Dinner for hungry people

As I usually say, lots of things have been happening, which explains my long-term absence. I hope this will assuage the concerns of those who began to wonder if I fell off the face of the planet.

I’ll post more about this week probably tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’d like to share a recent cooking success (tonight, in fact!) from the fabulous Veganomicon.

Smoky Grilled Tempeh

  • 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh (I used flax tempeh)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

“Bring a medium-size pot of water to boil. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a bowl large enough to fit the tempeh slices. Cut the tempeh in half, widthwise, then cut each of the resulting squares diagonally to form four large triangles. When the water is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, add the tempeh triangles, and cook for 10 minutes.

Use tongs to immediately place the tempeh in the marinade bowl. Let marinate for 1 hour, flipping the tempeh every now and again to cover with the marinade.” (From Veganomicon)

If you have a grill pan, definitely try that, but I only have regular pans here, so I opted to panfry these bad boys in a little bit of olive oil. Put about a tablespoon of whatever oil you want to use in a pan over medium heat, slap those tempeh triangles in there and spoon some of the marinade over them each time you flip them (which should be relatively frequently over a span of about ten minutes). I ate them with stir-fried bell peppers and tomatoes and some leftover amaranth–deeeelicious.

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Delicious treats courtesy of me

I like to cook, and since cooking is something I do like to spend some time on while I am unemployed, I feel like the things I prepare should be shared here. That said, here are some recipes that tend to be my go-to for quick dinner after a long day. The first is one that I believe should be credited to Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, although Mark Bittman can essentially tell you what to do in less-ingredient-specific terms.

Boiled amaranth:

  • 1/2 cup amaranth
  • 1 1/2 cups water (or other liquid, like stock)
  • pinch of salt to taste
  1. Heat liquid to boiling over high heat.
  2. Add salt and amaranth, cover, turn down heat and let simmer for 25 min./until tender and slightly gummy/until water is absorbed, whichever happens first.
  3. Drain if necessary.

A good inclusion: shichimi togarashi, which Mark Bittman definitely has a recipe for.

Now for my custom recipe.

Fried tempeh bits with amaranth:

  • Single-serving portion of tempeh (a third or fourth of a packaged block), cut into small, thin bits (diced-ish)
  • Tamari to taste (2 or more regular spoonfuls, in my experience)
  • Nori furikake (called “Nori ‘shake'” by Mark Bittman; another recipe his veg cookbook boasts) to taste
  • Tbsp-ish of ginger (to taste), minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp-ish of minced garlic (I love garlic)
  • Grapeseed oil for frying (best choice in my opinion)
  1. Put diced tempeh in a bowl and add just enough tamari to coat tempeh bits plus a tiny bit more to keep the nori from sticking to the bowl.
  2. Sprinkle nori furikake generously on tempeh. Stir so everything is evenly distributed and covered in tamari. Let marinate while preparing other ingredients.
  3. Mince garlic and ginger.
  4. Heat pan/skillet/wok over medium-high heat with oil.
  5. Fry garlic and ginger for no more than 15 seconds, then add tempeh. Fry until golden on at least one side. Warning: sesame seeds from the furikake may pop a little in the skillet, so be careful.
  6. Serve atop reheated or just-boiled amaranth, depending on what you have time for.

Friends Party; or, old recap posts part the final

Finally, we’re up to this past weekend, which was Friends Party-

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