Spaghetti with Tempeh Sausage Marinara and Artichokes

Spaghetti with Tempeh Sausage Marinara and Artichokes

This spaghetti with tempeh sausage marinara is a weeknight version of one of my favorite weekend dishes! It swaps crumbled tempeh seasoned with sage, fennel, basil and oregano for sausage to make it a vegetarian meal. Add artichokes for veggies and texture! This easy recipe takes less than 30 minutes hands on time!

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Asian Tempeh-Quinoa Salad with Wild Greens

Have a tasty, protein packed salad on the table in less than 20 minutes with this Asian tempeh-quinoa salad with wild greens, made with a Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit as a shortcut!

Convenience food gets a bad rep. But with full lives that seem to pull us in five directions all at once, all of which are far from the kitchen, a little convenience is sometimes what we need!

That's why I'm excited to be partnering with Eat Smart to highlight their new Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits! These chef inspired salad kits are packed with the most nutritious dark greens like kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts and all the toppings you need to create a tasty gourmet salad. The flavor combinations are innovative and the dressings are really delicious (and this is coming from a HUGE dressing snob!).

Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits are such a huge timesaver. As is, they make a great side dish. Or if you want to bulk it up to make a main, just add your choice of protein or carb. It doesn't have to be anything time consuming - 90 second brown rice, chopped fruit or roasted sweet potatoes from the deli would be a great way to add carbs, and you could add canned tuna/salmon, a hard boiled egg or even a frozen veggie burger for protein. Plus, because the salads are all made with hearty greens, you can pack and dress your salads the day ahead and they won't wilt. Yay for leftovers!

With all the time you're saving in the kitchen, I encourage you to sit down and slow down and enjoy your meal with family. I don't think I've mentioned it on the blog yet (way to drop the ball, Rach...), but this month is National Nutrition Month, a month-long nutrition education campaign by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. This years theme is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right." I'm actually pretty excited about it. In all the talk of what to eat, one thing that's lost is how to eat. That's where savoring comes in, the act of mindfully noticing and appreciating the flavors and textures of your food and enjoying the company you're with.

These Eat Right Gourmet Salad Vegetable kits definitely made it easy to savor. As part of this campaign, we were sent a sampler with all seven kits, which we used all week to create delicious, homecooked meals with fresh ingredients. Every night we had dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes, leaving more time to savor our masterpiece!

Asian Tempeh-Quinoa Salad is a protein packed topping for your Eat Smart Salad Kit!

Another one of my timesaving tricks is cooking a batch of some type of protein food to have on hand for quick meals throughout the week. One of my favorites is this Asian inspired tempeh and quinoa salad. It's perfect as a salad topper or as a snack with brown rice crackers. I've even stuffed it into an avocado to serve over greens! I served it over the Wild Greens and Quinoa Salad Kit, which comes with crispy quinoa, feta, almonds, and avocado herb dressing, but it would also work well over any of the others (except maybe the Southwest!).

Be sure to sign up for the Eat Smart eblast for exclusive offers and like them on facebook for more recipe ideas that make healthy easy!


Asian Tempeh-Quinoa Salad with Wild Greens

Serves 2

Makes leftover tempeh-quinoa salad, which could be served over another Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit or with brown rice crackers and veggies as a snack.

Ingredients

Asian Tempeh-Quinoa Salad:

  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:

  • 1 Eat Smart Wild Greens and Quinoa Gourmet Salad Kit
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Place quinoa in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining tempeh-quinoa salad ingredients and pulse until well combined.
  2. In a large salad bowl, pour wild greens out of the bag. Add salad toppings and drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine. Divide salad between 2 bowls. Top with bell pepper, sliced avocado, radish and a scoop of tempeh-quinoa salad.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Vegetarian Brown Rice Congee with Tempeh

For a unique breakfast, try this vegetarian brown rice congee with tempeh, a healthy take on a traditional Asian breakfast. 

