Tag Archives: tempeh

Greens, Oranges & Reds to Combat Winter Blues

New Winter Menus for Delivered Dish of the Week

Browse the dishes below, then go to the Ordering page’s Online Form to place your orders in advance. Ordering deadlines are the Sat prior to delivery week. If you’re a new client, please do fill out the Delivery Instruction field with as many specifics as possible. More info on DDoW service.

Btw, dish descriptions are here, while specific ingredient lists are within the Online Form.

A note about delivery: all dishes can be frozen, therefore they should be fine sitting on your stoop until you get home!

Roast Beets & Cabbage Salad (my photo).

Roast Beets & Cabbage Salad (my photo).

Jan 13 – 18
Curried Lentil & Carrot Stew  (vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars). Ok, lentils aren’t colorful nor particularly pretty but, this hearty stew with a bit of coconut milk will satisfy winter cravings

Roast Beet & Cabbage Salad with Sesame Tarator Dressing (vegan, GF, soy-free, Paleo, no added sugars). Here’s the pretty: “Pretty in pink” in a bowl, both smooth and crunchy. Beets with sesame dressings are my new favorite, inspired by “Mediterranean Fresh” by Joyce Goldstein. If this is a bit frozen when you rescue it from your front door, flip it out on to a large plate to thaw to room temp.

Jan 20 – 25
Spanish Shepherd’s Pie (vegan, GF, Paleo, no added sugars; contains soy).  Minced mushrooms and TVP flavored with olives & raisins provide a savory ‘meaty’ protein to balance mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. This will come in a small foil loaf pan, in case you want to brown it in the oven at home.

Red & Green Soup (vegan, GF, soy-free, Paleo, no added sugars). A simple Minestrone-like soup with lots of green veg, tomato and a few beans, sans noodles.

Fresh edamame (soy beans) have a firm texture and nutty taste.

Fresh edamame (soy beans) have a firm texture and nutty taste. Also called sweet beans.

Jan 27 – Feb 1
(vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars). Let’s have Mardi Gras a month early!  A toothsome brown rice dish chock full of celery & bell peppers. Add your own shrimp or sausage if you wish, and pass the hot sauce.

Edamame Succotash (vegan, GF, no added sugars; contains soy). Lima bean-phobes rejoice, because I’m substituting local, organic edamame beans from Sno-Pac, a southern MN company. Organic sweet corn, zucchini (non-organic probably, sorry), sweet onions and fresh dill round out this classic dish.

Feb 3 – 8
Veggie Tamale Casserole 
(vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars). Terry Hope Romero in her cookbook “Viva Vegan” says these are “inspired by tamales from the Sinaloa region of Mexico”, because veggies are worked right into the dough instead of serving as a filling. Green tomatillos and a bit of capers add tang. 

Red Posole with slaw on top (my photo).

Red Posole with slaw on top (my photo). Life-giving.

Red Posole Soup w/ Beans & Hominy (vegan, GF, soy-free, no added sugars). This hearty Mexican soup is a godsend on a frigid day. Full of tomatoes, green peppers, beans & chewy hominy. Medium spicy. Top with the traditional garnish of shredded cabbage, radishes, cilantro and squeezed fresh lime. It’s like having soup and salad in the same bowl.

Feb 10 – 15
Kale Yam Soup with Sage (vegan, GF, soy-free, Paleo, no added sugars). From “Love Soup” by Anna Thomas. I love this delicious combination of sweet pots, kale, spinach, parsley and caramelized onions, pureed til smooth and perfumed with sage.

Soft Garlicky Green Beans & Tempeh (vegan, GF, no added sugars). Tomatoey garlicky green beans, courtesy of Crescent Dragonwagon’s book “Bean for Bean”, plus high-protein organic tempeh to soak up the sauce. Note, you can choose the no-tempeh option (and then it’s Paleo-friendly). Yes, that is her name. Great cookbook.

