One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

tempeh salad sandwich

I begin this post with "YUM!"

All of the credit for this tempeh salad recipe goes to Alicia Silverstone's book, The Kind Diet. I love this book and have used many recipes from it. The only reason I modified her recipe for, as she calls it, "Tuna Salad Sandwich (Kinda)" is because I was using ingredients that I had on hand and wanted to shorten the process since I didn't have as much time to devote to putting everything together. Also, I ended up making more (but not quite doubling every ingredient) so I could use it for lunches all this week at work.

Here are the ingredients I used:
  • 2 8-oz packages tempeh, each cake broken in half
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped kosher dill pickles
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan mayonnaise substitute
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • fresh dill to taste
  • fresh parsley to taste
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

Here's what I did

I chopped my onion and then soaked it in cold water; the cold water takes away some of the bite of the onion but keeps it crisp (this is a trick I learned from Pati Jinich from watching Pati's Mexican Table).

Next, I measured out my frozen veggies and set them aside. I put some water in the bottom of a pot that had a fitted steamer basket on top and brought that water to a boil.

I put the four tempeh halves in the steamer basket, covered, them, and let them steam for 15 minutes. Once they were done steaming, I added the frozen veggies and let it all steam for 5 more minutes. Once done, I set the steamer basket aside to cool.

Meanwhile, I went ahead and drained my onion, added the vinegar to the onion, tossed the onion in the vinegar with a spoon, then left it alone to marinate.

When I went to cut my cucumber, I first did something that is another tip from Pati Jinich from her show, Pati's Mexican Table. I washed my cucumber then cut the ends and used them to rub the opposing cut ends of the cucumber. Pati says generations of women in her family have been doing this--supposedly it ensures that your cucumber will never be bitter. I have no idea of whether or not there is any science or truth behind it, but I do it because it probably can't hurt, it's a fun little ritual, and when you rub the opposing ends it gives off this wonderful cucumber aroma. 

The next steps went by pretty quickly. I drained my onion that had been soaking in vinegar and very quickly, not even thoroughly, gave it a rinse (setting aside the leftover vinegar and my other half of a cucumber--you'll see what I did with these later). I combined my onion, cucumber, peas, and corn in a large mixing bowl. I cut the tempeh into small cubes, chopped up my dill pickles, and added those to the bowl as well.

Finally, it was time to season! I added the vegan mayo and mustard and tossed well.

Next, I finished the whole thing off with fresh dill and parsley and then, finally, the capers.

The result is a delicious, nutritious mixture that I packed up and stuck in the fridge to take to work for my lunches this week.

I thinly sliced the remaining half of the cucumber and made a mini cucumber salad with the leftover vinegar, oil, sugar, and fresh dill (I ended up needing to add just a little bit more vinegar).

When I was shopping for the dills and the capers, I saw next to them in the aisle this pickled okra with smoked paprika and absolutely could not resist buying a jar. If you love okra, pickles, and spice, buy this jar!!! It's totally worth it. For those worried about the spiciness factor, don't worry--there isn't too much heat in these.

Happy eating!!

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