Making every bite count

09 March 2007

just one more thing

I've lost count how many times I've posted during this blogging binge, but I've been saving up thoughts all week.
After my weekend of debauchery at the cabin, (When, I cooked refried beans, eggs and Smirnoff ice at 2 a.m., and the next night assaulted a man with a spatula who stole my grilled cheese! I'm told. I don't remember the former!) I stopped by to see my dad, stepmom and precious little sister, Bella. I opened their fridge to get a Diet Coke, and I was surprised by what did and didn't see. First off, I took the LAST Diet Coke! There's always Diet Coke there, which I like. In its place were three (!) cartons of Silk soymilk (two fortified and one chocolate), soy Swiss cheese and tempeh! What? I closed the door, shocked and asked my stepmom about the soy infiltration.
"I read your blog, and I've been making some changes," she said. I'd forgotten I'd sent the link to my family, too. I'm so happy someone reads it and heeds it! I love her, and I am always happy when anyone makes changes to better his or her health. (And again, I'm so far from perfect, but I try. I think that's all that matters.)
"Now if only I could your dad to give up his 'yard of beef,'" she said, laughing. My dad, a skinny guy, has an unnatural liking for unnatural meat products: SlimJim -- he travels for work, and I always laugh at the number of wrappers that litter the floor of his front passenger seat!, summer sausage and beef sticks of all kinds. She did, however, switch him from white to wheat bread. My sister loves that she gets to drink chocolate milk (well, soymilk).
So for Robin, here are some tips for cooking tempeh:
Dice it and saute (I can't get blogger to make accent marks. I really dislike that!) it in a bit of olive oil.
Bake it with pasta and tomato sauce.
Serve it instead of meat in a stir fry.
Strong sauces (teriyaki, sweet and sour, etc.) work well with tempeh.
Mushrooms compliment the flavor well. Depending on what kind you get, it has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. (I made a tempeh-mushroom stroganoff recently that was good. Saute 1/2 an onion, some minced garlic, mushrooms and tempeh in olive oil over medium heat. Remove when browned. Add 1 T red wine vinegar -- it will sizzle, so stand back! -- a cup of plain yogurt and some dill. Cook until heated through, add the tempeh, onion and mushrooms back to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Serve with whole-wheat, yolk-free egg noodles.)
Crumble it (dice and then break up as you cook it) and mix some with meat to cut calories. Don't tell Dad.

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