More casseroles, cassoulets and cazuelas to come in Feb & March! 


Inspiration & Perspiration

I’ve been so remiss about blogging!  I have about 10 backlogged topics I could easily expound upon– and hope to one day– such as

  • stories of teaching the Arboretum Cooking Camps to the nicest bunch of 8 – 12 year olds;
  • cooking for a family with Alkaline diet needs;
  • how the government shutdown affected nutrition of low-income women & children;
  • all the catering I’ve been doing, from board retreats to a large wedding dinner;
  • new cookbooks I just picked up, like “Viva Vegan”; etc.

But that is for another day. Today I’m announcing the next 6 week-cycle of Delivered Dish of the Week (DDoW), which takes us up through Thanksgiving.

Bonanza haul from Farmers' Market, Sept (my pic).

Bonanza haul from Farmers’ Market, Sept (my pic).

I find inspiration everywhere, from my own archive of dishes and cookbooks to newsletters and restaurants.

I’m always inspired by the Farmers Markets these days. I also like to peruse the aisles of grocery stores and see what catches my eye. If I like the name of a bottled salad dressing or a sauce, I take a picture of the ingredient list and try to incorporate its flavors into something.

I also look to organic food sources such as Azure Standard (Oregon), boutique producers like Purcell Mountain Farm (Idaho) and Sno Pac Foods (from southern MN). Purcell offers heirloom beans, so I tried some last cycle. This week I was able to order cases of frozen organic ‘sweet beans’ (fresh shelled edamame) from Sno Pac, so these will be featured in December.

Perspiration is what transpires between the photo above and the photos of dishes below. I don’t always love the process but often, I find chopping and stirring rather satisfying.  I let my hands take over, while my mind listens to MPR podcasts and wanders. And, I love the results.

DDOW OCT 21 – NOV 28

OCT 21 – 26

1) Pureed Celery Parsnip Parsley Soup. V, GF, Paleo, soy-free & no added sugars. Exactly what it says, with a bit of potato added to counter the sweetness of the parsnips. Fresh parsley and lemon juice brighten it up. Very mild and comforting.

2) Barley Mushroom Lentil Pilaf. V, soy-free & no added sugars; contains gluten. A very earthy, autumnal and toothsome dish. Wonderfully chewy, in contrast to the pureed soup.

OCT 28 – NOV 1

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)1) Zombie Blood Soup, aka Gingery Beet & Cabbage Borscht. V, GF, Paleo, soy-free & no added sugars.  Several clients love this and always order extra. And, if a delicious nourishing soup doesn’t do it for you, throw in some hard-boiled eggs for floating eyeballs and scare the kids.

1) Zombie Blood Soup, aka Gingery Beet & Cabbage Borscht. V, GF, Paleo, soy-free & no added sugars.  Several clients love this and always order extra. And, if a delicious nourishing soup doesn’t do it for you, throw in some hard-boiled eggs for floating eyeballs and scare the kids.

2) Rat Hot Dish, aka, Polenta Ratatouille Casserole. GF,  soy-free & no added sugars.  Reprise of ratatouille layered with smooth polenta in a loaf or pie pan, with the addition of white beans. Polenta will have butter and parmesan/romano cheese unless you indicate the no-dairy version. Probably really good with Fritos on top.

NOV 4 – 8

Diff kinds of red beans: (clockwise from top) kidney, Spanish Tolosna, Giant Scarlet Runner Beans (my pic).

Diff kinds of red beans: (clockwise from top) kidney, Giant Scarlet Runner Beans and  Spanish Tolosna (my pic).

1) Creamy Kidney Bean, Carrot & Collard Mafe Stew. V, GF, soy-free & no added sugars; contains peanut butter. Option of almond butter if you have peanut sensitivities. West African Mafe is one of my top 10 comfort foods. It becomes more than the sum of its simple parts ( tomato sauce, peanut butter, some spices) and morphs into a rich creamy sauce. Excellent with any ingredients– in this case, hearty veg. Serve over a grain or with crusty bread.

