Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quinoa, Avocado, and Jicama Salad

Three things I learned while making up this salad:

1. quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids your body needs
2. jicama is loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid (a B-vitamin that helps in producing and maintaining new cells)
3. quinoa, jicama, and avocado all in the same bite is textural heaven...

1 C quinoa, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 jicama, peeled and chopped into chunks
rice vinegar
olive oil
soy sauce
several dashes cayenne pepper
black pepper, to taste

Saute onion and garlic, if you prefer, otherwise feel free to leave it raw. Add all vegetables to the quinoa and dress with vinegar, oil, and soy sauce (I probably used about 1/4 C of each, but I definitely didn't measure and you should really just do it to your taste). Sprinkle in some cayenne and some black pepper, and mix thoroughly. Taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Peanut-ey Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

Serves about 4. Scrumptious!!

1 package tempeh
about 2 cups of cooked brown rice
3/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lite soy sauce (or a little less, if you're using full strength)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons rice or wine vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (we sauteed it first, but only because I hate raw garlic)
cayenne pepper to taste
black pepper to taste
1 head of lettuce (preferably butter lettuce, but any old kind will do), washed and carefully separated into individual leaves

For the filling:
Cut the tempeh up into teeny tiny pieces. Saute it over medium-high heat in a bit of olive oil until it's turned golden brown and smells nutty and delicious. Stir in the brown rice and set aside.

For the peanut sauce:
Combine all other ingredients (except lettuce!) in a small mixing bowl. Add hot water (start with 1/4 cup) until mixture has a consistency a bit thicker than that of heavy cream. Right before serving, add peanut sauce to tempeh and rice mixture and stir well.

To eat, spoon a bit of the peanut-ey yumminess onto a lettuce leaf; wrap it up into a little packet and eat it. (Be prepare to get rather messy and not care at all).