Seared Tempeh with Cashews, Edamame on Greens with Asian Dressing

Trying out tempeh for the first time, or just looking for a fresh take on it? Well, this is your recipe. It’s been a huge hit every time I’ve made it and gives tempeh so much great flavor, you’ll be sure to keep this recipe in your back pocket. 

Tempeh is a fermented cake of soybeans that includes the entire bean, thereby giving it more nutritional value in the form of more vitamins, protein and fiber. It’s a great food to add to your diet, whether or not you’re a vegetarian. This recipes is a great one to give it a try if this is your first time. It’s very affordable and satiating.

I want to acknowledge that there are a number of ingredients to make the Honey Sesame Dressing, but once you have them on hand, it’s quick and easy to put together a variety of Asian dressings, dipping sauces and marinades. Having these items stocked in your pantry will greatly increase the diversity of flavors available to you in your cooking. 

Once you have some of this dressing made, it will keep for about a week plus a few days in your refrigerator. You can the ingredients directly below. Now let’s get cooking!

Seared Tempeh With Cashews, Edamame On Greens With Asian Dressing 

Yields: 3 salads and Serves: 3 heartily

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 6 cups baby greens, arugula or spinach
  • ¾ cup cashews (raw or toasted)
  • ¾ cup edamame or fava beans (shelled)
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or avocado oil

 

Marinade

  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice

 

Honey Sesame Dressing

(Yields ~ 1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

 

Directions:

Marinade

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together to combine well.

Braise and Marinate the Tempeh

Cube tempeh into 1 inch cubes. Soak in marinade and toss to coat well. Let marinate for 5 minutes.

Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil to hot skillet. Once oil is hot, add tempeh cubes. Stir occasionally to sear on each side until golden brown. This will take about 1 minute on each side. 

Make Dressing

Mince the garlic. Peel ginger with a spoon and grate it using a microplane or box grater. 

Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Label, date and keep excess in refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Steam Edamame and Assemble Salad

Put a small saucepan, fitted with a steamer basket, and filled with 2 inches of water over medium heat. Cover with a lid. When water is boiling, after about 2-3 minutes, place edamame in a steamer basket. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until cooked, but still maintain some firmness. Drain and rinse to cool if desired. 

Assemble salad greens on plate with slices of marinated tempeh, cashews, edamame and honey sesame dressing.  

The tempeh will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy on salads or with rice and vegetables until then!

Enjoy!

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a wonderful, savory and filling dish to serve for brunch, lunch or dinner. It goes great with a side of bread, couscous or a Mediterranean-style salad. This dish originates from North Africa and the Middle East and is very common in Israel. 

It can be adapted to include what you have on hand, making it a great end of the week, clean-out-the-fridge dish. Vegetables such as summer squash, eggplant, broccoli or carrots can easily be added to cook down with the sauce and make it your own. If you buy a bunch of parsley for another dish, this is a great way to use up the rest of it. Shakshuka is a great way to use up bumper crops of your fresh garden produce.

Give this a try for your next brunch for something new and different. It’s so satisfying! 

Shakshuka

Yields 4 cups sauce plus an egg (Serves 4)

Ingredients

 

  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes or 32 ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 4-6 eggs (based on your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (substitute cumin if you don’t have this spice blend)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (more if you like it spicier)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (start with 1 teaspoon salt)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (for garnish and added flavor)

 

Optional

 

  • Zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, hot peppers, carrots, broccoli and green beans are all possible additions to this dish and a great way to minimize food waste by using up odds and ends of leftover vegetables. 

 

Shakshuka ingredients

Directions

Thinly slice the onions and mince the garlic. Heat a medium cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once heated add oil and then place sliced onions in hot oil. Sauté for 8 -10 minutes until translucent and beginning to slightly caramelize. While onion is cooking, dice the eggplant and any other vegetables you’re using into a medium dice, about 1/2 inch cubes. There is no need to peel the eggplant. 

Add garlic, eggplant and any other vegetables to sauté with the onions for 5 minutes to slightly brown the vegetables. You can add some minced jalapeño or Serrano at this time if you like extra spice.

