Lazy Lunch: Easy BBQ Tempeh & Tangy Power Greens

Feeling lazy, but want to eat something dee-lish? Then read on for a high-ROI(where investment=cook time) meal you can enjoy any day.

On Friday, I enjoyed one of my favorite lunches of recent times. As I started wondering about lunch, I had no idea what to eat, but I knew I had some homemade BBQ sauce, tempeh, swiss chard in the garden, and some kale on its last legs in the fridge. I wanted to make use of what I already had on hand, but I was already really hungry, so it had to come together quickly and easily. This meal would turn out to be a wonderful surprise in ease and deliciousness.

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After doing so well kicking off my day with lots of veg (spinach and onion in that tasty dill-egg-scramble), I knew I wanted to get a great serving of  vegetables with lunch.

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I have had swiss chard getting bigger and bigger in my garden for awhile, so I decided to pluck some leaves from that plant. I also knew I had some kale (from the farmer’s market the week before) in the fridge, so I combined the two for a powerhouse-combination of great greens. And some chopped onions chillin in the freezer would be a quick addition to add instant flavor.

Tangy Power Greens

Want a quick and easy vegetable side? This combination of nutritious greens come together in less than 10 minutes and without the need of blanching. Use frozen, chopped onions (a staple in the TCL house) to shorten the prep time. Multiply the recipe, as needed, for a larger serving size.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 chopped onion (I used frozen for convenience, but you can fresh-chop some)
  • 6 cups packed greens (I used swiss chard and curly kale, but spinach and other greens that don’t require blanching would work)
  • 1/4 cup broth/stock or water (I used water since I didn’t have any broth, but broth/stock would be more flavorful)
  • 4 sprays of Braggs liquid amino, optional
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook till translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add greens and water and cook till wilted, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Spray in Braggs, add apple cider vinegar and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute to bring flavors together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve with BBQ tempeh (recipe follows).

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BBQ Tempeh

BBQ Tempeh couldn’t be easier. The flavor is best when combined with homemade BBQ sauce, but the bottled kind will work just as well. This is the easiest way I’ve ever prepared tempeh before, and it packs a lot of flavor with very little effort. Talk about high ROI!

Time-saving tip: Marinate the tempeh while you prep the greens for the previous recipe.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine tempeh and BBQ sauce in a bowl. Gently stir to coat all sides of tempeh slices. Marinate for 5-10 minutes (while you prep the greens for the previous recipe)
  2. Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook till each side is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  3. Serve with Tangy Power Greens (previous recipe).

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I snacked on tortilla chips whilst whipping this dish up and then used some smaller broken pieces to garnish the top.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Tempeh Recipe + Vega Berry Health Optimizer

Organic Garden

So, sorry for the delay posting those garden project photos, but it got so dark so quickly last night!

I’m hell-bent on keeping my garden organic, so I’ve been reading a lot about companion planting. The concept is that you want to work with nature to maintain your garden by:

  • attracting good pests
  • deterring bad pests

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I’m planning to place some pots of good companion plants around the garden, rather than adding a border, so I can move the pots in case I need to get to the inner boxes. My plan was to place a bunch of pots so there would be about 4 on each corner and 1 in between the corner pots along each side.

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Plants and all the other stuff you need for them are expensive! So we’re just starting with two.

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I caved and got plastic pots. Maybe I’ll upgrade them next year, but these will do for now. I think they’re pretty attractive, especially for plastic.

In the pots: geraniums, parsley, and creeping Jenny.

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I like the parsley because it seems to attract these guys – baby lady bugs. They are kind of scary looking, but apparently they eat aphids, which are common garden pests.

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The green beans are really popping up! Look at em go!

Eats

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I really, really wanted to get Flying Biscuit pancakes this morning, but especially since I already went there last night, I decided to stay in.

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I made oats with 1/2 milk, 1/2 water, blueberries, goji berries, and coconut (plus flaxseed meal and chia seeds).

Since I had a big workout planned for after work, I decided to try a meat-free lunch in an attempt to sort-of follow the Thrive diet. I decided to whip up something using ingredients I already had on hand since I didn’t really have time to go to the grocery store, even though I was WFH today.

Sweet Potato + Tempeh

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Sweet potatoes + tempeh were my bases.

