Sunday, November 22, 2009

With the weather getting cooler, my thoughts turn to delicious homemade goodness, and I realize that I haven't posted a kickass recipe for a while.

When the seasons change and baby, it's cold outside, I want what everyone else wants -- rich, satisfying stews and soups, and homestyle favorites like mac and cheese and casseroles. I definitely can't make that kind of stuff all winter long or I'd be 300 pounds, so luckily for me I also crave...Chinese food.

No better than shepherd's pie or mac and cheese, right? Not necessarily. Rather than fill up (and fill out) on my favorites like spicy orange chicken at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Holly's Mandarin, I like to make a little something that is -- *surprise!* -- healthy and good for you, and that can be easily changed up for my vegan friends.

Spicy Orange Tempeh with Brown Rice, Kale, and Red Peppers

1 bunch dinosaur or red kale, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into small strips
3/4 cup brown rice or whole wheat cous cous
olive oil to taste

Note: I like my veggies warm and crunchy, so I refrain from heavily cooking them in this recipe. You may wish to blanch or saute the kale and/or red peppers until they are to your desired consistency.

Place kale and red peppers in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Cook rice or cous cous according to package directions. Place hot grains in bowl on top of kale and peppers. Add olive oil and mix. Cover and set aside.


1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (may omit)

Cut into flat, bite-sized pieces:

1 package of tempeh (I particularly like LightLife Three-Grain)

Heat in a large frying pan:

2 tablespoons olive oil

Add tempeh and fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Turn tempeh and cook the other side until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. (You may add up to a 1/3 cup of water to the mixture before adding to the pan in order to create more sauce and/or make less salty.) Turn tempeh once more to coat.

Place grain and veggie mixture in shallow serving bowls. Top with the tempeh and any sauce.

Note: You can also gently mix the tempeh and sauce into the grain and vegetable mixture, as I did in the picture above.

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