That’s the sound of relief and pleasure at the perfect summer days and cooler nights we’re finally experiencing. I can turn on the oven again! Roasting all these lovely market veggies is an easy way to prepare them, especially in quantities to feed you all week-long. Don’t have to peel anything, don’t have to watch it as it cooks. Chop, toss with olive oil and salt, stick in a 375 F oven, set an alarm for 40 min, then go do laundry or email until the buzzer sounds.
I turned up the oven this week for DDoW Roast Artisan Tempeh, Pattypan Squash & Grape Tomatoes flavored with Rosemary & Fennel seed. Every ingredient used in both this week’s dishes was either local or organic (except for the green olives). I just LOVED the look on the farmers’ market vendors’ faces when I said I wanted every single pattypan squash they had! (30# at least.)
I will be roasting eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes & peppers for next week’s Ratatouille DDoW dish as well. See the DDoW Menu Archive for a list of past & future dishes.
News & Notes:
Catered a huge reception last week with many volunteers helping. Besides ready-made turkey roll-ups and generous contributions of brownies and veggie trays, I served Smashed Garlicky White Beans w/ Fresh Basil & Spinach and an Artichoke Kalamata Olive Tapenade with bruschetta (and gluten-free crackers too). Both appetizers are vegan and substantial as well as super easy to make. I also whipped up a creamy vegan veggie dip flavored with ginger, garlic and curry powder. See Recipes for similar easy dips.
- The tempeh I use is an excellent local product, hand-crafted in small batches. This artisan product is far superior to the vacuum-packed grocery store brands. Everybody who knows tempeh tells me so. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more info on how to order your own private supply!
But what is Tempeh? It’s a dense solid patty made of fermented whole soybeans. It has a nutty taste and a texture like a veggie burger. Being all soybean and virtually unprocessed, it’s high in protein and fiber. It is NOT Tofu. Tofu is a processed & filtered soybean product and therefore has lost its fiber content.
Tempeh, like “veggie burger”, tends to dry out, so I like to not only marinate it in spices & broth before pan-frying or broiling but to also pour broth over it afterwards, which it will soak up. I also serve it with a sauce and/or veggies that are ‘wet’, like summer squash, tomatoes etc. Indonesia is famous for its tempeh and so naturally it is awesome with sesame/ peanut /satay sauce, such as shown in this photo.
As a cooking coach, I focus on efficiency, versatility and making use of seasonal foods. The most recent sessions feature black-eyed peas & Swiss chard prepared SIX ways, five of which can be frozen.
Beans and Dark Leafy Greens such as chard are a wonderful combination that happens to be easy, versatile and extremely nutritious (and low-fat). I could use kale or turnip greens in the following recipes just as easily as chard, and I do.
Sadly I find many people do not know what to do with Chard or Kale, they mistakenly overcook Collards, they keep beets but throw OUT Beet Greens (gasp!) and, they’ve never even heard of Turnip Greens. Aiyeee!
Just like spinach, these greens are LOVELY when simply sauteed with garlic, lemon & salt. Unlike spinach, all these greens are bountiful from now til Nov.
Black-eyed peas (BEP) is a stand-in for any creamy mild bean. I like it because it’s fast-cooking and under-used.
6 dishes you can easily make from these 2 main ingredients, even in ONE afternoon. All basically vegan.
#1 Marinated BEP Salad with diced chard stems and leaves, any crunchy veg on hand, tossed w/ herb vinaigrette.
#2 BEP & Leafy Green Saute Base. A simple saute of chopped chard leaves & stems, garlic & onion and cooked BEP in a generous amount of olive oil. Zucchini is also nice in this base. It should be wet enough to clump together but not overly goopy. This mixture is divided into 3+ quarts to be seasoned separately; a quart or more of plain is frozen too.
#3 A la Provencal. Add fresh herbs like sage, lemon juice, and, if you like, green olives and/or capers.
#4 Provencal Bruschetta, sandwich or omelette filling: #3 smashed, drizzled with EVOO and topped with minced fresh sage & garlic. And diced fresh tomatoes if got ’em.
#5 Provencal Stew and Soup. Broth & wine added to #3 along with more veg (any kind), more herbs or pesto, then simmered til soft. Throw some pesto or grated cheese on top before serving.
#6 Curry Stew. #2 base simmered with more veg, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, broth and Indian spices such as garam masala or curry powder (and many more which I won’t list now), cayenne if you like it spicy. Yogurt and raisins is nice as garnish.
#7 Spaghetti Sauce. #2 simmered with with tomato sauce and paste, basil, oregano.
If you have 3 large pots, you can do this is in one session. All but the salad can be frozen. Easy, versatile, yummy!