Thursday, January 6, 2011

SOya long Meat!

I have been on my veggie kick for a little over a week now and I am so excited to share a couple recipes that I have picked up. After doing a lot of research on vegetarian and vegan diets, I decided that it’s something I want to slowly adopt. I have tried the 30 day vegetarian challenge before and I craved meat like crazy! But this time is different. Want to know why? (start nodding your head because you know I am going to tell you anyway)I am cutting out the deprivation thoughts. That’s it! That’s my secret to living a healthy and happy lifestyle.

I was inspired by a blog my friend sent me recently (thank you to Laura Law) called “Oh She Glows”. I highly recommend you go and check it out, Angela's view on life and diet was truly inspiring and I decided that is what was wrong with my past diet trials. I openly went into my gluten free diet because I had to cut out gluten. It wasn’t a choice. But going vegetarian/vegan IS a choice. A choice that I can choose to carry out. If I want a piece of chicken for dinner, by golly I am going to have it! But to tell you the truth, in carrying on this perspective, I haven’t wanted it. Me, a turkey, chicken, occasional medium-rare steak lover DOES NOT want it. No cravings because there are no restrictions.

It’s been only a little over a week but I still want to give myself a pat on the back because I know this adopted way of living will bring me to what I want…you remember my resolution right? A Happy & Healthy Lifestyle.

Okay, dinner time. My temptation to try vegan options quickly turned into a Tempehtation when I was exploring whole foods vegan section. I love tofu and have cooked with it often but have never tried tempeh. Nothing against, just haven’t grabbed it. Like they say, don’t knock it till you try it! And try it you should! I am talking to you dear readers-meat lover or not.

So what exactly IS Tempeh?

“Tempeh originated from Indonesia, where it is still an important food. Tempeh is cake of soybeans, which have been de-hulled, cooked, mixed with a tempeh starter (culture of Rhizopus oligosporusor Rhizopus oryzae) and incubated for a day or two.

The white mycelium of the Rhizopus mold keeps the soybeans together to form a solid cake, which you can easily sliced.
In Indonesia, tempeh is traditionally made from soybeans only, but in Western countries you can find tempeh made from other ingredients, such as vegetables, grains or other beans. Since tempeh is made from whole soybeans, it is a fiber rich food. Tempeh is a rich source of proteins, minerals, soy isoflavones and saponins. It is also a generous source of nutrients such as calcium, B-vitamins and iron. IN addition, tempeh is a good source of monosatuarated fats and contains no cholesterol. The natural tempeh fermentation process also makes the soya more digestible. Tempeh has grown so much in popularity that it is now available in the refrigerated section of many supermarkets. Of course, you can also find it in health food stores oriental shops.”

Informative lesson over let’s talk food. I sampled two different marinated tempeh flavors from whole foods. I was meant to try it I decided because the packages were on sale 2/$6! Ah I love it when fate leads me to scrumptious adventures.
So hear are two recipes we tried out the last two nights. One using coconut curry tempeh

, the other lemon pepper tempeh.

Delicious, nutritious and delightfully easy to make! Let’s face it, most of us work late and we need a meal in under 20 minutes when we get home that isn’t delivered in a greasy box or plucked from the pantry in a can. Both these meals are well under 20 minutes. Take that Rachel Ray! My husband and I were delightfully full and content. Meat was not missed I assure you.

Coconut Curry Tempeh with Brown Rice Vegetable Medley

•1 pkg coconut curry marinated tempeh
•1 package Uncle Bens Instant Brown Rice
•2 cups organic frozen vegetables (lima beans, carrots, peas, green beans)
•2-3 tbs EVOO

I used a short cut and bought the instant uncle bens brown rice that comes measured out in 2 cup servings that boil on the stovetop quickly. Drain well and set aside.

Steam vegetable medley, drain well, and mix into rice. Divide onto two plates.

Heat EVOO in a pan until hot. Place tempeh into the pan and brown all sides, about 2 minutes each side. Place over rice & vegetable medley and enjoy!

Lemon Pepper Tempeh with Leafy Greens & Brown Rice

•1 pkg Lemon Pepper Tempeh
•2 cups 365 organic Leafy Greens mix (kale, collard greens, spinach)
•1 pkg uncle bens instant brown rice
•2-3 tbs EVOO

Steam your leafy green mix on the stove top. Drain well.
Cook your Rice and mix, drain well and mix with leafy greens. Divide onto two plates.
Heat EVOO in a pan until hot. Place tempeh into the pan and brown all sides, about 2 minutes each side. Place browned strips over rice and greens. Enjoy!

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