Teriyaki Citrus Vegetable Kabobs

This Time Last Year: Black Bean Fajita Soup (2013)

kabobs

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In fourth grade I had to present a ‘how to’ project to my class. Students were doing presentaitons on how to fold clothes, how to plant a flower, how to hold a baby without dropping it. Comforting life skills to have.

My early food loving self decided to do a how-to project on the preparation and creation of fruit kabobs! Simple, delicious, and automatically rewarding.

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Several years later, my favorite kabob recipe has shifted and grown more complicated than banana chunks and strawberries pushed onto a bamboo stick, but, my love for kabobs stays the same.

This recipe is one of my favorite dinner dishes because it is so versitble to the individual’s taste, extremly healthy, very flavorful, and quite simple! Using an oven to bake these kabobs makes for a cleaner cooking experience than using a grill. However, if you are a big grilling fan, veggie kabobs are absolutely fantastic hot off the grill!

Give these kabobs a try. They’ll taste soo good you won’t even realize how healthy, gluten free, and vegan they are. You’re welcome 🙂

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Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons orange juice
  • Lemon pepper seasoning to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (more or less to taste)

Vegetable Ingredients:

  • Kabob sticks
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 box button mushrooms, rinsed and stems removed
  • 1 large yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini

Directions:

  1. Wash all of the vegetables, and chop into bite-size chunks and pieces
  2. In a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients and stir well.
  3. Transfer the marinade and vegetables to a large sealable Tupperware, and toss the vegetables in the marinade. Allow to marinade for 1-3 hours, regularly repositioning the vegetables to allow even contact with the marinade. Meanwhile, soak the kabob sticks in water.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and arrange the vegetables on the kabob sticks. Position the kabobs in one even layer on a large baking sheet with a small rim.
  5. Pour the remaining marinade over the kabobs and bake for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Set aside any remaining marinade to pour over the vegetables while serving, if desired.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this dish, try these other entrees from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe link found below):

Tangy Strawberry Balsamic Tempeh Sandwich (or salad!)

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A few weekends ago my cousin and I were making dinner together. She suggested a salad, I suggested tempeh, she suggested strawberries, and it was a date! Together in her kitchen we were cooking and chatting away, as I volunteered to come up with a marinade for the tempeh.

My go-to ingredient for every sauce, dip, and marinade is always Balsamic Vinegar. I love it! My brilliant cousin Bekah, however, is the one who made this marinade awesome. Bekah came up with the dazzling idea to add orange juice to the marinade, which took this tempeh from delicious and traditional to exotic, fresh, and unique! I swear, I’m never going to want to make tempeh any other way.

Since that night I’ve made this dish in both salad and sandwich form, so I thought I’d share the sandwich variation with you. Although, if you are looking for a gluten free or low carb variation, check the notes and tips section below for the salad suggestion!

Yet again, I am grateful for rented kitchens, family, time together around the table, and experiments. Bring on the strawberries, and bring on the summer.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon)
  • ½ teaspoon agave
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 2 Buns, toasted
  • 1 block of tempeh
  • 10-20 Spinach leaves, rinsed and the stems removed
  • 5-10 Strawberries, sliced into thing pieces
  • 4 thin sandwich slices of Havarti cheese

Directions:

  1. Slice the tempeh into thin strips. (I cut the block in half, turned those halves on their ends and sliced those in two. Then I cut those 4 thin squares into 2-4 long strips each!)
  2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, agave, sea salt, and pepper in a shallow dish and mix well.  Add the tempeh to the dish and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Flip the tempeh pieces to allow equal soaking.
  3.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add the tempeh pieces to the pan once the oil is hot.  Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip.
  4. Drizzle 1/3 of the marinade sauce over the tops of the tempeh pieces and tilt the pan to allow the sauce to slide under the tempeh pieces. As you continue to cook the tempeh and rotate it, continue to drizzle the sauce over the tempeh. This will create a caramelized exterior, darken the tempeh, and significantly increase the flavor.
  5. Once the tempeh is cooked, assemble your sandwich by placing a slice of Havarti cheese on each side of a freshly toasted bun (this helps the cheese melt!). Then stack with spinach leaves, strawberry slices, tempeh, and top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy while it’s hot!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 large sandwiches (potentially with a few pieces of tempeh left over!)
  • Gluten free and low carb variation: Prepare the tempeh in the same way, but serve over a spinach leaf salad. Crumble some harvarti cheese and slice up a few strawberries to throw on top, and you won’t even miss the bread! Other possible toppings: sunflower seeds and sliced purple onion.
  • Be careful when pouring the marinade into your frying pan- if your pan is too hot and you pour the marinade over the tempeh it may spit! If this happens, simply turn down the heat and wear an oven glove while you pour. I did not have a problem with this but do not want anyone to move too quickly and get burned!)
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this post, check out these other delicious meals from ‘a rented kitchen!’:

Waikiki Beach Tempeh

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I have a confession. I have never been to Waikiki Beach.  Another confession- I actually had to google “Waikiki Beach” to learn where it is.  Turns out Waikiki beach is one of the treasured white-sand beaches of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Despite my never having been to the Hawaii, my grandparents visited Hawaii, and this recipe is from my grandmother’s collection (Similar to my recent post- Grandma’s (Strawberry) Lemon Bars!).  The combination of soy sauce, pineapple, ginger, and green pepper provide a south pacific pallet that must have been similar to that found near Waikiki.

What is unique about this recipe from my grandmother’s original, is that I have adapted this recipe to use tempeh instead of chicken.  This decision eliminates additional flour, shortening, salt, and a whole lot of extra work from the original recipe – creating a meal that is light and completely satisfying.

Give it a try! With summer quickly approaching, there is no better time to enjoy your tempeh with fresh pineapple. You can pretend you’re in Waikiki beach.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large can sliced pineapple (20 ounces)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 block of tempeh, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Drain the pineapple juice into a 2 cup measuring cup.  Add water to make 1 ¼ cups liquid.
  2.  In a large Tupperware, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and vegetable broth.  Mix well, and then add the cubed tempeh, pineapple chunks, and green pepper. Set aside for an hour minimum, and up to an entire day (refrigerated).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tempeh, pineapple chunks, and green pepper chunks from the marinade and set aside.
  5. In a small measuring cup, combine 2 Tablespoons of cold water with the cornstarch, and allow to dissolve.
  6. Heat the marinade liquid in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. When the cornstarch has dissolved in the water, slowly add it to the marinade mix, stirring constantly.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan and quickly fry the tempeh (you can fry the pineapple and green pepper as well if you like!)
  8. Once the sauce has thickened up, spread the tempeh, pineapple, and green pepper out in a 13 x 9” casserole dish, pouring the sauce over top.  Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  9. Suggested: serve with rice, cous cous, or quinoa. Enjoy!

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Tips and Suggestions!:

Let’s Taco’bout it!: Tempeh Tacos with Avocado-lime Sauce

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So, I’m in disbelief that I have had this blog for 9 months and this is my first tempeh recipe. Whut?! I literally just had to search “tempeh” in the search bar to confirm this. I actually do not cook tempeh all that often, that is not why the lack of tempeh on my blog is surprising. The reason it is surprising is that tempeh is a fabulous meat substitute for vegetarians that everyone should know about and I cannot believe I haven’t shared it with you already!

So here’s the tempeh scoop. Tempeh is made from soy beans- whole soy beans. It has a slightly nutty flavor that many people think tofu lacks. Tempeh is very high in fiber and is actually much firmer than tofu! Tempeh is great grilled, marinated, crumbled, pretty much any way you like it!

In this recipe, the tempeh should be marinated for a few hours at least, and then stir-fried for a quick, nutritious, and filling meal. Give it a try! It’s magical stuff.

And don’t miss the other tacos in this series, Let’s Taco’bout it!

Day One: Spiced Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Day Two: Island Tacos

Day Three: Veggie Tacos

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Avocado-Lime Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons salsa
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Gracious sprinkling of dry minced onion

Tempeh Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 6-ounce block tempeh, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon barbecue seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 small avocado
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt

Taco Ingredients (optional):

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for sautéing tempeh)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheese (suggested: pepper jack, if vegan omit)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Salsa

Directions:

  1. To prepare the tempeh: combine the olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue seasoning, and cumin in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together.
  2. Cut the tempeh into small cubes and toss in the marinade until well coated. Transfer the tempeh and marinade into a shallow dish or Tupperware, and allow to continue marinating for a minimum of 2 hours and up to a day.
  3. Sauté the tempeh cubes in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook until brown and crispy.
  4. To make the avocado- lime sauce: combine the ingredients in a blender and mix until completely blended. Add flavors or additional spices as desired.
  5. To assemble tacos: toast the tortillas for a few minutes and top with lettuce, cheese, salsa, sautéed tempeh, and the avocado-lime sauce. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!: