Baking and cooking are two such different things. I am practically incapable of following a cooking recipe. When I flee the measuring cups to create a savory meal, it is with total abandon. I know what I want to taste and usually I am pretty good at creating it.
This first image is a most recent extravaganza that I was particularly pleased with. Pleased enough to share at meal time and now here.
This is a bed of brown basmati rice with cauliflower (tossed in garlic) and tempeh in a balsamic vinegar glaze. The rice is served with a bit of the tempeh marinade spooned over it.
I also made an Asian style cucumber salad to open the meal. Here is the preparation for that:
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 cucumbers, sliced thin
1 t finely chopped fresh ginger
3 T white balsamic vinegar
3 T brown rice vinegar
3 T apple juice
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
I make this all time. Its quick and good. I usually put the onion and ginger in the bottom of the bowl and pour the marinade on top. Then I layer on the cucumbers. This way the vinegar is working on the onions and ginger the most. Before serving, I give it a quick toss. The salad shown was marinated about 4 hours. The longer it sits the more it all blends together, but also the more the cucumber picks up the color of the marinade.
Next I got to work on the tempeh. Here is the preparation for that dish.
Tempeh: Cut the tempeh into about 1/2 inch cubes. Toss in a roasting pan with coconut oil and olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It should get a nice crust on the outside so it soaks up plenty of sauce, but don’t let it dry out.
Sauce: First slice a small red onion into very thin slices. Then chop about 6-8 cloves of garlic. Have about a tablespoon of chopped ginger ready to use. Saute the onions for about 10 minutes in olive oil. When the onions start to look really wilted add the garlic. Let that cook about 5 minutes. Then add the ginger and saute it just until you smell it cooking. Add 1/2 c apple juice, 1/4 c red balsamic vinegar, 3T soy sauce and about a tablespoon of brown rice syrup. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Leave it thin because the tempeh will really soak it up.
Pour the sauce over the tempeh and let it sit until serving. Reserve a bit of sauce to pour on at the last minute or over the rice. This dish reheats nicely in the oven.
The final element was the cauliflower. I was so pleased to find organic cauliflower at the local super market! Here is the preparation for that dish.
First put the cauliflower up to steam. While it steams, saute some garlic in olive oil and coconut oil. Just cook the garlic enough to flavor the oil. When the cauliflower is partially steamed, pour the oil mix over the cauliflower and add some sea salt and toss it. Let it sit in the pot and finish cooking. The cauliflower really picks up the flavor of the oil as it rests.
I have to say, I was really pleased with this entire meal. But the cauliflower was amazing. I had never done it this way and I was very happy with it and could have made a meal of it.