2) Millet & Sweet Potato Pilaf. V, GF, soy-free & no added sugars. Fluffy millet with roast sweet pots and caramelized onions. A staple in Africa, millet is a high-protein gluten-free grain. People ask me why mine is fluffy while theirs comes out gloppy. I use the same amount of water as with brown rice, no more, and, after taking it off the heat, I let it steam in the pot. However, millet tends to dry out quickly, so when you reheat this dish, you must sprinkle a bit of water on top beforehand.

NOV 11 – 15

Firecracker Slaw  (my pic).

Firecracker Slaw (my pic).

1) Pureed Pumpkin & White Bean SoupV, GF, soy-free & no added sugars.  Ordered a case of organic pumpkin puree for this fiber-licious thick soup. White beans add protein, mire poix adds depth, and a little lime juice & cayenne adds kick. For a treat, add a dollop of sour cream that has been mixed with lime juice.  Perfect with a tart salad…like a slaw.

2) Firecracker Slaw in Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette.  V, GF, Paleo, soy-free & no added sugars. My standby all-star dish for demonstrations and holidays. Its bright colors, lively tang and considerable crunch will wake you up. Eat all you want, it’s zero points.

NOV 18 – 22

1) Caribbean Butter Bean Stew w/ Steamed Plantains. V, GF, soy-free & no added sugars. This was a big hit when I first served it in May. A light coconut sauce binds it all together. And hey, plantains are good carbs! From the terrific, must-buy “Appetite for Reduction” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

2) Jamaican Jerk Quinoa Pilaf w/ Corn.  V, GF, soy-free & no added sugars.  Instead of the stew being spicy, this time it’s the grain. Just for fun. If you want to cool it down, add yogurt.

Bring these dishes to a holiday meal and be prepared for profuse compliments!

Braised Collards, Bell Peppers & Raisins (my photo).

Braised Collards, Bell Peppers & Raisins (my photo).

1) Braised Collards w/ Red Bell Peppers & Raisins.  V, GF, Paleo, soy-free & no added sugars.  Another holiday favorite! There are many nice variations of this dish– Soul Food has one with orange juice — but my friend Carol is the source for this particular knock-out, for which I am forever thankful.

2) Roasted Tempeh & Potatoes in Chermoula SauceV, GF, no added sugars; contains soy. Savory Moroccan Chermoula herb paste does wonders for meats, beans, roots and grains. Here, it perfectly enhances nutty soy tempeh. This was a hearty vegan entree I served at a fall wedding.

Note: Please be aware that this week’s dishes will be priced slightly higher than usual.  Processing fresh collards take forever and organic tempeh is pricier than beans.

TO ORDER:  fill out & submit the online Order Form on this blog. You can order a bunch of dishes in advance or return to the form once a week, as you wish. Deadlines are Saturdays for deliveries the following week. See general info on Delivered Dish of the Week service.

PS: The Online Form lists the week, the name of each dish and its ingredients. These fuller Dish descriptions above are archived on the DDoW Menu Archive page in case you want to find them again. Or, search this blog for “DDoW”. 

Cooking Coach Case Study

from left: White Beans w/ Zucchini, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Grape Tomatoes & Olives; Sauteed Red Cabbage w/ Craisins & Fennel Seed; Zucchini Salad w/ Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette.

Case Study A:  I’ve been cooking for client Michele for several months. She has several parameters:
It’s a big challenge to shop & cook.  She lives by herself. She eats vegan only, cannot tolerate gluten, and avoids processed sugar, making it hard to eat out. She needs more protein in her diet.  

She’s on a weekly schedule for my Delivered Dish of the Week and on occasion I also deliver additional dishes and organic foods. Fortunately for her, about 75% of DDoW dishes are gluten-free, and each week always features a protein-rich bean dish.

