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Tuesday's Gourmet Salad:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gourmet Salad with Sweet and Spicy Glazed Tempeh

Looks good, doesn't it! AND it is even easy!!

So take a look, and SPARK up those tastebuds!!

Yield: Two dinner servings with leftovers

■1 package tempeh, cut into half-inch thick strips and prepared as below

■Salad greens—whatever leaves and greens you prefer

■Optional salad fixings: sliced strawberries, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, candied pecans (directions below) or other nuts or seeds, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, sprouts.

Gourmet Salad 101: Gorgonzola or blue cheese (or aged hard cheese) pair nicely with strawberries (or other fruit) and nuts.

You really don’t need to candy the pecans, since the tempeh is sweet and so are the strawberries, but I like the special treat.

Just make sure you don’t add a sweet (e.g. fruity) dressing on top of all of that sweetness. (Plech.) Personally, I like a simple balsamic vinaigrette with this salad.

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh

Marinade/ Glaze:

■2 cups apple cider
■½ inch disc of fresh ginger, minced
■1 clove garlic, minced
■2 TBS soy sauce
■2 TBS olive oil
■1 tsp sesame oil
■1 tsp cider vinegar
■1 tsp or more chili garlic sauce (or other hot sauce)
■½ tsp arrowroot or cornstarch

1.Steam the tempeh slices for five minutes (on the stove or in the microwave, as you would steam a vegetable). This step makes the tempeh moister and ready to absorb the marinade.

2.Mix together all the marinade ingredients except for the arrowroot or cornstarch. Add the tempeh slices and marinate for at least an hour in the fridge. If you’re planning in advance, you can leave it overnight for maximum flavor.

3.Strain most of the marinade into a sauce pan and turn that on high.

4.Meanwhile, bake the tempeh slices at 400 degrees for twenty minutes, turning them over after about half way. You can add additional liquid from the sauce on your stove at that time. Towards the end, switch the oven to broil for a minute to crisp the very outer edges.

5.Boil the sauce rapidly on your stovetop and reduce it down to between half and one-quarter its original volume.

6.Mix the arrowroot or cornstarch into just enough water to dissolve and add to the bubbling sauce. Allow to bubble just until it begins to thicken (this will happen very quickly) and then turn off the heat. Set this aside.

7.When the tempeh comes out of the oven, coat with the glaze. Allow to cool a little before using in your salad.

8.The extras (refrigerated and then quickly reheated in the microwave) are delicious the next day as a snack or in a wrap.

Candied Pecans

■¼ pound raw pecans
■1 heaping TBS brown sugar
■1- ½ TBS hot water

1.Dissolve the brown sugar in hot water.

2.Heat the pecans in a nonstick pan over medium heat, keeping them moving. They will turn dark brown and eventually get hot to the touch. When they turn black in a few places, turn the heat to high and add the sugar water.

3.Allow the water to bubble rapidly until the liquid is almost but not quite gone. Shut off the heat and allow the residual heat in the pan continue to caramelize and harden the sugar onto the pecans.

4.Let the pecans cool for a few minutes before using on your salad.

Now that wasn't all that difficult, was it?? Once you taste this salad, you will crow for more!

Whoda thunk healthy eating was so DELICIOUS!!!

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