Add tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes, crush them in a bowl before adding to the skillet. Or you can do what I did and squeeze them with your hands as you add them to the skillet. Add the spices and sugar to the pan and stir to combine well. Let simmer over medium low for 10 minutes. Carefully taste and adjust salt to your preference.

While simmering you can rough chop the parsley leaves to have them ready. Keep the stems to either add to a pesto, chimichurri sauce or freeze them with your other vegetable scraps to make a simple, homemade broth. 

After 10 minutes, gently crack the eggs onto the shakshuka while it’s still cooking. Let cook for another 10 minutes, or until the eggs are fully cooked to your liking. You can cover with a lid to cook the eggs faster if you’d like. 

Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and parsley for serving. Serve hot with a side of hearty, crusty bread, pita or couscous. Goes well with a fresh salad topped with feta cheese. 

Enjoy! I’d love to know how you like it and how you adapt it to make it your own. You can easily add sausage to this dish. Just cook it while cooking the vegetables and before adding the tomatoes. Another spice that is a great addition is Aleppo pepper, which adds a warm earthy spiciness to the dish.

Shakshuka simmering in tomatoes

Eggs cooking in shakshuka

Turkey Burgers with Zucchini & Topped with Beet Salsa

Great summer burger a little on the lighter side. Healthy, gourmet and super tasty! Plus they’re really easy to make and you get some extra veggies in with your burger.

When you have zucchinis coming out of your ears later this summer remember this recipe and add some delightfully fresh ingredients to your turkey burgers.  

For a lighter, gluten free lunch put your turkey burgers over a bed of lettuce. Light, filling and delish!

Turkey Burgers With Grated Zucchini & Topped With Beet Salsa

Yields about 12-13 burgers

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (sustainably raised)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium carrot, grated (optional – I did not include in pictured burgers)
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

 

Optional Topping

 

 

Directions

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and combine well with a spoon or your hands. 

 

Make about 12 patties. Each 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat cast iron or nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add coconut oil to pan and let heat up. Carefully place patties in hot oil in skillet.

Cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked on the inside and turning slightly golden brown on the outside. 

 

Serve on top of plain salad, on a bun or in a pita. Top with beet salsa or condiment of your choice. 

The Empowered Kitchen Tips

This is a great recipe for meal prep because you can use the burgers in different meals for up to 5 days after they’re cooked. You can make a couple lunches for the week with turkey burgers on greens, as a burger on a bun, in a pita with greens, fresh tomato, cucumber and tahini sauce or tzatziki. You can even crumble and put on top of pesto pasta.

They freeze well too! Make a double batch and freeze half of them. Place in a well-sealed container in the freezer with a label and date. Lasts up to 6 months in a freezer. 

Strawberry Lemon Clafoutis

Mmm…summer is officially here and strawberries are bursting with flavor! Take advantage of the fact that they’re cheaper right now and they taste the best they will all year long! Make strawberry cakes, smoothies, put in your oatmeal, add to yogurt and ice cream…dip them in chocolate and just savor their wonderful sweetness all by their lonesome. 

I decided to make a twist on a classic French dessert that is usually made with cherries. This recipe was inspired byJulia Child’s Cherry Clafoutis Recipe (pronounced: clah-foo-tee). It’s wonderful either hot out of the oven or chilled and is a wonderful addition to any summer party. Great to make a day ahead and serve chilled after dinner. 

It’s kind of a custard and is SO easy to put together. Give it a try and let me know how you like it. I’d LOVE to hear about your variations. Check tips at the end for ways to experiment with different fruits.

Strawberry Lemon Clafoutis

Yields: 1 (9 inch pie pan) clafoutis

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup sugar (divided in half)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 12 ounces or 2 cups strawberries
  • Zest of half of a lemon

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9 inch pie dish or circular baking pan. Ceramic or glass is best. Cut off the strawberry tops and them into quarters. Zest the lemon and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine milk, ¼ cup sugar, eggs, vanilla or almond extract, salt, both flours and lemon zest. Blend well with an electric blender.

