Spicy, fresh and perfect for you

Can I tell you something? It may be obvious that I have not been posting with the usual frequency I used to, but I promise, this is still a favorite place for me to come and share recipes, stories and thoughts. But life has been busy. Like, busy busy. And when I do find a moment where I’m not focused on finishing up a wholesale order or designing someone’s logo, I kind of want to just be outside with my husband, curl up and read a book (finally got around to finishing this one), a magazine, or plant something in my garden. And you know what, I’ve become ok with that.

There was a time when I thought you dear readers would stop being interested and move on if I wasn’t posting at least once a week, never mind those who carve out 2, 3, or more posts in one week! Whew, that would exhaust me this moment in time, but I do admire those who do it. I want to thank you for continuing to read, make my recipes, to ask me questions and give such positive feedback. You are becoming my main reason for showing up and I’m enjoying the conversations we have.

Our business has been slowly growing (5 years this May!) and I’m constantly blindsided how running a business can be such a deeper insight into my own personal strengths. How I can choose what it is I do everyday, but have the little voice in the back of my head tell me that “the choice may be mine, but not to give it too much slack”. December and January came and went so fast and for a person who loves to cook and eat good food, dinner did not make it to the table many of those nights. If it did, it most likely wasn’t even thought about until 8:30pm rolled around and it became such a rushed event of tossing whatever was in the fridge into a bowl and calling it a meal. Oh, they were quite the creative months ; )

I’ve been realizing that through those months I was barely ever picking up a cookbook. I was literally fueling and sustaining my hunger first, rather than inviting new and fun ways to prepare and enjoy a meal. It definitely gave me new ideas when cooking in this way, but when I received a copy of Martha Stewart Living’s new cookbook, Meatless, I was wishing it had been there on those nights when I didn’t want to create something fancy. I would have loved someone/something to just tell me what to make and lets be done with it, knowing the outcome would be different than the last repeated nights dinners and still taste good. Maybe some of you have those kind of weeknights as well. It’s a beautiful, full–color book, with over 200 recipes and if you are trying to limit your meat intake or just looking for more healthy weeknight dinner ideas, I’d suggest you start with this book. It has some very basic recipes, but there are also many creative salads, soups, pizzas and one pot dinner ideas that I can’t wait to try.

I started with this spiced tempeh, wilted chard and yogurt dish. It’s relatively quick once you’ve gotten everything chopped up and ready to throw into the pan. I replaced the tofu with the tempeh, for the simple reason that I had it on hand and I kind of prefer it to tofu. However if it’s new to you, it is a weird one, that’s for sure! Basically it’s soy beans that have been soaked, de-hulled and left to soak and ferment, forming a little cake. Sometimes it can get this bloom of black on it’s edges, but it’s totally safe to eat. The taste is quite different from tofu, but it’s much firmer in texture, easier to digest and has a higher protein, fiber, and vitamin content then tofu. It’s probably an acquired taste, but for what it’s worth, my husband who doesn’t like it as much as I do, said he really enjoyed it served in this dish.

Spiced Tempeh with Wilted Chard & Yogurt / serves 4

I made several substitutions to the recipe, replacing the tofu, spinach, and low-fat yogurt for tempeh, rainbow chard and whole milk yogurt.

2 tablespoons sunflower
2 8oz. packages tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
coarse salt
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 bunches rainbow chard, stemmed and chopped
2/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 cups cooked brown rice

In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add tempeh (or tofu) and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and season with salt.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and spices and cook, stirring, until spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until just wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Season with salt and stir in golden tempeh. Serve with rice on the side.