First of all, thank you all so very much for all the incredibly kind feedback on yesterdays post on dieting and feminism. Seriously, some of your comments and emails brought me to tears! It was a post very much written from the heart - I actually stayed up till midnight writing it! I was really worried in my sleep deprived state I wouldn't be able to make the statement I was trying to make, so I was happy to hear so many of y'all connected.

Now, on to todays post!

Growing up in Atlanta, one of my favorite weekend treats was going to Canton House on Buford Highway for dim sum. Having moved from New York City, with Chinatown and its plethora of authentic Chinese food, I was so happy to find a place that sold things other than sesame chicken and lo mein. I'd guess we went there twice a month growing up and I still go almost every time I'm back in Atlanta!

Have you ever been to dim sum? It's kind of like Chinese tapas, but instead of ordering off a menu, small plates of food are carted around the restaurant and you simply point at what looks good to order. It's perfect for someone like me who can't make a decision to save her life when faced with a menu. Also, endless dumplings.

Heaven.

There were a few dishes we always ordered. Steamed pork buns for my brother. Rolled rice noodles for me. And always a bowl of congee to share.

Congee is a type of rice porridge served for breakfast in many Asian countries. It's made with rice simmered until it's broken down and soup-like, flavored with just a little bit of pork or chicken and topped with all sorts of yummy things, like green onions and fried shallots. So basic, yet so delicious. My mouth is literally watering right now.

When we went to Vietnam, I was SO excited when I found congee at our hotel breakfast buffet. Like, I flipped out to Scott and basically forced him to get a giant bowl with me. I was heartbroken when I had a bite and realized it was super bland and not at all the congee of my youth. Have you ever had a bite of your favorite hamburger from your favorite childhood restaurant, only to realize they changed the recipe? That was how heartbroken I felt. Literally, every single hotel we stayed at had the same bland congee.

Since then, I've been craving some congee. (P.S. Columbia friends, favorite Chinese restaurant recs? I've found great Korean and Vietnamese, but nothing but Panda Express-style Chinese.). So, I decided to whip some up myself.

This recipe isn't exactly authentic because, you know, I'm white, but it's still packed with flavor and I think, pretty close in flavor profile to the original. Don't skip on the toppings! They pack in the flavor and make a pretty dish!

Vegetarian Brown Rice Congee with Tempeh

Serves 6

Ingredients

Congee:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped

Tempeh: 

  • 1 tablespoon seasme oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Fried Shallots:

  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

For serving:

  • Tempeh
  • Fried shallots
  • Sliced green onion
  • Soft or hard boiled egg
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, toasted
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Bring brown rice, ginger, garlic and water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt. Reduce heat to maintain at a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 and a half hours, until it has a thick, soup-like consistency and the rice is broken down. Add more water if it's starting to look too thick. Stir in spinach and let wilt.
  2. While congee is cooking, make the tempeh. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tempeh and cook until browned and tender,about 5 minutes. When cooked through, stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to season. Once soy sauce has evaporated, about 1 minute, turn off heat and set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
  3. To make the shallots, toss shallot rings and cornstarch together in a bowl. Heat oil on medium high heat in a small skillet. Add the shallots and fry until golden and tender, flipping halfway, about 2 minutes per side Remove immediately to paper towel lined plate.
  4. Serve congee garnished with tempeh, fried shallots, green onion, a drizzle of sesame oil, egg and red pepper flakes.

Vegan Tempeh Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Get #SoyInspired for the holidays with my vegan tempeh sausage stuffed mushrooms, the perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving spread!

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the #soyinspired campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Avocado A Day possible! 

Is it just me, or are you guys also having a hard time adjusting to the fact that it's almost the holidays? Seems like just yesterday I was sweating in shorts and a tank top and today I'm bundled up in fleece lined sweatpants. Oh wait, it was just yesterday that I was rocking shorts and a tank top in 90 degree Vietnam and now I've returned to a freeze warning. So you're saying I have to adjust to a 60 degree temperature shift and an 11 hour time change?? Ugh...

