Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

A big hit for dinner inspired by the delicious gingered chicken and green beans I had at Panda North in Brattleboro, Vermont (best Chinese restaurant in Vermont in my opinion).

This is my vegetarian version of a gingered entree.

green and long purple beans cut into 1-1/2″ pieces
slices of baby bell pepper (optional)
creaming onions, the ends chopped off and skinned
julienned fresh garlic
chopped fresh ginger
low-sodium chicken broth
low-salt tamari or soy sauce
tofu chunks, cubed (pre-sauteed in olive oil or fresh)
almond slivers (optional)

Saute onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil until turning clear or slightly browned.  Add beans, peppers, broth, tamari, tofu. Cook to desired tenderness. Just before serving, sprinkle on the almond slivers and mix around being sure to get lots of the brown sauce on the slivers.   The dish will have a nice gingery, garlicky, oniony aroma.

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Tasty Tempeh

I love tempeh.  That is, tempeh cooked the way I do it.  And using my favorite brand—organic LightLife.


One package tempeh
Garlic powder to taste, or one clove fresh garlic.
Low salt tamari or soy sauce (use salt to taste if no tamari/soy sauce available).
Fresh ground black pepper
Parsley flakes
Olive oil
A smidgeon of cayenne (optional)

Slice the tempeh into strips, then into little squares.
Mince or press garlic, if using fresh.
Heat some olive oil (about 2 T) in an iron frying pan over low heat.

Saute garlic for 30 to 60 seconds (or done “to taste”, do not burn!), add tempeh.  Cook and stir until each side of tempeh squares is lightly browned.  If necessary, add more oil so that tempeh does not burn.

If using garlic powder, sprinkle that on, then the black pepper and cayenne.  Then, sprinkle tamari over the the browned tempeh.  Stir until all squares are coated with the sauce.  Saute for another few minutes until the squares look crunchy.  Little bits of the tempeh will be broken off at this point.  That’s OK, they are edible too.

At this point, the tempeh will have absorbed all the oil.  Let the squares brown a little more in the “dry” pan, but do not let burn.

Serve with brown rice, or bulgur, or soba noodles, or buckwheat soba noodles.

Is also excellent as a meatball substitute in home-made marinara sauce served with whole wheat pasta.


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Our summer garden this year blessed us with tomatoes of all kinds (no blight!).  We also had some green beans and some sugar snap peas, but the tomatoes were the star.  Thank goodness for our wonderful Saturday farmer’s market, which gave us zucchini, peppers, several types of garlic, and onions.  Just this week, I used the last of the tomatoes in a beef stew, but the recipe below was a hit from early September.  These last several months, I realized that it’s OK for me to do things “a little differently” from a recipe–as long as I trust my instincts about flavors that will go together and cook each component as it prefers to be prepared.  I suppose this is a bit like when I improvise musically…I never play an accompaniment the same way twice and you use the elements that come to you either from the basic musical idea or from the person you’re accompanying.  And you let your soul use what comes to you in that moment.

9/3/11–This evening’s variation on ratatouille is my “mostly one pan” method with the added kick of sun-dried tomatoes. I had checked in my Julia Child book and her recipe called for separate pans for the zucchini, the eggplant, and then baking it in the oven in a casserole dish.  Way too many dishes…and way too much time!

Since I cook almost everything in my 11″ iron frying pan, that’s where I made my ratatouille.  First, I sautéed a whole onion and several halved fresh garlic cloves, then added baby eggplants sliced (babies don’t need salting to get rid of extra fluid), about five of them.  At the same time, I sautéed the zucchini and blanched sun-dried tomatoes in my smaller 10″ iron pan.  Once the baby eggplant seemed soft enough, I added slices of purple pepper and heirloom tomato (one really large one).  I also poured the blanching juice into the larger pan for flavor and to get the garlic nice and soft.  Once the zucchini was to my liking, I put that in the larger pan and added some vegetable broth (I could have used chicken broth if I had some), then simmered covered for about 10 minutes on low heat.  In the last two minutes, I added some fresh cilantro parsley leaves.

It was served over brown and wild rice, with grated cheese, garlic scape bits for toppings and some home-made bread, fresh mozzarella and Dubliner cheese on the side.


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