Archive for July, 2009

Mediterranean Tempeh

Mediterranean Tempeh

Mediterranean Tempeh is an economical dish that’s made with tempeh, a staple of Indonesian cuisine for centuries. It is a cultured food made with soybeans. It is cultured like cheese, yogurt, miso, and sauerkraut. Because the soybeans have been culture, the proteins are predigested and the B vitamins are increased. It is high in protein and minerals, full of B12, and contains as much protein as chicken or beef. It’s also cholesterol-free and low in fat.

If you’re a vegetarian or planning to eat less meat, tempeh is definitely worth including in your diet for all the nutrition this ancient food contains.

During our vegetarian days, my husband and I relied on tempeh as one of our sources of protein. We also ate tempeh to make sure we were getting our supply of  B12.

Mediterranean Tempeh is the perfect combination of an ancient cultured food and summer’s bounty—tempeh, tomatoes and basil. This recipe has taken me several months to get the right blend of ingredients. It has just the right combination of herbs to give it that Mediterranean essence. Savoring this dish brought back memories of sun drench days on the Riviera overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Each bite was a refreshing reminder of my carefree days by the sea.

8 ounce package of tempeh 0018 ounces of tempeh 004cubed tempeh 005

Tempeh comes in 8 ounce packages. It can be purchased from the health food store. It must be cooked before it’s eaten. It has a nutty flavor. I’ve been working on adjusting the nutty flavor to balance with the flavors of the rest of the ingredients in this recipe. On one occasion I added more balsamic vinegar, but everything became too sour. The next time, I added more grape tomatoes. The tomatoes tasted sweet and delicious, but its sweetness didn’t permeate the tempeh.

It finally dawned on me that the tempeh needed to be sweetened. But with what? Sugar was definitely out. Honey? Agave? Maple Syrup? No, these sweeteners were the wrong flavors for the taste combination I wanted to achieve in this dish. Finally, after much consideration, I tried organic apple juice as my sweetener. It so happened that I had some left over organic apple juice in the fridge. The apple juice sweetened the tempeh and mellowed its nutty flavor, exactly what my taste buds imagined.

Place the cubed tempeh in a quarter cup of apple juice in a covered pot and let it simmer for twenty minutes. Let the apple juice cook off. Place the tempeh in a non-reactive bowl and let it cool off.

two cloves of garlic, minced 013one teaspoon of oregano 009one fourth a cup of balsamic vinegar 015

one tablespoon of lime juice 004four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 035thirty-two basil leaves, cut or torn 034

While the tempeh is cooling, in a separate non-reactive bowl, make the dressing. Combine two cloves of minced garlic with center shoots removed, one teaspoon of oregano, one quarter cup of balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of lime juice, four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and half the amount of basil leaves torn or thinly cut (total 32). Whisk all the ingredients together and let stand.

organic feta cheese, crumble 030organic grape tomatoes 025black olives

After the the tempeh is cooled, break the tempeh into small pieces. In the same non-reactive bowl, combine one half of the organic feta cheese (4 oz.), one pint of grape or cherry tomatoes sliced into halves, and two thirds cup of sliced pitted black olives.

I tried kalamata olives previously, but  they have a slightly bitter taste and brought out the bitter favor in the tempeh and dominated the dish. Use the water cured  black olives sold loose or in glass bottles. The flavor of the water cured black olives remains in the background and allows all the other flavors to harmonize.

Toss all the all the ingredients. Whisk the dressing and pour over the tempeh, tomato, feta, olive mixture. Toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish each serving with the other half of the crumbled feta and sliced or torn fresh basil leaves.

Mediterranean Tempeh

Serves 6


8 oz. package of plain tempeh

1/4 cup of organic apple juice

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

8 oz. of feta cheese, crumbled (reserve 1/2 for garnish)

2/3 cup of water cured black olives (pitted), sliced


2 cloves garlic, minced with shoots removed

1 teaspoon of oregano

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of lime juice

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

32 fresh basil leaves, cut thinly or torn (reserve 1/2 for garnish)

1. Cube tempeh

2. Placed cubed tempeh in a covered pot with 1/4 cup of apple juice. Let simmer until all the apple juice is gone, about 20 minutes.

3. Place the tempeh in a non-reactive bowl and let cool.

4. While tempeh is cooling, make the dressing in another non-reactive bowl.

5. Whisk together minced garlic, oregano, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, and half the thinly sliced/torn basil leaves. Let stand.

6. Crumble tempeh.

7. To the tempeh, add half the crumbled the feta cheese, sliced cherry/grape tomatoes, and sliced black olives. Toss.

8. Whisk the dressing and pour onto the tempeh, feta, tomato, olive mixture. Toss.

9. Garnish each serving with reserved crumbled feta cheese and reserved sliced/torn fresh basil.

Enjoy! See you on the Riviera!

Modifications and suggestions: Mediterranean Tempeh can be served on a whole grain bun, as a wrap, or on whole grain bread. Carb types may add more tomatoes and olives. Protein types can add some sliced turkey or grass-fed beef on top of the salad. Vegans can eliminate the feta and use a soy or rice cheese.

Mediterranean Tempeh keeps well overnight. The leftovers are tastier the next day.

Mediterranean Tempeh, a frugal recipe combining tempeh, an ancient cultured food with summer’s bounty, fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh basil is featured in Pennywise Platter Thursday in the Nourishing Gourmet.

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom



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Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms is a dish full of contrasts. It’s beefy, yet meatless; crunchy, yet velvety smooth; and sweet, yet savory.

This delicious dish is quick and economical as well as versatile. It can be served as the main dish with a side of vegetables or a grain, or on a whole grain bun, or cut up and placed in a salad.

This is a must try recipe. Your eyes and tastebuds will be enticed for a second serving, but you’re tummy will be satisfied after just one!

This recipe calls for soaked, dehydrated nuts. I usually soak a batch of nuts and dehydrate them each week for snacking and for recipes such as this one.

chopped scallions 064chopped walnuts and pecans 072sliced mozzerella cheese 065

Clean the Portobello mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Wipe off any dirt. I know, you’re thinking they need to be washed with water! Mushrooms are very porous and will become soggy if washed with water. To preserve their texture and taste, wipe them with a dry paper towel. Then cut off the stems. Trim off the end that was not attached to the mushroom. Set the stems aside for later.

Spread a teaspoon or more of coconut oil in each mushroom. The coconut oil and soaked walnuts will provide the sweetness. Place them in a baking dish and bake at 375° for 7—10 minutes. I’ve used other fats such as ghee or sweet grass-fed butter, but the coconut oil is sweeter.

saute scallions 077scallions, mushroom stems, and nuts 083cover mixture with slice of mozzerella cheese 085

While the mushrooms are baking, chop one scallion per mushroom. Chop the mushroom stems. Lightly sauté the scallions and mushroom stems in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add more coconut oil if needed.

While the scallions and mushroom stems are cooking, chop the nuts. I’ve used pecans, walnuts, and a combination of pecans and walnuts, but soaked walnuts provide the right amount of sweetness for this recipe. I prefer the taste of the the soaked walnuts in this recipe. They’re so deliciously sweet. My daughter, who has never liked nuts, loves the soaked walnuts. They’re also high in omega 3’s.

When the scallions are slightly soft, remove the pan form the heat. Add the nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste. I add a tiny bit more salt, because the mushroom juices will balance the saltiness.

Spoon the mixture into each mushroom. I like to pile it into each cap. Top each mushroom cap with a slice of mozzerella cheese.

Bake in the oven at 175 ° until the cheese melts. I’ve baked them at higher temperatures to get that golden color, but recently I’ve set my oven temperature a lot lower to preserve the nutrients of the nuts. Sometimes I warm up the oven at a low temperature, turn it off and set the tray of mushrooms in the oven for as long as it takes to melt the cheese.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom 118

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Serves 4

Preheat oven 175° or higher


1 scallion chopped,  per mushroom (4)

1/4 cup soaked nuts, chopped per mushroom (1 cup)

4 slices of grass-fed mozzarella cheese

Fat−grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or grass-fed ghee

1. Wipe each mushroom with a dry paper towel to remove any dirt. Remove mushroom stems and save for later.

2. Place mushrooms in a shallow pan. Spread a teaspoon of grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or ghee on each mushroom.

3. Place in a pre-heated oven for 7-10 minutes.

4. Wash, dry, and chopped scallions.

5. Slice off the end of the mushroom stem that was not attached to the mushroom. Chop up the stem.

6. Sauté chopped mushroom stems and chopped scallions in grass-fed  1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter, coconut oil , or grass-fed ghee until slightly translucent. Remove from heat.

7. Remove mushrooms from oven. Leave in baking pan.

8. Add chopped nuts to sautéed scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Spoon generous amounts of the scallion, mushroom stem/nut mixture onto mushrooms.

10. Top each mushroom with a slice of grass-fed mozzarella cheese.

11. Bake in pre-heated oven until cheese melts. You may use a higher temperature. I now use a lower temperature to preserve as many nutrients as possible.

12. Remove from the oven when cheese is melted.


Modifications and suggestions: Serve this as the main dish with a side dish of salad or vegetables; put the mushroom in a whole-grain burger bun for a delicious meatless burger; slice the mushroom and add it to a salad; vegans can substitute dairy cheese with soy, rice, or any vegan cheese; protein types can substitute ground beef, turkey, or chicken for the nuts or add more nuts; those allergic to nuts may substitute nuts with meat. If using meat, add curry, or some salsa to enhance the flavor. If you follow dietary laws, you may want to top the meat with a non-dairy cheese. Be creative!

This healthy, versatile, and frugal recipe is featured in Pennywise Platter Thursday in the Nourishing Gourmet.

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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The Clay Cauldron

Do you have a prayer request?

I’d like to pray with for you. And I’m hoping that many others in Christ will join with me in this honored activity to make our needs known to God. He already understands and knows exactly what you need.

Each of us at one time or another has felt the heartbreak of separation, the lost of a loved one, the disappointment of broken promises, the devastation of betrayed vows, or the reality of dashed dreams. God was present in the  Garden of Eden when man turned his back on Him and was at Calvary during the death of His Son. Yes, He understands and knows how we feel and what we’re going through.

In Destined for the Throne Paul E. Billheimer describes this mysterious process called prayer as on-the-job training for the believers’ (Church’s) preparation to assume its rightful position with Christ in heaven.

You may ask, If God is who He says He is and is all powerful and all knowing, why would He need us to tell Him what we need ? Can’t He just accomplish it?

Billheimer’s book  explains why God needs the Church’s prayers through two analogies. The first analogy is a business check that requires co-signatures. Two people must sign the check so that the bank can release its funds. In terms of prayer, the first signature would be God’s. The second signature would be ours in order for the bank to release the requested funds, the answered prayers.

He uses the opening of a safety deposit box as his second analogy to prayer. Two keys are needed to open a safety deposit box to access the treasures in the box. The bank teller needs the bank’s key and the key from the person who rents the safety deposit box. Both keys will open the box to all the treasures. In terms of prayer, the first key would be God’s, and the second key would be our key. Both God and the believer are needed in the process of prayer.

Checks used by some business firms require the signatures of two individuals to make them valid. One signature is not enough. Both parties must sign. This illustrates God’s method of operating through the prayers and faith of His people. His promises are His checks signed in His own blood, His part was fully completed at Calvary. But no promise is made good until a redeemed man enters the throne room of the universe and, by prayer and faith writes his name beside God’s. Then, and not until then, are the check’s resources released. It is like a safety deposit box in the bank vault. The keeper has a key and you have a key. Neither key alone will open the box. But, when you give the keeper your key, she inserts both keys and the door flies open, making available all the treasures stored in the box. Heaven holds the key by which decisions governing earthy affairs are made but we hold the key by which those decisions are implemented.

It’s one of those books that I immediately planned to reread after the first chapter, because it spoke to my spirit—the Holy Spirit  spoke to my spirit. I just cried like a baby the whole afternoon. I realized what an honor it is that the God of the universe cares and loves me enough to first send His Son to die on the cross as an atonement for my sins; and, then on top of that, He cares enough for me on a daily basis that He wants a moment by moment conversation with me, prayer. It just boggles my mind. I am in such awe and am so grateful for what He’s done that I want to worship Him and thank Him continuously with my thoughts, prayers, deeds, and life.

I worship Him out of gratitude to Him for all He’s done for me. He loves me. I’m not alone in this life.

God loves you and has a very special plan for your life. No matter what your circumstances, He knows about them and loves you.

Many people have prayed for me in the past as they are doing now. God has transformed me from the inside out. The Holy Spirit guides me, comforts me, gives me love, peace, and joy. It’s not about me, but it’s about Him, Jesus:

…we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)

Be inspired by this youtube of Nick Vujicic. See how his life of disability has been changed by the love of Jesus.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord… .(Jeremiah 29:11-14)

I’d like to pray with you.