Since I've already broken out my fuzzy holiday PJs, I suppose it's appropriate to start planning my Thanksgiving menu. It's only a month away! Since my mom and mother-in-law are in charge of making the classics, I get to have fun picking out new recipes to try.

My favorite thing to plan is our appetizer spread. Call me crazy, but I'll take cheese plates and homemade gravlax over turkey any day! Sometimes I end up eating more appetizers than dinner!

Since there's plenty of indulgence coming, I like to plan appetizers that are nutritious, but still Thanksgiving worthy. When the opportunity came to collaborate with The Soy Foods Council on a holiday friendly recipe, I knew I wanted to whip up something delicious for my appetizer spread!

If you've been following my blog for awhile, then you've probably picked up on my love for tempeh. Tofu is fabulous and miso is my jam, but tempeh definitely holds a special place in my heart.

Tempeh, which originated in Indonesia, is made by fermenting soybeans and pressing them into a cake. The fermentation process produces beneficial probiotics and makes the nutrients in soy more bioavailable. While I don't push people to become vegan or vegetarian (unless it's a step they'd like to take) I do advocate for eating less meat, both for health and environmental reasons. With 16 grams of protein in a 3 ounce serving, tempeh is a fantastic source of plant based protein. Once people get past the whole 'fermented soy bean' thing and taste it, they love it!

From a culinary standpoint, tempeh is great for replicating the taste and texture of meat. Crumble it up, saute in olive oil and throw it into chili, tomato sauce or tacos for a tasty meatless meal. Lately, I've been really into tempeh sausage, which I make by cooking crumbled tempeh with olive oil, garlic, onions and plenty of spices. It soaks up all those yummy flavors and makes a mighty tasty filling for these stuffed mushrooms.

I kept this recipe vegan, but you could also add crumbled feta or goat cheese to the filling for extra yums. And while we're at it, you could also throw in a beaten egg to help the filling stick together a bit better. It didn't fall apart, but if you're going for that picture perfect Thanksgiving layout, it might be helpful.

Learn more about soy from the Soy Foods Council, and/or follow along the #SoyInspired campaign on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Vegan Tempeh Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes about 30

If you have any leftover tempeh sausage, it's great tossed with whole grain pasta, over stone ground grits or mixed into scrambled veggies and eggs.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Pepper jelly, optional, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add fennel, basil, oregano, sage, and pepper flakes and saute 1 minute. Add sun dried tomato and chopped mushroom stems. Season with salt and pepper and saute until mushrooms have released and reabsorbed their liquid. Stir in tempeh and soy sauce, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Saute 2-3 minutes, stir in nutritional yeast, and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange mushroom caps on a large baking sheet. Divide tempeh sausage mixture evenly between mushroom caps. Place in the baking sheet in the oven and cook 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving garnished with a dollop of pepper jelly, if desired.

More #soyinspired recipes for the holidays:

Brussels Sprout Salad with Tempeh Bacon and Apples
Brussels Sprout Salad with Tempeh Bacon and Apples
Miso Sesame Green Pea Spread
Miso Sesame Green Pea Spread
Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Miso-Sesame Dressing
Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Miso-Sesame Dressing

Vegan Vietnamese Brown Rice Noodle Salad with Sesame Tempeh

Vegan Vietnamese brown rice noodle salad is packed with bright, fresh flavors from crunchy raw vegetables, fresh herbs, spicy sesame tempeh and a tangy sesame vinaigrette.

Happy Monday! Sending this post out from the airport on my way to Lodi, California, where I'm spending the next three days traveling with California Almonds. Very excited for this amazing experience, and to learn about my favorite nut along with some incredible RD bloggers. Follow me on instagram for updates!

This trip is the start to a season packed to the brim with travel. Next week I'm headed to Chicago, where I'll be spending a few days exploring the city with my mom before my cousins wedding. The week after that, we're headed up to Philadelphia a dear friends wedding. Then I'll have a few weeks at home before I head to Nashville for FNCE, the national conference for dietitians. From there (and I mean literally from there, like, the day after FNCE ends) I'm headed off for the two week trip of a lifetime with my hubs to....