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Sweet Potato Tempeh Stir-Fry

Vegetarian / Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 package tempeh, cut into small pieces, about 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, chopped into small pieces, about 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup green beans, frozen
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (I used some I had stowed away in my freezer)
  • 1/3 cup OJ
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp roasted thai chili sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp EVOO

Directions:

  • Steam tempeh 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, boil sweet potato about 4-6 minutes, or until fork-tender, remove from water with a strainer (leave water in pot) and set aside. Add beans to pot and cook 4-5 minutes until cooked and just tender. Remove from heat, chop into bite-size pieces.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add EVOO, add onions, saute till onions translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tempeh and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix OJ, tamari, chili sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Add sauce to pan. Cook to combine flavors, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add green beans, peas, cook till flavors combined and sauce evenly distributed, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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Not too shabby – tempeh experiment WIN!! :)

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Seconds

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Tea = Mate vana + Rooibos Caramel

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Bailey was a sleepy puppy all afternoon. Cute little sleeper!

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I had a mini bag of Food Should Taste Good chips (*) in Multigrain for an afternoon snack.

Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer – Berry – Review

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I broke into one of the Vega samples I recently received – the Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer in Berry (*). I’ve reviewed this product before in the Vanilla Chai flavor (click) and this one has all the awesome properties, features, and benefits, just in a different flavor.

I made up a smoothie with this berry health optimizer, strawberries, and almond milk. While I thought the flavor of berry-on-berry tasted really good, I actually prefer the Vanilla Chai for some reason. I think the berry flavor would be a nice addition to the Vanilla Chai in case you wanted to have more than one flavor. Especially for the times when you mix the health optimizer with just water…the berry would be a nice flavor to have on hand. But, if I had to pick one, I’d stick with the Vanilla Chai – it seems more versatile to me. :)

I think I drank the smoothie too close to my workout because I was a little more tired during the workout then I expected. I had a BURST of energy right after, though! :lol: Guess I should have had the smoothie more than 1 hour beforehand.

Zumba was fabulous, though! I had a great workout and we even got a special guest appearance from one of old instructors, Sara, who moved away a couple months ago. It was so good seeing her. :)

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Post-workout, a few of us went out to Big Daddy’s for dinner. Three of us split the adult cookies and cream milk shake, made with Kahlua.

Or so we thought…turns out the first shake was ordered Virgin. We thought they only had one cookies and cream on the menu, but it turns out there is a normal one and a spiked one. Oops!

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Smoothie take #2. Much better! ;)

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My friends let me sample their fried pickles with ranch sauce. They are so tasty!

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For my dinner, I split a patty melt burger and the black bean burger and got sweet potato fries. I almost managed to eat all the burgers, but I only managed roughly half of the sweet potato fries.

Anywho, I lucked out splitting my food with Alex who let me give him larger portions than mine. I mean, guys eat more, right? I probably served myself roughly 1/3 of each burger and him 2/3. Much better portions for me.

Now if I could only order off the kid’s menu everywhere! :lol:

Breakup Recovery Tips

Our last break-up recovery tips! If I left your comment/tweet/email off, please let me know! I’m sorry if I missed it, but it’s midnight and I was ready for bed about an hour ago! haha

  • Rachel – I throw myself back in the fray headfirst with fun things that I couldn’t do while dating such as speed dating or other ways to meet someone. I find the best way to get over someone is to meet that next someone!
  • Ashley – I always allowed myself one day to stay home, cry my eyes out, stay in my pjs, watch sappy movies and eat whatever I wanted. I found it therapeutic to get it all out. However, the next day the pity party was over. I had to pick myself up and resume my life. It was easier said then done sometimes. I found one of the really helpful things to do was reconnect with activities I once loved, but I might not have done so much with my ex around. Bubble baths with a good book, marathon Starbucks sessions with friends. They were little things that helped me feel more, well, me. I can remember once curling up in bed with a stack of new magazines and just reading until I feel asleep. I was so relaxed the next morning. I remember thinking how I had not done something that I loved for so long. Friends are key and family got me through a lot. It helps to be able to pick up the phone and pour your heart out when needed.

Thanks everyone for your tips! I know my friend has been reading each one!

Do you have a garden? Do you use pesticides?

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