Do you have a prayer request?

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curry chicken salad

curry chicken salad

Curry Chicken Salad is a refreshing and light salad that’s full of surprises. The spiciness of the curry is dispersed by the burst of sweetness from the crunchy, organic red grapes but only briefly. As the curry continues lingering on each morsel of moist chicken and crunchy celery, your taste buds will be surprised again by another burst of sweetness from the red onions. This dish is punctuated with surprises.

This recipe is a hit with young and old alike. It’s a recipe inspired by my friend Laureen. It’s on the menu every year when we camp out at the Creation Festival. Our group of about 30 teens this year enjoyed it as much as the as the adults in the group. There was not one bite left!

I adapted this recipe to serve my family of three at home. I’ve piggy-backed this recipe onto some leftover roast chicken from the night before. Yesterday I served the roast chicken for dinner, and today I’ve added fresh ingredients to the chicken to create Curry Chicken Salad. Tomorrow’s dinner will be a third meal from the roast chicken, Lemon Chicken Soup with Quinoa, which will be a future post.

The curry for this recipe is Indian curry purchased from the Indian grocery store. Some grocery stores may carry it in its ethnic food department. Curry is rich in tumeric, which contains curcumin, an antiinflamatory.

shredded range-free organic chicken breast 041chopped organic celery 033chopped organic onion 034

I  shredded the left over chicken breast from last night’s dinner. I chopped one stalk of celery and a quarter of a red onion.

combine chicken, celery, and red onions 044tumeric rich Indian curry 039omega 3 rich mayonnaise 248

Reserve some of the onion and celery for garnishing. Combine the chicken, celery, and onions in a bowl.

In a second bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of curry to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and stir. Taste the mixture and adjust the proportions to suit your taste. I prefer the curry more on the subtle side with just enough of the curry flavor so it won’t overpower the other ingredients.

sea salt 036fresh ground pepper 038red grapes 032

Add salt and pepper to taste. Although pepper is already an ingredient in the curry, more should be added to the salad. The tumeric that is an ingredient in the curry is better absorbed in combination with black pepper. The black pepper multiples the absorption of the tumeric by two thousand. Without the black pepper, tumeric will not pass through the intestinal track.

Tumeric gives curry its yellow color.  Tumeric is an antiinflammatory and contains curcumin. Curcumin helps stimulate apoptosis in cancer cells and inhibits angiogenesis. (Anti Cancer:A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD)

Cut grapes in half. Reserve a few grapes for garnishing. Add cut grapes. Gently toss and coat everything with the curry mayonnaise dressing.

Just one more time, sample the salad and make the final adjustments to the mayonnaise and curry, salt and pepper. Lightly toss again.

Garnish with the celery, onions, and grapes.

Curry Chicken Salad

Serves 3


shredded range-free organic chicken breast (1/2 the breast)

1 stalk organic celery, chopped

1/4 organic red onion  if medium or  1 small onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon Indian curry

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons of omega 3 mayonnaise

organic red grapes

This recipe requires the tasting and the adjusting of the ingredients as you assemble the salad. Be creative!

1. Reserve some celery and onions.

2. Combine chicken, celery, and onions in a bowl.

3. In a second bowl, mix curry and mayonnaise. Taste. Adjust the proportions of curry to mayonnaise. Start out with the recommended amount of curry and mayonnaise. Work up gradually to suit your taste.

4. Add salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss and taste. Start with the recommended amount of salt and pepper and adjust to your taste.

5. Cut grapes in half. Reserve a few grape for garnishing. Add cut grapes to the salad. Gently toss and coat with curry mayonnaise dressing.

6. One more time, sample the salad and adjust the curry, mayonnaise, salt , and pepper. Lightly toss again.

7. Garnish with reserved celery, onions, and red grapes.


Modifications and suggestions: Protein types can use the dark meat of the chicken and add less celery, onions, and grapes; carb types can add more of the celery, onions, and grapes. Canned chicken can be used if you don’t have left over chicken and you want a quick, non-cooked meal.

Visit the Nourishing Gourmet for more frugal recipes during Pennywise Platter Thursday.

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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fruit sweetened chocolate chip quinoa cake made with soaked quinoa

fruit sweetened chocolate chip quinoa cake made with soaked quinoa

Let Them Eat Cake! Yes, you read it right. Do you know anyone who by-passes breakfast even though it’s considered the most important meal of the day? Well, let them eat cake! This recipe made with soaked quinoa is high in protein, fiber, and nutrients to last through the morning.

