Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Spicy Tempeh Quinoa & Apple Potato Salad

It is no longer as common as it once was that my little family gang has dinner together. It was our tradition the entire time the boys were in school, living with us, that we tried to settle at the table once a day for what has now become officially "Family Dinner." It was an important time to look each other in the eye, hear the tones of voice, check in with the states of mind and relationship. With the prospect of having a long day myself, my husband's first day back at school meetings, and my now 20-something sons assembling for dinner, I knew I had to figure things out before heading over to teach my evening class. This combination of garlicky quinoa with pieces of spicy tempeh really hit the mark for a main dish and was easy to put together ahead of time. I also made an apple-onion-potato salad in advance and put sliced fresh cukes in the fridge to absorb a tarragon-vinegar treatment. Dinner was completed by quickly chopping and assembling a room temperature tomato-peach-avocado-basil-balsamic vinegar salad and providing brilliant green on the table by quickly steaming garden fresh haricot verts and squeezing on fresh lemon juice with a splash ume plum vinegar.   Not surprisingly, there were no leftovers, though the spicy tempeh quinoa and the potato salad would have made a lovely lunch the next day.

Spicy Tempeh Quinoa

2 cups red quinoa
5-6 large garlic cloves
5-6 mushrooms (cremini, white, whatever)
1 slab of tempeh (I used flax tempeh but any will do)
1 cup frozen petite peas
3-4 tsp Bragg Liquid Amino
1-2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce

1. Cut the tempeh into 2 long halves, then into small rectangles. Put these in a shallow wide soup bowl and drizzle with 2 tsp Bragg's and the Sriracha.  Put in the fridge and let sit for at least an hour.
2. Meanwhile, dry roast the quinoa for about 5-10 minutes in a large flat pan, shifting the grains now and then to avoid any uneven heating. Add about 2 cups of water and chopped garlic. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and throw them into the quinoa as well. Cover the pan and let the quinoa cook for about 10-15 minutes, adding at least 1 tsp Bragg Liquid Amino to the quinoa.
3. As the quinoa is cooked, fluff it up, throw in the peas and add the spicy Tempeh. Stir this gently and serve!

Apple-Onion-Potato Salad

4-5 small potatoes (white and red)
half a Vidalia onion, or 1 medium sweet onion
1 large Honeycrisp apple (or whatever you like)
1/3 cup Tahini
1 Tblsp Tamari
3 Tblsp water
1 tsp agave syrup
1tsp finely grated carrot
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp stone ground mustard
1-2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Cut the small potatoes into bite-sized pieces -- about 4-6 per potato -- and boil for about 10-15 minutes until just softening.  Pour out into a colander. Chop up about half a Vidalia or sweet onion into little pieces though not minced.  Peel, core and chop one large Honeycrisp apple into small pieces.  In a cup or bowl, pour 1/3 cup tahini, add 1 Tablespoon tamari, 3 Tablespoons water, 1 tsp agave syrup, 1 tsp finely grated carrot, 1/4 tsp grated ginger, 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard and 1-2 tsp stone ground mustard. You can also add 1-2 tsp cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well and pour over the chopped vegetables and apple and mix gently. Chill and serve!

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