07 October 2013

Making A Habit Of It: A Second Lapse Into Foodblogging

I now continue tumbling down the slippery slope of blogger-like behaviors with an encore foodblogging extravaganza. This year's iteration, however, bears quite a bit more directly on my musical activities than you probably would otherwise imagine. Over the past several years, I began to suspect that my largely vegan diet was not serving the needs of my choppers all that well. My first thought was protein, but I now suspect that iron has a much larger impact. The following dish was developed for iron loading, combining as it does three vegan iron powerhouses: kale, tempeh, and black beans. I eat it three times a week and have seen a noticeable improvement in my ability to get and stay in tuba shape. It's also a darn tasty and filling meal sure to please all but the most terminally constipated of fast-foodists. The recipe is shared below. Please note that most all of the measurements are approximate and included simply for effect; I do not own any measuring implements and have never actually measured anything when making this dish. Use your instincts and embrace some subtle variation within repetition. (Did I mention I eat this three times a week?)


Iron, Man!
feeds 2 people, or 1 tuba player

•1/3 Cup Canola Oil
•Two Handfuls Chopped Onions
•One Handful Chopped Garlic
•2 Tbs Ground Cumin
•1 Tbs Ground Cayenne Pepper
•One Package Trader Joe's 3-Grain Tempeh, Chopped
•One Generous Splash Bragg's Liquid Aminos
[low-sodium soy sauce substitute, available at health food type places and some supermarkets; a miracle; get hip to it if you're not)]
•Two Handfuls Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Chopped
•Lots of Kale, Chopped (I use about 3/4 of the Trader Joe's bag)
•One Can Cooked Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
[if you have time to cook your own beans and know how to do it well, this can really put the dish over the top; unfortunately, I have been opting for the expedience of the can lately]

In a large, deep skillet or wok, combine canola oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes, mixing occasionally to distribute. Mix in tempeh and liquid aminos and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Now add as much kale as will fit in the pan. You really can't have too much, since it cooks down so severely, but you'll be lucky to fit a whole bunch/bag in there unless you're cooking in one of those massive witches cauldrons.

If using a coverable pan, cover at this point, but do not mix. When kale first begins to wilt, uncover and mix to distribute spices and oil. Cover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until kale reaches the desired state. (If using a wok with no cover, it's possible to get more or less the same results by bringing the heat up a tad and mixing every few minutes.) Uncover, mix in black beans, remove from heat and let cool. Serve.

You're now ready for life as a bodybuilder, or an improvising tubist, whichever sounds more exciting to you.

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