While I was making a batch of Mama’s Magic Muffins this weekend I realized I only had 11 cupcake liners when my recipe yields 18 muffins due to the expansion quinoa goes through when it is soaked. I guess I could have ladled the muffin batter directly into the muffin tin without the twelfth liner, but at the last minute, before I panicked and ran out to buy more liners (besides, there was no use in panicking since it was 10:30 PM and all the stores were closed), I decided to pour the rest of the batter into my Pyrex loft dish to make a cake, the shape of a pound cake (only a bit lower).

Sometimes youngsters have a preference for a specific shape a food comes in. If the muffin shape doesn’t entice that finicky breakfast-eater, perhaps the cake shape will! Without the liners, you will get to eat every delicious morsel.  So, Let them eat cake!

Next time I make Mama’s Magic Muffins, I’m going to use a loft dish for a full size cake. You might want to experiment with different shape and size pans.

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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cheddar jalapeno eggs

cheddar jalapeño eggs

Cheddar Jalapeño Eggs is a simple, quick, and inexpensive dish that can be served as breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a nutritious snack. It can be eaten hot or cold. The creamy cheddar cheese and eggs with just enough kick from the jalapeño peppers will a definite crowd-pleaser as it has become for my family.

This dish is high in protein and full of omega 3’s from grassfed raw cheddar cheese and omega 3 rich range-free, organic eggs.

This simple recipe is from my friend Nancy. The first time I tasted this dish, I had to have the recipe! I hope this dish will also become one of your favorites and a must have recipe.

jalapeno peppers 165cheddar cheese 166eggs 172 jalapenos 173cheddar to jalapenos and eggs 175cheddar jalapeno eggs in baking dish 181

You can use fresh jalapeño peppers or canned. I’ve used both at different times based upon availability. When using the canned, you’ll need one 4 ounce can of diced jalapeño peppers. Open and drain the liquid. When using the fresh, you’ll need 15 small jalapeños or 7 medium jalapeños. Cut each jalapeño length-wise, remove the ribs and seeds, and dice. Be careful when handling the jalapeños. Keep your hands away from your eyes, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.

Cook the diced jalapeños in a  1/4 cup of filtered water and 1/8 teaspoon of salt over a medium flame until slightly soft. Let the jalapeños cool.

While the jalapeños are cooking, grate 8 ounces of grassfed raw cheddar cheese.

In a large bowl lightly beat 6 range-free, organic eggs. Mix in the diced jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese.

Transfer mixture into a 6″x8″ rectangular baking dish.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 20-30 minutes until slightly golden brown or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let dish cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cheddar Jalapeño Eggs

Serves 6

Preheat oven 375°


1- 4 oz.can diced jalapeño peppers or 15 small fresh or 7 medium fresh, diced

8 oz. grassfed raw cheddar cheese, shredded

6 range-free organic eggs

(1/4 cup of  water and 1/8 teaspoon of salt to cook raw jalapeños)

1. If using canned jalapeños, drain liquid form can. If using fresh jalapeños, slice length-wise. Remove ribs and seeds, dice. Cook the raw jalapeños in 1/4 cup of water and 1/8 teaspoon of salt until slightly soft. Let cool.

2. Shred the cheddar cheese.

3. Break 6 eggs into a large bowl, beat lightly.

4. Add jalapeños to eggs, mix.

5. Add shredded cheese to jalapeño and eggs, mix.

6. Pour into a 6″x8″ baking dish.

7. Baked in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until slightly golden or until an inserted toothpick come out clean.

8. Let cool 10 minutes.

9. Garnish sliced with salsa and cilantro or with sliced red sweet peppers and cilantro.

golden, cheddar jalapeno eggs
golden cheddar jalapeño eggs

Modifications and suggestions: To add more of a kick to the dish, include some of the seeds from the jalapeño peppers.

Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water after handling the jalapeño peppers. Do NOT touch your eyes.

Garnish each serving with salsa and cilantro or with sliced sweet red peppers and cilantro.

Using the canned or fresh jalapeño peppers will make this dish equally tasty, but for me the fresh jalapeños have a slight edge. I like the texture of the fresh jalapeños a bit more.

To save time, just mix all the ingredients in the baking dish.

This recipe has been included in Pennywise Platter Thursdays at http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/

Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom

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