VIETNAM!!

Hence this Vietnamese rice noodle salad, which I'm sure after eating authentic Vietnamese rice noodle salads I will look back on and cringe.

I won't lie, looking at my calendar, rapidly filling appointment slots and wondering when I will have time to keep up with this little blog of mine, it's a bit exhausting. But I mean, getting a free trip to California, having mother-daughter time in an awesome city, seeing lifelong friends and making new ones, going to freaking Vietnam...I really can't complain!

Right after my husband, travel is the love of my life. Nothing makes me feel more alive than exploring a new place and soaking up every last drop. Even if it's in our own state, it brings a joy to my life that I can't quite describe.

There's a saying attributed to the Dalai Lama to "once a year, go someplace you've never been before." I love this advice. Traveling, more than taking a vacation, expands your life in so many ways. It builds confidence, makes you a more compassionate person, opens your mind, makes you less materialistic, and (I think) sexier.

Travel can make you healthier. Looking back at my life, I truly believe traveling as a child was the single greatest factor in me becoming a dietitian and making my wellness a priority. Really. If you think travel is all about indulgent restaurants and skipping workouts, well, you're right, but there are other ways travel can make you a healthier person.

It's helps you see past the insanity of fad diets. When you travel around the world, you see a wide range of traditional diets. You also see how the people eating these different diets are generally pretty healthy, much healthier than we are here in the States. For example, in Peru, potatoes were a major part of every meal. At the farmers market, there was an entire potato section which consisted of two 30-foot long tables overflowing with dozens of different types of potatoes. I also saw native Peruvians absolutely whooping fit Americans on the Incan trail. Our guide said Peruvian guides hiked to Machu Picchu and back in one day. It takes other travelers three days, one way. It's kind of hard to give in to the low carb propoganda after seeing that.

Travel expands your taste buds. Picky eaters...not exactly the healthiest. Travel exposes you to new foods and flavors. When you're a more adventurous eater, eating healthy food is less about dieting and more about trying new and delicious foods.

Travel makes you appreciate what you have. In many countries, poverty is much more visible than we're used to. Seeing how people not only live, but in many ways thrive, with much less material possessions than we're used to, makes you truly appreciate what you have. When  you truly feel grateful for the food in front of you, it seems wasteful not to enjoy and savor it mindfully.

Travel motives me to be healthy later in life. Scott and I are planning our lives to ensure we're able to travel as much as possible, as late into life as possible. I am fully prepared to be that little old lady, cane in one hand, Scott's hand in the other, navigating the streets of some small European town.

You don't even have to travel to exotic places to get these benefits. Exploring new places in your own backyard can be just as beneficial, and fun! Some of my favorite trips have been less than a couple hours drive - camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking with friends in the upstate, and exploring historic sites in South Carolina. You can even learn a lot from exploring your own town with fresh eyes!

Do you love to travel? If so, how has it enriched your life and made you a healthier person? 

Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Sesame Tempeh

Serves 6

Adapted from Thug Kitchen

Ingredients

Ginger-Sesame Tempeh:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil

Salad:

  • 8 ounce package thin brown rice noodles
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup cashews, toasted
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Toasted Sesame Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. First, make the tempeh. Cut the tempeh into 16 slices width-wise. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rest of the tempeh ingredients. Pour over the tempeh in a shallot bowl, flip to coat evenly with marinade. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

  2. When ready to cook, warm 1-2 teaspoons in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add tempeh slices and cook 3-4 minutes, flip, then cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Remove and set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  3. To make the salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook according to package directions. When they are done, drain, rinse under cold water until cool, then set aside.
  4. While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  5. Divide the salad greens between four plates or large bowls. Top with a scoop of rice noodles in the center. Place the carrot, cucumber, herbs and green onion in piles around the noodles. Drizzle with dressing, top with cashews and serve.

