Sesame Tempeh with Mushrooms

tempehThis post is the result of an exciting new experiment.  Having tasted tempeh at a restaurant, we decided that we had to attempt something with it.   For those who do not know what it is, tempeh is a soy product which originated in Indonesia.   Unlike its cousin tofu, it is not highly processed, but is grainier, consisting of soy beans held together by a fermentation process.  It is extremely tasty, has a crunchy nutty characteristic, and is also quite healthy, and is a vegetarian dish that would satisfy many meat-eaters.    It can be found in the vegetable section of many supermarkets, near the tofu.   Despite never having cooked it before, we decided to create a brand new recipe, which while using some techniques we found in other recipes, is wholly our own.    It came out extremely good.  We can’t wait to cook with tempeh again.

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Mango Lime Daiquiri

With summer upon us, sometimes it is nice to just sit back and enjoy a pleasant cocktail.  While walking through the supermarket on the Spanish foods aisle, there was a section with a nice selection of various types of nectar.   Loudly, the mango nectar called out, and said, “use me! use me!”    So, of course, we couldn’t resist such a friendly fruity invitation.   At first it was a bit too sweet, but after a little experimentation and adding grapefruit juice, we came up with this delicious drink. Continue reading

Stuffed zucchini

stuffed zucchiniThis is a fairly easy and fast dish, that should please just about anyone.   It is vegetarian, but many who prefer meat may not even notice the difference.   We made this last weekend as a side dish, but it can very easily work as an entrée as well.  While some of the basics were found online on various sites, there were some creative touches added which worked pretty well.   The entire thing can be made in about half an hour. Continue reading

Tuscan Bean Soup

tuscan bean soupWho says soup has to be reserved for cold weather?   It has been warmer than usual,, but this soup went down just fine.   We have made it twice now, and I feel that it’s ready to post.  It is based on yet another Mollie Katzen recipe, but as usual, there are variations made, both for taste and speed of preparation.   Instead of fresh basil, we use dried, which has an altogether different flavor.   This is a light soup, less thick than some of the other entries here, and goes well with fresh vegetables.

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Vegetable Pasta Salad

As the weather starts to get nicer, it’s hard to stay in the kitchen cooking, which is why we sometimes make a few cold dishes which can last for a few days, and don’t need heating to eat.  This one is an old favorite, and is a variation on an old Mollie Katzen recipe (it has varied quite a bit over the years).   The key flavor which ties it all together is the fresh basil.  It can serve a lot of people;  goes well at potlucks, or is easily refrigerated for eating over several days (though it may go quickly; it’s hard not to go for more)  Here is our version.

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Panzanella

panzanellaPanzanella is another wonderful traditional Tuscan dish, made from items in the garden and stale or dry bread. We discovered it in the beautiful city of Montalcino.   After viewing some absolutely stunning views from atop the castle, we wandered and found a nice little café for a glass of the city’s specialty wine, Brunello. On a whim we ordered this dish and it was perfect, and refreshing.  We had to learn how to make it as soon as we returned home.   It is served at room temperature.  Below is a rough recipe.  I have added a few things that may not be traditional (e.g, the mustard) but it can be modified to taste. Continue reading

Ribollita

ImageOne of our absolute favorites is soup that we learned about in Tuscany, known as Ribollita.  This is a traditional peasant dish that is generally made up of beans, tomatoes, and whatever is in the garden, and some stale bread.   It is delicous, filling, and very healthy.  I love making this.  This recipe is made up of a combination of ones I have found online, with a few personal touches (especially adding more and more garlic!) Continue reading