Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pan Fried Tempeh and Market Stir Fry

Day 1. Pan Fried Tempeh and Farmer's Market Stir Fry
Monday, 25 September 2017

Farmer's Market stir fry.

  • Mushrooms. These were something fancy from the farmer's market mushroom stand, but I don't remember what. I do know they were delicious, and they stood up really well in the stir fry. Wash them really well, and cut into bite size pieces.
  • Red onion. How could you make a stir fry without one? Once these and the mushrooms are ready to go, get them all going in your saute pan with 3 Tbsp coconut oil and 3 Tbsp water.
  • Garlic. Mince 3-4 cloves and throw them in with your onions and mushrooms.
  • Bell peppers. Add 1-2 of these depending on size, the brighter the better. Add a bit more water to the pan if it starts to dry out too much here.
  • Purple cabbage. This holds up really well in the stir fry and adds amazing color.
  • Spinach. Add this right at the very end, splash it all with water and cover for about 2 minutes. This will steam the spinach just enough, and then you're done!
Fried tempeh.
  • Tempeh. If you're not familiar, tempeh is a fermented soy cake originating in Indonesia, and it has probiotic properties similar to yogurt but without the dairy. I used one package and just followed the instructions. Super simple. Slice in 1/4" thin slices, and marinate (or douse, if you're in a hurry like I was) in a bowl while you heat up your skillet with about 3 Tbsp coconut oil on medium heat. Lay out the pieces and let them brown on one side for about 4-5 minutes, then flip them over and repeat. 
  • Marinade. Probably best to mix this up ahead of time, but I literally spooned it over the tempeh three minutes before it went in the pan, and it turned out just fine.
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds

It was vegan, and it was delicious. I had forgotten how amazing tempeh can taste, and the combination of tempeh, mushrooms, and a pile of colorful veggies was completely satisfying.  The best part? It all came together in about half an hour, so I had time to make that and write this too :) 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Best Damn Vegan Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes. The Gold Standard Cafe, West Philadelphia.
Sunday, 24 September 2017.

I don't usually write about pancakes. Sometimes, however, I happen upon some food thing so profound that I am compelled to whip out my camera in the middle of the restaurant to capture the sheer delight in front of me.  These were no ordinary pancakes.  These were vegan pancakes, and they tasted like heaven. 

I should probably explain why I was ordering vegan pancakes. I recently met a girl who happened to mention that she was a vegan, and having been a long-time 80/20 vegetarian myself I inquired about what had prompted her to make the Full On Commitment.  Her reasoning was rooted in ethics and it pretty much made sense to me, so I decided to give it a try for a few days.  You know, just to see if I could, since I wasn't really ready to commit to no eggs and no cheese forever.

I've been trying it for a few weeks now, and in the meantime I've been doing some pretty intense research. What am I going to eat for breakfast? How does it feel to totally turn your back on the concept of wine and cheese? (My soul absolutely yearns for Paris when I think of wine and cheese...) What are the positives, and what can I expect from my body if I do this?  What is my why? This photo journalism project really rocked me to my core. 

Long story short, I've been more or less successfully eating about 90% vegan for the past two weeks, and it has turned out to be far easier than I expected.  My body feels great, my mind feels clear, and I'm still really happy with the food that I AM eating.  I'm enjoying the challenge of cooking at home (though many of the meals I usually make are actually vegan anyway), and restaurant menus are actually making it pretty easy.  Chris and I love eating out just as much as we love cooking at home, and I'm not really willing to give that up. I need days off from the dishes just as much as the next girl. 

Thank goodness for vegan pancakes. I think I'll just go ahead and give this thing a try for good. 


I haven't posted in a while, and this is largely because the last five months have been consumed with finding, buying, and designing the restorations for our new (old) house... possibly with a dishwasher?!  More to come on that later.