More recipes inspired by my travels:

Chermoula Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad
Chermoula Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad
Crispy Potatoes with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Crispy Potatoes with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Spanish Chickpeas and Greens
Spanish Chickpeas and Greens

Vegan Tempeh Taco Salad with Cashew Sour Cream

A vegan take on taco salad made with tempeh and cashew sour cream. The whole family will love this plant based meal! 

Just a quickie post for you today, sharing a tasty little vegan salad I whipped up a few months ago. My kitchen creativity has been waning the past couple weeks, so I had to dig through the archives for an awesome recipe with pictures to match.

Even though I passed over this recipe the first time around doesn’t make it any less worthy of being shared. However, because I did have a full weekend of work, plans to celebrate one of my best friends 30th birthdays Sunday night, and an early morning class I'm teaching on Monday, it isn’t worthy of me chatting about it more than this! 

Enjoy!

Vegan Tempeh Taco Salad with Cashew Sour Cream

Serves 4

Ingredients

Tempeh Taco Meat: 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt free taco seasoning

Salad: 

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped black olives
  • 2 ounces tortilla chips, roughly broken
  • Salsa

Cashew Sour Cream:

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water at least 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 5-7 minutes until tender. Add tempeh, taco seasoning, and saute 5 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. While tempeh is sauteing, blend soaked cashews, water, apple cider vinegar and salt in a food processor until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
  3. In a large salad bowl, toss together lettuce, radishes, black olives and tortilla chips. Top with tempeh meat, cashew sour cream, and salsa and serve.

Brown Rice Bowl With Five Spice Tempeh and Garlicky Greens

This brown rice bowl with five spice tempeh, garlicky greens, edamame hummus and pea shoots comes together in less than five minutes when the ingredients are prepped in advance. 

This weekend, I taught two nutrition classes, both focused on making healthy eating easy with meal prep and planning. So naturally, I spent quite a bit of time praising my favorite quick meal - the grain bowl.

Have you hopped on the grain bowl train yet? I wrote an in depth post on it a few months ago, sharing my formula for a perfect grain bowl, but basically it's a hearty salad with whole grains as it's base. Endlessly adaptable, it's a perfect way to use up random leftovers and vegetables hanging around the fridge. It's filling, nutritious, portable, fun to eat...basically it's perfect.

Free idea for any aspiring food bloggers: I think there should be an entire blog devoted to grain bowls. Will someone please do that? If you do, I promise to subscribe and share every post and also love you forever.

I've made a gazillion grain bowls (no exaggeration). Most aren't exactly a recipe, but rather a bunch of random stuff piled on some grains. It's always delicious, but not exactly blog worthy in the looks department. So when I made this picture perfect grain bowl last month, I knew I had to add it to the queue.

With all the ingredients precooked, this took just 5 minutes to throw together. And the prep was hardly intensive either. I cooked brown rice in the pressure cooker (2 minutes hands on time), sauteed baby bok choy and spinach (10 minutes, doing the dishes as it cooked), and baked tempeh (5 minutes hands on). Not too shabby.

A shout out to the star of this dish - the edamame hummus. Big thanks to Eat Well, Embrace Life for the special delivery. I was kind of skeptical, but it actually turned out to be my favorite flavor. If you can't find edamame hummus, simply swap in avocado slices or a drizzle of sesame oil for healthy fat.

Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh and Garlicky Greens

Serves 4

If you can't find edamame hummus, swap in sliced avocado. For a spicier version, use kim chi instead of fermented kraut.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 ounce bag baby spinach
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 1/2 cup edamame hummus
  • 1/2 cup fermented sauerkraut
  • Pea shoots, microgreens or sprouts
  • Chili oil, for serving
  • Fermented soy sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut tempeh into 16 slices widthwise. Place on a oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with half the five spice powder, salt and pepper. Flip and season the other side. Spray with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake 15 minutes. Flip, then bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside and cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy, saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
  4. Place 3/4 cup brown rice in a bowl. Place 4 slices of tempeh, 1/4th of the vegetables, 2 tablespoons of hummus, 2 tablespoons of sauerkraut, and a handful of pea shoots in piles over the brown rice.
  5. Drizzle with chili oil and soy sauce to serve.

You might also love:

Build a Perfect Grain Bowl
Build a Perfect Grain Bowl
Jamaican Jerk Tofu Bowl with Garlicky Greens
Jamaican Jerk Tofu Bowl with Garlicky Greens
Buddha Bowl with Marinated Tofu, Kimchi, and Spinach
Buddha Bowl with Marinated Tofu, Kimchi, and Spinach

Chipotle Tempeh and Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Kale Guacamole

Black beans and tempeh are simmered in a spicy tomato sauce then served over cauliflower rice with kale guacamole in this chipotle tempeh and cauliflower rice bowl. 

So, I'm sitting here, staring at my computer, desperately trying to find the words to express the pure deliciousness of this dish, but the only thing coming to me involves drool, OMG's and multiple exclamation marks.

But I won't do that because I'm a professional and there's lots of letters behind my name to prove it. So instead, I'm going to write a bunch of fluff to fill a few paragraphs until it's appropriate to jump to the recipe.

Let's start with the most important part, the kale guac. I will never eat non-kaled guac ever again. That's a lie. I will eat guac every which way. But seriously, kale in guac is pretty epic. The fats in the avocado soften the kale and the kale acts like an herb, lending a bright, fresh flavor to it. And if you have a kale haters in the family, you can pass it off as cilantro (before you kick that weirdo out of the house).

Then we've got the cauliflower rice, which I fell in love with last year when I got on a kick of experimenting with grain free dishes. All you do is place cauliflower florets in a food processor, pulse, then saute the "rice" with olive oil, garlic and onions. I actually like it better than real rice!

Last, but not least (or maybe it is least, 'cause I really really really like cauliflower rice and guac) we've got the bans and tempeh in chipotle sauce. Are you hesitant to try tempeh? I can't blame you - it is a fermented soybean cake afterall. This dish is the perfect introduction. Crumbled up in a spicy chipotle sauce with beans, it tastes just like ground meat. Still not ready for tempeh? Swap in 1/2 lb of ground beef or chicken, or more beans.

Now, I think that's enough fluff for today.

Chipotle Tempeh and Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Kale Guacamole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Chipotle Tempeh & Beans: 

  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 chipotle chilies plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled

Cauliflower Rice:

  • 1 head cauliflower, stemmed and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

Kale Guacamole:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 juicy lime
  • 1 cup packed, chopped kale

Instructions

  1. First, make the chipotle tempeh and beans. Place diced tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce in a blender and blend until pureed, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot and heat on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chipotle sauce, black beans and crumbled tempeh. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes then let sit on low heat while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor. Process until it's the consistency of rice. You may have to do this in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, sided skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower rice, season with salt, and saute, stirring every so often to prevent burning, until lightly caramelized and tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. While cauliflower rice is cooking, make the guacamole. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a medium bowl. Add the onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and mash to desired consistency. Stir in chopped kale.
  6. Divide the cauliflower rice between bowls. Top with chipotle tempeh and serve with the guacamole on the side.

You might also like:

Chorizo Tempeh and Potato Tacos
Chorizo Tempeh and Potato Tacos
Honey Bourbon BBQ Tempeh
Honey Bourbon BBQ Tempeh
Sriracha Tofu Cauliflower Rice Bowl 

Sriracha Tofu Cauliflower Rice Bowl 

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Ambrosia Apples and Tempeh Bacon

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the #iloveambrosia campaign as a member of Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time and gifted a dozen Ambrosia apples. Thanks for supporting Avocado A Day! 

If there was anyone more excited than me when I was asked to participate in the #iloveambrosia apple campaign, it was my pup, Savannah. Adorbs, isn't she?

