Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marinated Tempeh and Barley Salad

I've been really loving tempeh recently. It's hearty, high in protein and fiber and relatively affordable. Best of all, it's easy to make into simple delicious recipes! Here's one now...

Marinated Tempeh and Barley Salad


  • 1 package tempeh, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 2 Tbsp. orange (or other citrus) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 stalk baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted chickpeas

          For the Marinade:
  • 1 Tbsp ginger minced
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. Siracha or other hot sauce
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch ground cloves

To Prepare:

Cook barley according to package instructions.

Roast chickpeas in the oven at 350 degrees. This takes about 40 minutes so start this early. Or keep some on hand, they are always useful!

Prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together. Place strips of tempeh in a Pyrex dish and pour marinade over. Let sit for 15 minutes. Bake in oven for about 20 min.
Heat oil for vegetables in a pan or skillet over medium heat. Add green peppers and onions, saute until soft (about 10 minutes). Add bok choy and chickpeas and stir to warm through and coat with oil. Season with salt and black pepper if desired.

To Assemble:
Place 1/4 cup cooked barley in the center of a plate. Lay strips of tempeh along one side and a large scoop of vegetables along the other side. Enjoy!

Cheap punk tip: Buy in bulk whenever possible. It's cheaper, allows you to try a wider variety of products and you avoid unnecessary packaging and chemicals like BPA found in canned goods. We always have some beans soaking/boiling/waiting to be used in the fridge.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Seven day Struggle Part One: Fancy Carrot Ginger Soup with Parsnip Chips

Well, the week marches on and our supplies continue to dwindle. For dinner tonight I raided the fridge and decided to turn lemons to lemonade. Or the remainder of a giant bag of carrots to fancy carrot soup, as it were.

For the Soup
2 Tbsp ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp blood orange olive oil (or regular olive oil)
2 cups broth
1/2 cup almond milk
2 1/2-3 lbs carrots (10-12 medium large), chopped
thin part of one parsnip
1 pickled jalapeno minced(or fresh)
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp coriander
salt to taste

For the Creme Fraische
1/2 cup vegan creme cheese
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tbs almond milk

For the Tangy Ginger Cilantro Sauce
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 pickled jalapeno, seeded and sliced
1 Tbs orange olive oil
1 Tbs lime juice
salt to taste

For the Parsnip Chips
Thick end of one parsnip, sliced into thin rounds
olive oil

Slice the top of the parsnip into thin rounds. When you get to the thinner root part, roughly chop and add to carrots. Place the parsnip slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and roast at 375 for 35 minutes or until crispy, flipping occasionally. The thinner you slice these, the crispier they will get.

Warm soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Saute ginger and garlic for 3 min stir with wooden spoon to keep from burning. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until carrots are soft -about 30 min.

Make Creme Fraiche
Blend all ingreidients until smooth

Make Tangy Ginger Cilantro Sauce
Puree ingredients in a food processor. I only have a Magic Bullet so it's to get certain consistecies; ust go for what you want/are capable of.

To assemble, laddle soup into a bowl and dizzel with the Creme Fraiche and Tangy Cilantro Ginger Sauce. Add a few parsnip chips and enjoy!

Cheap punk tip of the week:
I love tea, I also love ginger. Therefore, both are too precious to waste. If you're like me, it's a struggle to peel ginger without including some of the flesh. Rather than just through the skin out, I toss it into a pan with a few cups of water and let it boil down a bit while I'm cooking. This acts as a cheap 'tea', or adds a little kick to my reused bag of Earl Grey.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Seven Day Struggle Part One: Gluten Free Almond Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling

Whew that's a mouthful...and so are these necessity driven cookies.

Here's the story:
Since I'm an Americorps member my pay is a stipend rather than a salary. As such, I technically don't make any money in the eyes of the government. Which is great, because I get to collect food stamps! Each month on the 7th I my classy little EBT card gets reloaded with $200...which is apparently all I need to feed myself (and Josh) every month. Except i guess it's not. I've always been frugal but never payed that close attention to my food related spending. When I first found out I qualified $200 seemed like so much, but for the third month in a row we are out of money and really having to get creative with food.

Since this is a blog about being (and eating) broke, I figure this is a good recurring thread to start up.

Gluten Free...I'm new to this
As a red blooded seitan eater I am not gluten free. I do, however, enjoy a new challenge. Also, I have cabinet full of Bob's Red Mill flours and baking goods. My mom thinks 'vegan' means anything she can't identify. This includes but is not limited to Sorghum flour, Guar Gum and ...Hazelnut Praline.

So I decided to make cookies!

Almond Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (I actually just ground up tapioca in a coffee grinder)
1/2 cup almonds (or ground almonds)
1 tsp Guar gum
1/4 cup chocolate chips/chunks
Hazelnut Praline (or natural peanut/almond butter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add the ground flaxseed to 2 Tbsp water, whisk and set aside. Next, cream the sugar and vegan margarine until fluffy and light. Be sure to avoid over mixing. Add almond extract.

Grind almonds in a food processor. Mix with baking powder, flours and guar gum. Slowly add dry ingredients to the sugar and margarine while mixing until a stiff dough forms.

Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. This should create about 15 cookies. Flatten with a spoon and create a well in the center with your thumb. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the cookies are baking prepare the filling. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler (make sure you don't let even a drop of water touch the chocolate!). When the chocolate is almost melted add the hazelnut praline and mix thoroughly.

Remove cookies from the oven. You may need to push in the centers a bit again with your thumb. Transfer to a cooling rack and add the filling.

These are amazing and delicious and a pretty good start to a gluten free baking career!

Till next time...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Brief Introduction

I recently moved from Chicago to Seattle with my darling partner Josh. We arrived in August all enthusiasm, scoffing at our friends back in the Midwest who warned us of endless rain and bone-chilling west-coastedness. Counting myself lucky to land a job in the first week I was confident that Josh, a hard science nerd with career related work experience, would shortly succeed as well. We even got a puppy!

That very confidence is the reason eagerly ignore the fuckery that was to be my salary. Or should I say stipend. Graduated with honors, a double major, extensive extracurricular experience and a relatively interesting life story? Sure, sub minimum wage sounds about right. I drank the coolaid and took an Americorps position. Three months later Josh remains jobless. As I pinch every food stamp penny to get by and bike 14 miles daily to save on bus fare I've never missed my sexual harassment filled bar tending days more. Or college. Or home

I can write a blog about this this program. It would be terrible and bitter. What I can write about is food and frugality that defies the labels "bland", "unhealthy" and "McDonald's". I'll throw in my social justice two cents on occasion and muse about what all this makes me feel as a feminist. But I'll also throw down some vegan recipes, tips and tricks. A delicate balance between overly academic diatribes and delicious but poorly lit food photography.

So to review: Underpaid feminist vegan in Seattle seeks readers.