Pour about ⅓ of the batter into the greased pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. The bottom will start to cook, but it will not be solid. Remove from oven and gently add the strawberries. Sprinkle the other ¼ cup sugar on top. Pour the remaining batter over the fruit.

Return pan to oven and cook for about 1 more hour. Check the clafoutis at 45 minutes for doneness. It will be finished when a toothpick comes out clean, but it won’t be brown when it is finished cooking.

The clafoutis will naturally deflate after being out of the oven for a few minutes. You can garnish with a sprig of fresh mint if you’d like, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a pretty effect. It is delicious served hot or cold. Keep refrigerated if not serving immediately.

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

Plums, peaches, apricots, other berries or cherries can all be substituted for the strawberries. You could also experiment with adding orange or lime zest, ground cardamom, cinnamon or other spices to create new flavors.

Greek Lamb Meatballs

If you haven’t cooked with lamb before, give this recipe a try and I bet you’ll be hooked. I heard about it on NPR and have loved the recipe all spring.  It’s great on a salad, on pasta or over rice. Give it a try with pita and sides like hummus, baba ganoush, tahini sauce or tzatziki.  

Easy and great for meal prep. You can make extra to freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months. Just remember to date and label well. You can also store them in a bit of red sauce if you prefer. 

Always look for humanely and sustainably raised meats. If we eat less meat, but higher quality meats we can have healthier people and a healthier planet. 

Greek meatballs with lamb and feta cheese

Greek Meatballs

*Recipe From Kathy Gunst On WBUR’s Here And Now*

Yields: 12-15 meatballs

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint
  • ¼ to ½ cup feta or goat cheese cheese, finely crumbled, or cut into small cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground lamb (sustainably sourced and humanely raised)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive)

 

Optional for Serving

 

  • Toasted Walnuts

 

Directions:

Mince the garlic. In a medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. Be careful not to burn. Add the thyme and remove from the heat. Let cool.

Beat the egg and rough chop the mint. In a large bowl thoroughly mix the oil and cooked garlic and thyme with the egg, breadcrumbs, mint, cheese, salt, pepper and ground lamb.

Divide the mixture into 12-15 meatballs. The mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours ahead of cooking.

Heat a large skillet heat over medium or medium high heat. Once heated, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the canola oil.

Working in batches, cook the meatballs about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until brown and cooked through (there should be no sign of pink). Drain on paper towels if desired or pour drippings into pitas.

To serve, spread the tzatziki onto a serving platter and top with the warm meatballs. Scatter with toasted walnuts, if using.

Goes well with pita, hummus, some rough chopped parsley and/or tahini sauce.

**Recipe from Kathy Gunst on WBUR’s Here and Now**

Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza with Tuna, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula

Oh baby. Summer is almost here! I’m so ready. Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather with this pizza and enjoy it outside if you can. It will taste much better that way. 😉 

This cauliflower crust is best eaten with a fork. It’s still delicious, but if you want a cauliflower crust you can pick up, you’ll have to wait for that one coming soon.  

Test out this recipe to get ready for summer parties! 

Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza With Tuna, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula

Serves: 4 people 2-3 slices each

Yields: 1 pizza (12-18 inches)

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal 

 

Optional for Crust

 

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings or oregano

 

Toppings

 

  • 1/2 – 1 cup mozzarella or parmesan (to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 can tuna in olive oil (sustainably caught)
  • 1/4 cup Honey Lemon Vinaigrette* (Recipe below)

 

Directions

Place a saucepan filled with 3 inches of water and fitted with a steamer basket over medium heat. Slice cauliflower (florets and stems) into quarters and place in basket. Steam the cauliflower for 6-10 minutes, or until softened and cooked through.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Carefully remove cooled cauliflower from steamer and place in large bowl or food processor.

Mash cauliflower with a potato masher or blend in food processor. Beat egg in small bowl.

Add the beaten egg, flour, salt, pepper and optional spices. Mix together well with your hands. 

Sprinkle baking sheet or baking stone with thin layer of cornmeal. 

Place the crust mixture in middle of pan and press outwards with your hands until you have an even layer covering the pan.