Being the good dietitian's dog that she is, her favorite treat isn't rubbery pupperoni or even her all natural, smoked salmon treats. It's apples. Y'all, that dog will do anything for apples. She'll pull out tricks we've never even taught her just to get the core leftover from our snack. She can even hear the sound of us biting into an apple from the other side of the house! Because we're suckers for that precious little face, she generally gets a decent portion of every apple we eat, plus the ones that get mealy or brown.

When a package of twelve GORGEOUS Ambrosia apples arrived at our doorstep, I thought her eyes would pop out of her head with excitement. I actually tried to get her picture with the apples, but it basically turned into that scene from There's Something About Mary when Matt Dillon's character gives Fluffy the dog speed. True story.

I totally get her excitement. These were some pretty darn gorgeous apples. No hint of blemish, even after a week in the heavily trafficked fruit crisper. A deep pink blush over a creamy yellow background. Shiny skin. Huge.

I was even more excited when I took a bite.

I know I overuse superlatives, but this was the best apple I've ever tasted.

Aptly named after the food of the gods, Ambrosia apples mysteriously appeared as a seedling in a orchard full of Jonagolds. After the pickers stripped the tree clean of it's perfect fruit, the farmer decided to produce more. Ambrosias are one of the sweetest apple varieties with a flavor reminiscent of honey. I generally prefer tart apples, but the complex flavor, crisp flavor and juiciness won me over!

After tasting the apple, I knew I wanted to keep it in it's raw form and preserve it's perfection. I also wanted to do a savory recipe rather than sweet. Dare to be different, I say.

The sweet Ambrosia apple perfectly pairs with bitter Brussels sprouts leaves. The smoky tempeh bacon, nutty pecans and acidic lemon dressing balance out the flavors. I should note, this salad was made for batch cooking. The apples, which oxidize slower than other varieties, didn't brown and the sprouts stayed crisp for the three days I kept it in the fridge. All it needs is a dash more lemon before serving and you're good to go!

Like all apples, Ambrosia's are a good source of fiber with 4 grams in each medium apple. It's especially rich in soluble fiber, known for it's cholesterol lowering benefits. It's also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C. Much of the research on apples has focused on their polyphenol content, a type of phytonutrient which makes apples especially good for blood sugar regulation. The polyphenols found in apples slow down carbohydrate digestion, stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin, and reduce glucose absorption. Make sure to eat the skin where many of the nutrients concentrate!

Now, I know you all are on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what Savannah thought of these apples. I'm sorry to report that she's just not a fan. Not because they aren't delicious, but because her mommy and daddy ate all of them, leaving her with just a few, almost completely stripped down cores. Her puppy dog eyes are cute, but no match for the allure of these apples.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Ambrosia Apples and Tempeh Bacon

Serves 4

Although this salad, full of healthy carbs, fat and protein, is perfectly satisfying, if you want to bulk it up a bit more, add chickpeas. And although it would not longer be vegan, blue cheese would be a welcome addition as well.

Ingredients

Bacon:

  • 8 ounce organic tempeh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Salad:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 2 large Ambrosia apples
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. First, make the tempeh bacon. Cut the tempeh in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 12 thin slices, for a total of 24. Place in a zip top bag or plastic container with lid. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, and spices. Pour over tempeh and let marinade at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Line the tempeh up on the baking sheet and brush the tops with more olive oil. Bake for 12-14 minutes, flip, then bake an additional 8 minutes until browned and slightly crisp.
  3. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise through the core. Using a paring knife, cut away the core so the leaves fall apart and separate. Add to a large salad bowl. Dice the apple and add to the sprouts along with the pecans. Toss in the pecans.
  4. Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the salad and serve.

Honey Bourbon Barbecue Tempeh Sandwich

Honey Bourbon Barbecue Tempeh Sandwich

You’ll love the tangy taste of the sauce for this honey bourbon barbecue tempeh sandwich! It’s perfect for those of you who think traditional ketchup based barbecue sauce is too sweet (me!). To make this sandwich, bake tempeh slices with sauce, pile high on a bun, and serve with pickles and coleslaw! It’s a really fun way to enjoy a meatless meal!