Since I’m taking vacation, I am stocking up her refrigerator & freezer. At left are 3 dishes I dropped off today, freshly made, all vegan, gluten-free and low-fat. In addition, she got a quart of frozen quinoa pilaf and several packets of Simple Organics brand seasonings that she can add to canned beans, such as Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice, and Black Bean Salsa.

Adopting a vegan diet means one has to be be consistent about adequate sources of protein. An adult doesn’t need a lot — only 46 gms protein daily for women — but vegans & even vegetarians often don’t hit that mark. They tend to eat more carbs than necessary. Prepared vegetarian food such as from restaurants and deli counters are mostly carbs, so they’re no help. A Subway veggie sandwich? Cheese pizza? Puh-lease.  You’d be better off with a peanut-butter sandwich, or in Michele’s case, a bag of nuts.

In order to get enough protein, Michele has to make sure she’s eating complementary proteins. This means legumes + a starch, or veggies + a starch. She doesn’t even have to eat these in the same meal, but just over the course of one day. All starch or even all veggies do not deliver the right chemical combo. This is why my 2 weekly dishes always comprise these combinations. See Delivered Dish of the Week Menu Archive page for a million examples.

Fresh edamame (soy beans) have a firm texture and nutty taste.

So besides beans & more beans, I am also introducing Michele to soy products, which are  packed with protein. Edamame are fresh soy beans that many people like steamed in the pod as snacks. You can also buy them shelled in the frozen vegetable aisle of some grocery stores. They’re a lot like fresh green lima beans and have a great firm texture. I like to use them in both salads and sautés.

Next, I’ll teach her to prepare tempeh, an excellent, hearty soy product that’s much like veggie burger in texture. She can easily pan-fry or bake these slices with some sauce. Gado-Gado Tempeh (Indonesian peanut sauce) would be a snap to make and exotic, too.

Caribbean Dinner Menu

As mentioned in earlier posts and my weekly email blast, I’m cooking dinner for 175 people this weekend at a church auction event. Many many volunteers will be helping me prep cook, serve, etc. I am shopping like crazy, will hit the farmers market tomorrow morning for collards etc, and then start banging around the church’s big kitchen tomorrow.

The dinner will be mostly vegetarian, gluten- and dairy-free and also low-fat, but far from boring! Guests don’t even notice, and there’s chicken for meat-eaters. Plus, vegetarian fare helps keep costs down for large events.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is another dessert that's easy to make for a crowd. Mango sauce and whipped cream were optional toppings. Made a Gluten-free version of same cake.


Roast Plaintains w/ Two Dipping Sauces
Raw Veggie Tray w/ Green Onion Dip and Carrot Ginger Spread (both vegan)
Orange Green Olive Cream Cheese & crackers

Jerk Chicken or Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes
Brown Rice Pilaf with Lentils & Caramelized Onions
Sauteed Collards w/ Red Bell Peppers & Raisins
Cabbage Pineapple & Cilantro Slaw

Tropical Fruit Upside Down Cake w/ Mango Ginger Sauce & Whipped Cream
(plus a gluten-free version and a vegan chocolate pudding)


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:
  • Sage & Smashed Black-eyed Peas & Chard Bruschetta

    Variation: Smashed Garlicky Beans & Chard Bruschetta with Fresh Sage. Try sage instead of basil in caprese salad too.

    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 tracyksyue@yahoo.com if you’d like more info on how to order your own private supply!

Grilled Tempeh with Napa Cabbage Sesame Noodle Salad (my photo)

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.  

Menus for March

Starting later this month, I will have a source of reasonably priced, bulk organic produce so I can offer more lovely vegetables in the off-season. Yay!  Wish I had found this in December, but, oh well.

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I typically do not use processed grain products except for the very occasional noodle dish; this includes couscous, pasta, etc.  I’m all about whole grains. And, most people cook those regularly, so I don’t offer it. However, I could if enough requests come in. So let me know.

