To begin today’s post, I wanted to explain my evolution as a “flexitarian”. Actually, my boyfriend, Brandon, and I have both evolved our diets into flexitarianism. What does that mean you ask? Well to better explain our diet, I am turning to some notable quotes from this WebMD online article. “Being a “flexitarian” gives you the benefits of a vegetarian diet without having to forgo meat entirely. A relatively new term, flexitarian comes from a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.” Following a flexitarian diet simply means eating more plant-based meals and less meat.” In other words, when we go out to a burger joint, we more likely order black bean and portobello mushroom burgers vs. your standard American hamburger. Sounds tasty right? Right.
One of my favorite blogs, Sometimes I Veg, first brought this term to my attention. The author of this blog, Miriam, also states how she loves vegetarian and vegan foods but still wants to maintain the ability to eat meat. She always experiments with new ingredients and blogs about how well the new recipes have turned out. Reading blogs as this one, has in turn, taught me to be more experimentative with my cooking at home and more conscious of what we are putting in our mouths.
Now for one of our favorite tasty vegetarian recipes…..Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh Recipe
1 cup of orange juice (I use Trader Joe’s No Pulp from Concentrate)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)
2 tablespoons olive oil
a handful of cilantro
Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the soy sauce and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.
Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.
Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.
Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top. I usually serve this over whole wheat couscous or quinoa with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers added.
This dish alone has inspired both Brandon and I to become flexitarians! WE LOVE IT!! It’s filling, healthy, and a great dinner to add to your rotation.
Now for a vegan dessert. Vanilla Agave Cupcakes—are you not sold yet?
How ’bout now?
I recently wanted a vegan-friendly dessert to bring to our annual Pops in the Park 4th of July picnic with friends, so my friend passed this recipe my way to try. You can find Vanilla Agave Cupcake recipe here. The added sprinkles were just an extra festive touch I added.
We had a lot of good food, wine, and company at Pops in the Park. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the night.
I love this picture that was taken. It shows exactly what summer is all about. Wearing sundresses, visiting with friends, playing with pups and picnicking. Look at all those chairs and blankets in the background!
Overall we had a great 4th of July picnic, filled with laughter, food, fireworks and wine! Can’t wait for our next one!