and lightly oil the tops of the slices. Sprinkle the slices liberally with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
Next, place Gardein tenders on the unoiled part of the pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping everything once.
Assemble the final dish by layering the following (from bottom to top of pile):
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- marinara sauce
- 2 – 3 Gardein tenders
- 4 slices eggplant
- marinara sauce
- 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
This recipe yields about 3 to 4 servings. The result is a very easy vegan chicken and eggplant parmesan. It was a yummy, satisfying meal and the whole process only took about 30 minutes, since I stir-fried the veggies while the Gardein and eggplant were cooking.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying my darnedest to cut back on my soy intake. So instead of soy protein powder, I’ve been loving this brown rice protein powder from MLO. I’ve been adding it to my breakfast smoothies, and it gives me a nice energy boost. Two tablespoons is 110 calories and 15 grams of protein. I usually do half a serving and it still keeps me full until noon. I haven’t tried it “plain” (just mixed into a glass of water or non-dairy milk) because I think that would taste heinous; I mean, who wants to drink brown rice flavored water? But in my smoothie, I can’t taste it at all. This is my favorite vegan protein powder so far. Is there a better one out there I should try?
These days, my breakfast smoothie consists of:
- 1 tbsp. brown rice protein powder
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
- 1 whole ripe banana
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup natural apple juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. stevia in the raw