Monday, March 05, 2007

Day 64: Tempeh

Today’s challenge was to use tempeh in a way that I don’t hate it and George will consume it as well. I decided to do enchiladas, but wasn’t sure what would compliment the tempeh and also disguise it somewhat. I had leftover butternut squash, pre-cut into cubes, and half a bag of frozen corn. It worked. I crumbled the tempeh and added some salsa and taco seasoning, then steamed squash and warmed corn. Mixed all together, I scooped it into those high-fiber tortillas and splashed everything with enchilada sauce and organic cheddar. It only took 20 minutes to bake at 450 to get everything all hot and gooey, and I think it turned out pretty well. I only ate half of one because I’d so recently eaten my snack of Jell-o cake and wasn’t starving.

I also tried the Rosarita vegetarian refried beans, which I flamed in the oven with a tablespoon of salsa and sprinkle of cheese over them until they bubbled like the real thing. The beans were really good. I wish I could say the same for my “Spanish” rice. Not very good, and I cooked it in the oven the last bit to try to get that nice crispness that they always have in good Mexican restaurants. Instead, I got rice caked to the pot and burned. I’m currently soaking the pot and think it may be until tomorrow before the damned stuff falls away. The flavor of the rice turned out okay, somewhat authentic. The recipe I used (from said to coat with turmeric, and it seemed to work. But it wasn’t flavorful like it is in restaurants and I’m very annoyed with it. Rice is supposed to be easy. Maybe I should ask the students at my Operation Frontline Spanish class if they could teach me to make Spanish rice and good refried beans. They’re trying to learn how to cook oriental and American foods, so maybe they would think it’s flattering? I don’t know. I never talk in class, so I’d feel sort-of weird. I should do it anyway.

So, tempeh on its own is disgusting. I tried a bit of it before using the rest in my recipe, and it had an interesting texture — not beanlike the way it looks — but a bitter taste and an acrid aftertaste. I’m not sure it’s my thing; however, one of my friends used to swear by this vegan teriyaki burger at a downtown Denver restaurant. I may have to try it again. I’d invite her but she’s moved to New York City and become “fat and happy” with her food choices, her words. Being vegan, she didn’t have a lot to eat around here. I went several times with her to this restaurant, called Watercourse Foods, near the downtown library and art museum, off of 13th Street. I’d probably appreciate it much more now. What I remember of the place from my non-veg trips is that they had excellent bread and some weird desserts. Vegan cupcakes? Hmmm. I’m considering.

What I ate today. . .
6:45 a.m. – two sips of tea at work
7:30 a.m. – three bites of a piece of Starbucks coffee cake sliced into eighths
9 a.m. — Starbucks sample egg-salad sandwich in a Dixie cup plus two bites of the pesto-turkey sandwich minus the turkey (this one was icky) and 1/8 of my iced white mocha drink with extra ice
10:45 a.m. – grande chai with 2% milk
12:50 p.m. – leftover hot and sour soup with tofu bits and part of my leftover stir-fry but the bok choy was super tough so I mostly threw that away
4 p.m. – two pieces of leftover Jell-o cake (to be fair, it was cut into 20 pieces rather than the 12 listed on the box, so I’m not sure what portion I’m eating, but there’s definitely extra whipping cream on top of two portions)
6 p.m. — half a squash and corn enchilada, 1/2 c. Spanish rice and 1/4 c. refried beans with cheese, handful of broken tortilla chips and 1 T RF sour cream
8 p.m. — mint tea

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