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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Shrimp Pasta Primavera Extravaganza

pastaprimavera2This time of year, this type of dish comes to mind;  fresh vegetables always remind us of spring.    We like to toss together a combination of vegetables and mix it together with some pasta and wine and have a light meal.   Shrimp is a nice touch as well.   However, this time we went a little berserk in the vegetable aisle of the supermarket and decided to add pretty much everything that came to mind.  At one point during the cooking we felt some concern that there were too many  vegetables as they seemed to be piling over the edge of the pot and the pasta had yet to be added (thus the “extravaganza” in the name, and it was no longer what one would call “light”), but this proved to be not an issue at all.   The dish turned out to be a resounding success and all of the flavors worked really well together.  We couldn’t stop piling extra helpings onto our plates and still have plenty of leftovers, which will make the next few days that much better.   Here’s how we did it:

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Beef with Wine and Mushrooms

This is a simple recipe, the genesis of which was created on a cold New Year’s day.  All the stores were closed, so looking through the cabinets and the freezer produced enough for a delicious meal.  It has since been slightly modified to add more ingredients.  Choosing which wine to add depends on your taste, following the rule that if it is good enough to drink, it is good enough to add to a meal.  The updated version is here. Continue reading