Tempeh, it’s what’s for dinner


Tempeh burger with oven roasted root vegetables and vegetable trio.  See those sexy sprouts on the burger?  I bet you do!  

We just love veggie burgers.  Some are better than others and they vary in calories, fat grams, sodium and satiety.  The other day Mr. C. was feeling particularly jiggy, and he purchased some tempeh at the grocery store.  We were both proud and a tad perplexed.  What do we do now?

Well, I just cut that two-and-a-half-serving-sized piece of fermented soy and stuck it in some marinade (which pretty much means salad dressing around here) and cooked it up in a cast iron skillet. I think I cooked it in a little bit of oil, or maybe the residual sheen.  The second time I made this, I just put a little water in the skillet and steamed the marinated tempeh. Both times I served it up on a skinny bun. The result was a delicious, nutritious and filling veggie burger without a lot unknown additives.

If you are feeling inquisitive, click here to learn more about tempeh.

If you would like to see a clever and delightful ditty about a cast iron pan click here.






Mushroom Crust Quiche

This recipe comes from the Measure for Pleasure cookbook published by the Bethany College auxiliary.  Bethany is a small Lutheran liberal arts college in Lindsborg, Kansas, which is otherwise known as Little Sweden, U.S.A. Jah!  I attended Bethany (when people use the word “attend” it really means “did not graduate”) back in the ’80s.  Anyhow, Lindsborg is the place for all thing Swedish like Dala Horses, Smorgasbords, and lots of Eriksons, Swensons, and Lindstroms running around town.


This recipe is a tad tedious to make, but worth having every once in a while because it is delicious and the crust is a treat. I got a line on some locally raised eggs over in Black Mountain, otherwise known as The Little Town that Rocks.

Mushroom Crust Quiche 

1/2 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped

5 tablespoons butter

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Melange: Do it any way you wanna


Melange of turnip greens, onion, quinoa and plant meat, which is made in Asheville by No Evil Foods.

We started making melange when we had a garden. Each morning or evening we would collect the day’s bounty and saute it into a meal.  The vegetables might include squash, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, okra in any combination.  We could add a store-bought onion and what ever spices desired.  I keep a wide selection of them on hand.

Now for protein, when we were eating meat, we would serve it with chicken strips or shrimp. Meat-free options include tofu, tempeh, or any variety of plant meat or meat substitute. Melange is mixed with or served over grains, another mix and match option. Rice, quinoa, freekah, cous-cous (which is really not a grain, but more of a pasta) or any of the wonderful whole grain mixtures available.

The options are limitless.  Remember that old People’s Choice song from the ’70s??    Do It Any Way You Wanna.


Mac & Cheese


When I was younger, I threw some fabulous parties.  They might not have been large or extravagant, but good friends got together and ate good food and discussed ideas and shared news and we enjoyed one another’s company and had fun.

At once such gathering a conversation transpired about macaroni and cheese.  Neighbor Rose, who was a participant in said conversation, made a fine mac and cheese and was always quick to point out that she used four varieties of cheese.  Reporter friend Cate added to the mix when my bestie, Babydoll, declared, “Oh come on, the best recipe is on the back of the Mueller’s macaroni box.” She has a strong personality and has no qualms sharing her opinion.

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Serendipity: Sweet Potato Chili

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Each fall I buy a box of swee’ ‘taters. This year I got them over in Marion. It was a mixed box of white fleshed and orange fleshed. These are the white.

So you might remember a month or so ago I cooked some kidney beans in the crock pot.  I used half for kidney bean salad, and froze the other half. Well I found them last week and found a recipe on A Year of Slow Cooking blog, Sweet Potato Chili.  If you click on the title of the recipe, it will take you to it.

I had all ingredients already for this chili, other than the smoked paprika and the smoked chili powder.  I used regular chili powder and regular paprika, and I am so proud that at the last minute I threw in a cinnamon stick.

This is so delicious and filling, and I had everything right here.  That’s the fun of Six Weeks Meat-free, trying new things.

The Big Salad

I know many of you are or have been fans of Seinfeld.  Back when I watched a lot more TV, I watched those reruns before Jeopardy. I probably watched the show when it was in prime time, but that was a long time ago.


Anyhow, the show, which was sort of a show about nothing but a comedian and his friends living in NYC, became a birthing ground for pop culture references.  My personal term for a generic senior citizen community is Del Boca Vista, after the Florida-based neighborhood to which Jerry Seinfeld’s parents retired.  Terms like shrinkage, low-talker, and puffy shirt are part of our modern lexicon, as is the term Big Salad.

The phrase Big Salad was introduced by the character Elaine Bennis, the slick-dancing, Baltimore transplant who always finds herself (as all on Seinfeld do) on the tedious side of existence. The idea of a big salad is not novel.  It’s a salad that will fill you up, one that is a meal. Elaine, however, was the first to give it a name and to describe what salad lovers crave on a menu.

So last night was Ash Wednesday, and for the first evening of my Six Weeks Meat-free, I had a Big Salad, with some beets on the side and some cheese on top.  Mr. C. had some leftover bean soup with his big salad.  Then for dessert we had Stephanie W.’s homemade granola bars.

Peace, love, and salad. Make them green, make them yours, be creative but most important make them big!