Place in heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with pesto and toppings, except the arugula and vinaigrette.

Bake for 5-10 more minutes. Meanwhile toss arugula with a light coating of the vinaigrette of your choice. I like using this Honey Lemon Vinaigrette recipe. * (See below)

When pizza is finished cooking remove from oven and top with arugula salad. You have your pizza and salad in one! Enjoy! Lovely with someone special and a cold summer wheat beer or Belgian tripel. 

Bon app!

First day of the season eating outdoors! 🙂 Such a delight to enjoy these first worm days of the season, especially with someone I love.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

 

Yields: 1 cup vinaigrette

Serves: Covers about 10-12 salads.

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 large lemons
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ small shallot
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (adjust to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

 

Directions:

Mince garlic cloves and shallot. Remove the parsley stems and save for stock. Rough chop the parsley.

Roll lemons under your forearm to release juices before slicing in half. [Tip: Zest them first if you need zest for another recipe. Can keep in a small amount of oil in the fridge for a week or so until use.]

Juice lemons and add to small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to emulsify. Taste with a lettuce leaf and adjust ingredients to your taste.

Label and date before refrigeration. Keeps well for about 2 weeks in fridge.

 

Moroccan Tagine with Apricots & Lamb

Heavenly is the only way I know to describe the taste of Moroccan cuisine. The flavors meld together so beautifully due to the long cooking times, then do a little dance on your tongue with that first luscious bite. Okay, was that too much? Seriously though…I’m in love with Moroccan food. You’ll just need some dried fruits, a few spices and simple, fresh ingredients. Oh, and a bit of time for the slow cooking to work its magic.

Those spices! Ras el Hanout is a great investment and addition to so many dishes. Perfect addition to eggs, on potatoes, in soups and so much more. It’s worth a trip to your local spice shop. 

Now, let’s get cooking! 

Preparing the mise en place for the tagine.

Yields: 6 cups

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons blanched almond slivers (or whole, raw almonds)
  • 1 1/2 red onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 inch piece fresh ginger
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder or leg (cubed)
  • 8 dates (pitted)
  • 8 dried apricots
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (Spice Blend)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

 

Optional

  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro

 

Serve with Couscous

(makes 4 cups cooked couscous)

  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter

 

Directions:

Thinly slice the onions. Mince the garlic. Peel the ginger with a spoon. Either mince the ginger or grate into a small prep bowl. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander seeds. Use a small paring knife to peel 4 strips of orange peel down and away from you on a cutting board. Rough chop the almonds if using whole, raw almonds.

Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a tagine or heavy, large saucepan. Stir in the almonds and sauté until golden. Add the diced onions and garlic, stir and cook over low heat until golden.

Stir in the minced or grated ginger, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Add the cubed lamb pieces and stir to make sure everything is coated with the onion, garlic and spices. Sauté for 4 minutes.

Next pour enough water in to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.

Add the dates, apricots and orange peel, stir to mix and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Slice the orange in half and juice it into a small bowl. 

Stir in the honey, Ras-el-Hanout and orange juice. Simmer another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Start with ½ teaspoon salt, and adjust to taste.

The sauce should be thick. If it’s too thin, allow to simmer and thicken with lid off for 5 minutes, or add a few tablespoons of water if necessary. Rough chop the cilantro.

Top with chopped cilantro and serve along side couscous or brown rice.

Adapted from: https://keviniscooking.com/lamb-tagine-dates-apricots-honey/

How To Make Couscous

Boil the water with salt and olive oil or butter in medium saucepan.

Place dry couscous in glass serving bowl. Once water is boiling pour over couscous. Stir once with a fork or spoon. Cover with a lid or plate. Let steam for at least 5 minutes, or until grains are soft.

Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

*Alternatively, you can add raisins, spices and/or slivered, blanched almonds to the couscous before adding the water.

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

Freeze 2 servings of this for another week within a month or so. Place in glass mason jar with about 1 inch of space at top. Set lid loosely on top. Once contents are frozen, tighten the lid.

Make sure to label with name of dish and date.

Cook fresh couscous or rice to serve with it when you thaw and reheat.