Sunday, May 8, 2011

Take a moment...

     ...sometimes I feel like I just need to take a moment and take it all in. Pausing. Breathing. Remembering to give thanks over and over to the Lord who has brought me where I am today. Although I am truly enjoying my time here in Austin, there are many individuals I miss dearly, yet distance keeps us a part... for instance, whose heart wouldn't melt when their 1-year old niece blows a kiss to them over skype...or a phone conversation with their 2-year old niece who says, "I yuv u!" Ah- so precious! Thinking happy thoughts to continually bring joy to my heart!

     Also, Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers in this world! I have several women in my life who have devoted their hearts and minds to serve as godly women. Thank you to all...especially my own Mom! :-) Hugs!!

     So I guess this is a culinary blog as well, so perhaps I should shed light on that aspect! :-) What a fantastic week I had...I have learned so much! We learned how to make non-dairy beverages, amasake & mochi (both made from sweet brown rice), mexican cuisine, indian cuisine, healing desserts (using natural sugars from vegetables & grains to tantalize the taste buds - really, it's yummy!), masa (mexican tradition using homemade corn flour), nabe (japanese style of cooking vegetables) ... the list goes on!

     Ooo and I went to the farmer's market on Saturday! What beautiful produce!! It's amazing what people can grow on their land - and I get to reap the benefits! :-) I would have taken a picture, but I have to face it, I stink at taking pictures - I simply don't keep the camera handy - argh! Anyhoo...the "google" photo below captures the image of the produce I took home! These blessed goods made a fantastic salad I served at my pizza party on Saturday night. I hosted a small get together with some friends - let's just say when you get a handful of chefs in the kitchen making homemade pizza - you won't want to order domino's pizza ever again! Fresh, organic, full-of-life, and flavorful ingredients makes amazing & good-for-you food!

Recipe of the Week:

Tempeh Italiano and Toasted Pine Nuts over Seasonal Greens

This recipe is absolutely fantastic - may be served as a side or a main dish - you will love it - give it a try this week ... and as always, let me know how it turns out!

(Serves 2-3, add more greens if desired)

4 oz tempeh (Light Life Organic Three Grain Tempeh is a nice brand)
1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1Tbsp shoyu (raw unpasteurized soy sauce)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (this is a must - don't emit - lots of flavor here!)
1 tsp dried Italian herb blend, oregano, basil, thyme, etc.
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp pine nuts
2-3 cups seasonal greens (such as kale, collards, chard), washed and stems and leaves separated
1/4 cup water
pinch of sea salt
juice of 1/2 lemon, optional

Steam tempeh for 15-20 minutes (to make more digestible). While tempeh steams, combine vinegar, shoyu, oil, red pepper flakes, herbs, and garlic in a medium size glass bowl. Set aside.

After the 20 minutes, carefully remove steamed tempeh and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place tempeh cubes in marinade for at least 10 minutes.

While tempeh is marinating, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until golden brown and fragrant. Stir pine nuts frequently and do not leave unattended. Remove from skillet and set aside. Chop leaves of greens into bite size pieces and set aside.

Saute tempeh and marinade in skillet over medium high heat to brown all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan. Add the water to the pan to deglaze (removing all the yummy flavors to be incorporated into the rest of the dish). Add greens stems and saute 1 minute. Add remaining greens and a pinch of sea salt and saute until tender and vibrant. Remove from heat. If desired, squeeze lemon juice over greens and toss with tempeh. Sprinkle pine nuts over greens just before serving.

Love & good health to all!

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