MAR 14 – 20

1)  Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans, Cauliflower and Crushed Peanuts. Vegan, gluten-free. Chunks of marinated tempeh (a nutty-tastying soy bean product, similar to a firm veggie burger in texture) and veg in a gingery peanut sauce. May have a little kick; have your own chili sauce at the ready. This artisan tempeh is from a local supplier, made with love. Suggest accompaniment of brown rice or potatoes.

2) Crunchy Cabbage & Noodle Salad. Vegan, gluten-free. Julienned cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots, daikon and rice noodles in a mint & rice vinegar dressing. A good tangy contrast with peanutty tempeh. Serve cold/room temp.

Lemony Quinoa w/ Zucchini & Raisins, Italian Black Bean Salad w/ Green Olives & Almonds

MAR 21 – 27

1) Black Bean Salad with Green Olive & Almonds in Citrus Vinaigrette. Vegan, gluten-free. Some crunchy veg will add more textures to this substantial room-temp salad. I think the black beans will stand up to this mouthwatering relish found in “America’s Test Kitchen” mag.

2)  Lemony Quinoa with Zucchini & Raisins. Vegan & gluten-free. A more delicately flavored dish to eat hot or room temp.

MAR 28 – APR 3

1)  White Bean Cassoulet with Broccoli & Sun-dried Tomato. Vegan, gluten-free. Cassoulets are quickly braised brothy stews that you spoon over a whole grain like barley, brown rice or couscous or eat with crusty bread.  You could also serve with a compact pasta, like macaroni, orecchiete, orzo. You often see this robust Mediterranean combo (without beans) on restaurant menus.

2)  Ensaladilla. Vegan, gluten-free. Also called Russian Salad, this combines cooked potatoes, carrots and green beans with pickles and capers in garlic mayonnaise. I’m going to use a vinaigrette instead of mayo.

APR 4 – 10

1)  Curried Barley Salad with Peas, Cranberries & Coconut. Vegan. Many clients’ favorite and mine too. Great chewy texture, satisfying and low-fat.

2) Roast Cauliflower & Celeriac with Ginger Carrot Sauce. Vegan & gluten-free. This sauce, like the soup, is easy and lovely. Make a big batch sometime and freeze.

Slaw + noodles = terrific summer entree

So now that you know how easy it is to whip up, you’re going to make a big batch of Crunchy Cabbage Slaw, right?  Add any kind of noodle — whole wheat linguine or fusilli, buckwheat soba, rice noodles, mung bean thread vermicelli — for a tasty, satisfying pasta salad. 

Cold noodle salad with napa cabbage and grilled tempeh

Cold noodle salad with napa cabbage and grilled tempeh

 For a nutritious one-dish meal, add whatever protein you have in the house. Great way to use up leftovers! Cut up cold bbq’d chicken, hotdogs, pork chop, hunk of roast beef from last week; slice deli meat, tempeh or firm tofu.

Remember to add more Orange Ginger vinaigrette, as the noodles not only need thorough coating but also soak up the sauce. I would also make the vinaigrette stronger-flavored to compensate, ie more salt, garlic, herbs.   Blend in tahini (sesame paste) and/or  peanut butter goop-ified with canola oil, and you get a dressing similar to the  “Sesame Chicken Salad” sauce. [what I mean is, either paste has to be well-blended with oil til goopy first before you create the dressing, or the paste will remain a sticky hunk.]

I like Sesame Chicken Salad, too, but it’s so ubiquitous in restaurants now, even in ‘fast-food’, that the quality really varies and can be very disappointing.  It’s so easy to make good quality noodle salad at home, and in quantities that keep.  All combinations are good, as long as you have a decent vinaigrette and do not overcook the noodles (mushy).

Cold Chinese-style spicy sesame noodles — with cold crunchy vinegary cucumbers and sliced napa cabbage — are incredible, both rich and refreshing at the same time. Totally worth the  saturated fats.  Ohhh!   Guess what I’m making today!