Read More

Vegan Southwestern Tempeh Hash

Tempeh, a fermented soy food, is one of the most nutritious vegan sources of protein. If you've never tried it, this vegan Southwestern tempeh hash with sweet potatoes and kale is a great place to start! 

When I started my undergraduate degree in nutrition, it was pretty much accepted that soy protein was a good thing. In 1999, the FDA had approved a health claim stating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol including soy protein is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. There was plenty of research to back it up – one meta-analysis of 34 studies found a 13% decrease in unhealthy LDL cholesterol associated with soy protein consumption.

But by the time I graduated in 2007, a full blown nutrition controversy was brewing.  That same year, a group of scientists petitioned the FDA to reverse this claim, so the FDA agreed to reevaluate. A  year earlier, the American Heart Association reversed it’s position on soy protein and cholesterol lowering (although they still endorsed soy products as a low saturated fat protein source). Most argued that soy protein did not significantly lower cholesterol enough to warrant a claim. Others claimed soy itself is unhealthy, linking it to food allergies, breast cancer, weight gain and thyroid disease.

So what’s the truth about soy?  Weeding through the many conflicting studies is complicated, but most of the inconsistency in research results can be explained by the difference in the way soy is consumed in Asia versus the United States. Most of the initial research indicating a benefit from soy was conducted in Asia, where soy is consumed in an unprocessed or minimally processed form. It's often fermented, a process that makes the nutrients more absorbable. Here in the states, despite being a country of tofu-phobics, we actually consume a huge quantity of soy, usually in a highly processed form. Soybean oil is used mostly in processed foods as a less expensive alternative to the butter, olive oil and other fats used in home cooking.  Soy proteins, like textured vegetable protein and soy protein isolate are found not just in meats alternatives, but hidden in nutrition shakes, protein bars, canned soups, and condiments.

The soybean itself is a nutrient rich food. Soybeans contain vitamins like vitamin K and B vitamins. Soybeans are mineral rich, with iron, phosphorus, copper and potassium. They even have a pretty decent dose of omega 3 fats. And there's plenty of research showing soy can be of benefit in the prevention of chronic disease.

Heart Disease

Most heart healthy benefits of soy are the result of being a plant-based substitute for meat and other animal foods. But soy also contains a phytonutrient called soyasaponin, which helps prevent lipid oxidation in blood vessels and reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.

Cancer Prevention

Soy and cancer prevention is controversial topic.  Most of the confusion has to do with the estrogen-like effect of isoflavones, a compound found in high quantities in soy.  Excess estrogen has been linked to cancer, especially breast cancer, so on the surface, you would think something similar to estrogen would have similar, cancer-promoting effects. But estrogen is about 1,000 times stronger than the isoflavones found in soy. Isoflavones may actually reduce the risk of estrogen dependent cancers by blocking estrogen receptors in cells. The anticancer benefit of soy seems to be especially powerful in fermented soy foods, like tempeh, which are more concentrated in genistein, a substance that kills cancer cells.

Probiotics

When soy is consumed in a fermented form, as in tempeh, miso and natto, soy is an excellent source of probiotics, healthy bacteria that aid in digestion, promote nutrient absorption and enhance immunity. Recent studies have also linked a healthy intestinal flora to a reduced risk of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and even obesity.

Vegan Southwestern Hash

Serves: 4

Adapted from Martha Stewart Meatless

Ingredients

  • 4 small sweet potatoes, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 handfuls of chopped, stemmed kale
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 lime, sliced

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and boil until mostly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Toss together crumbled tempeh and adobo sauce, set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoons oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add potatoes. Cook without moving for a few minutes, then flip with a spatula. Continue to cook, flipping with a spatula every few minutes or so, until browned and tender. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook an additional 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Add kale. Cook 2 minutes until mostly wilted. Add tomatoes and scallions. Cook another 2 minutes until tender. Stir in black beans, reserved marinated tempeh and cook until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in nutrition yeast and avocado.
  5. Serve with lime slices if desired.