Cooking Mama / Life / Pictures / Wedding

Introducing Two New Sections! Cozy Spot! and What I Ate Wednesday!

So!

Now you know that I am a new home owner! And with the news of our purchasing a home, I debuted a new section to this blog called “Life.” And because a lot of “life” has happened (is happening/will happen) I’m going to give you two new sections to look forward to! I’ve had a couple of requests for more pictures of our new home… and I’m more than happy to share those with you. Napkin and I have come a long way already with our house but we’ve done a lot of projects DIY… and, if you’re interested, I can fill you on the projects we’ve done– and are planning on doing.

For now, though, I’ve decided to start sharing some of my favorite places in our home. I call them “cozy spots.” Realistically, our whole house is one big ‘cozy spot’ but every so often, I’ll feature one area of our house and give you an inside look at it. Here’s your first one:

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Our back porch!

When we came to see the house for the first time– it was totally dark so this was a complete and thrilling surprise. Even in the middle of winter (when we purchased the house) the back porch was one of our favorite things. This summer has been full of cook-outs and late dinners and citronella candles, midnight laugh-a-thons and morning coffee. And the porch is a perfect pick for my first cozy spot because of the grill! Which leads me to this…

I’m pretty new to blog networks… but I’m really excited about the idea of blog hops because it’s just as much fun to read blogs as it is to write my own. And I love to cook! So when I stumbled across this blog hop (originally from the blog Peas and Crayons) I couldn’t resist.

And so! Without further adieu! Here’s my very own (very first!) What I Ate Wednesday:

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Grilled Tempeh and Vegetable ‘Fried’ Rice!

I’ve been a vegetarian for fourteen years– and as someone who does a lot of traveling– chinese food is my saving grace on a lot of nights. There’s almost always a veggie option at most take-out places (even if it’s not the healthiest) so when I started cooking– I immediately learned healthy alternatives to some of my favorite dishes.

And the grill! The grill is a new method of cooking for me. Our gas grill came with the house. We repainted it and scrubbed it clean, and suddenly I was a grilling machine. I use our grill at least once a week because I love the flavors that come from cooking that way! If you don’t have a grill, this recipe can be made on the skillet just as easily. Just make sure you use medium to high heat.

Here we go!

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Tempeh Marinade:

(serves two.)

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Minced Ginger

1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

(Makes enough for one package of tempeh with a little left over for brushing.)

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients well in a shallow dish.

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Cut your tempeh into quarters.

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Lay tempeh in dish and make sure that each piece is covered in a good amount of the marinade.

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Let marinate in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 days.

While your tempeh is marinating…. make sure you preheat your grill! Medium heat on gas grills– on charcoal grills, just lessen the cook time and use a little more oil to avoid sticking!

Now let’s make the rice!

Vegetable ‘Fried’ Rice:

(serves four.)

2 Tablespoons Minced Ginger

1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil

1 Cup Diced Carrots

1 Cup Diced Onion

1 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper

1 Cup Frozen Peas

4 Cups Cooked (preferably a couple days old) Rice

1/4 Teaspoon White Pepper

2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Small Bowl of Water

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Directions:

In a wok, heat the two tablespoons of peanut oil on medium heat. (Make sure not to get it too hot. You want an even heat here.) Add the ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant… about 1 minute.

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Add onion and green pepper. Cook until onion is soft, about five minutes:

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Add carrots. Cook until bright orange– about two minutes.

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Add frozen peas. Cook until thawed through– about five minutes.

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Add rice. Stir everything well until veggies are folded into the rice. If your rice starts sticking to the bottom, add small amounts of water to help give the rice a softer consistency.

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Add white pepper and mix well. (Be careful with white pepper! A little goes a long way!)

Lastly, add the soy sauce around the edges of the wok and mix thoroughly. Cook for a few minutes more, until everything is mixed and evenly heated through. (Add water as needed while stirring as to keep anything from sticking.)

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Turn wok off and cover rice. Time to grill!

Tempeh Grilling Instructions:

Preheat gas grill to medium heat.

On a grilling plate: Place marinated tempeh slices on a single layer on nonstick grilling plate. (**This is optional. Just make sure to brush a little oil on your grill if you’re going to put the tempeh slices on directly.)

Grill each side of tempeh slices until they’re browned on the edges– 5-7 minutes per side. When they’re browned to your liking, brush the marinade remainder on top.

Serve immediately. With rice!

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Make sure you plate everything up in the most fancy way you can muster as to impress all your bloggy-friends. (Ahem. Beautiful black sesame seeds and saucy sriracha drizzle are totally optional.)

So there you have it! A back porch friendly vegan meal that you can make in no time flat. Special thanks to Grace of Beauty for the pretty banner.

See you soon!

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