Ranger’s Bakery – Healthy Dog Treats and Giveaway!!

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I have another wonderful small business to share with you! This time a delicious Colorado local pet treat business, Ranger’s Bakery! Shelby and her dog Ranger (who was the inspiration for the creation of Ranger’s Bakery) offer a variety of awesome dogs treat. Many of which are vegan! Yay!

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Shelby is Colorado native and before starting Ranger’s Bakery was a full-time college student. She was just shy of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Church Planting when she decided to pursue the culinary field. Shelby’s always loved cooking and it helps that she’s actually good at it!

Ranger is a German Shepherd, Husky mix whom she rescued last year. Ranger inspired Shelby’s passion to create quality dog treats with trusted, natural ingredients. Ranger loves these treats, and Shelby feels good as his mom knowing it’s good for him too! They love sharing their treats with their fur-friends and they would love to share them with your furry buddies too! 🙂
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Why did Shelby start Ranger’s Bakery? Shelby adopted Ranger from Two Blondes All Breed Rescue in Denver. Ranger was initially rescued, along with his mother and siblings, in San Antonio, Texas. He was eight weeks when she brought him home. By his second day home, he started to show signs that he was sick. It turned out that the puppies had gotten worms from their mother. The rescue did a great job getting all the necessary treatments for the pups, but Ranger was the only one still not pulling through. He ended up staying a week and a half at a vet hospital. He was a true fighter, and it inspired her. Shelby started researching dog health and the importance of a healthy diet and nutrition for dogs, just like humans. She was stunned to learn about the high rate of cancer in dogs and that, many times, it could be traced back to their diet. So she started making organic treats for Ranger. He went absolutely crazy for them! She let her creativity run wild and put together some great recipes. That’s when she decided to put her treats on Etsy. She really wanted to share them with everyone and provide organic and healthy options for dog owners.
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Shelby and I agree that there are so many benefits of feeding dogs healthy and organic foods; organic food tastes better, it’s been proven to promote animal welfare overall, it prevents cancer, boosts the immune system, prevents premature aging, and reduces the risk of heart diseases.

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Shelby feels that Ranger’s Bakery has so much to offer because of the integrity of the ingredients each treat is made with. All of the fruits and veggies are farmed locally, so they’re super fresh. She uses only certified organic produce and which means less pesticides on produce. And it’s a huge plus that organic farming is better for the environment too! Ranger’s Bakery’s vegan treats offer some great benefits and provide dog owners with many options when it comes to healthy choices for their beloved fur babies. Some people may not realize the benefit of vegan dog foods and treats. Just as they do in humans, vegetables provide some great health promoting and disease fighting properties.

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You can find all of Ranger’s Bakery’s delicious treats here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/rangersbakery

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Please also like Shelby and Ranger on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/rangersbakery/?fref=ts

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And! One of the best things about Ranger’s Bakery is that you can order a sample pack of all Ranger’s Bakery’s delicious vegan treats!! My dogs absolutely love them!! 🙂
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And don’t forget to enter Ranger’s Bakery Summer Giveaway! Good Luck! 🙂

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0a09f1bf1/

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Zoodles with Parsley Pesto!

Zoodles (zucchini or another spiralized vegetable) are amazing and the recipe below provides some awesome benefits, is tasty and a great summer recipe too! I love my spiralizer and am loving experimenting with different recipes!

Veggie Noodles with Parsley Pesto

Some fun facts about this recipe:

  • Walnuts are highest in Omega 3s of any food, and are essential for vegan diets- considered “brain food”. Good at boosting mood, great protein source, full of fiber, b vitamins and other minerals. You should add them to many of your dishes! The other seed with as many benefits is hemp seed
  • Parsley is good detoxifier
  • Lemon juice is also a good detoxifier and is great at enhancing flavor
  • Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and a good source B12
  • You can spiralize a number of veggies—potato, sweet potato, carrots, beets, cabbage, green pepper, onion, apples
  • Other things you can do with veggie noodles includes; salads, garnishes, all sorts of fun veggies, Asian dishes, raw marinara, alfredo, or veggie primavera. Even fruit salads!IMG_1413

Just a few of the benefits of Raw Foods:

  • Food is considered raw if it is prepared below 108 degrees Fahrenheit, or completely uncooked.
  • Raw foods preserve more enzymes in food. More vital life force energy is available, these are foods in their natural state.
  • Raw foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are available. Most of us realize the importance of vitamins and minerals, but may not realize that phytonutrients provide additional support to vitamins.
  • Raw foods strengthen the immune system and slow the aging process.
  • Good sources of antioxidants
  • Full of water and lots of fiber
  • Can prevent many diseases
  • Can assist with weight loss, healthier bodies and increased energy
  • Great for your skin and give you that vegan “glow”

Veggie Noodles with Parsley Pesto

This light and refreshing pasta is a perfect quick meal for the summer and will help you use up some of those extra farmer’s market veggies.

Parsley Lemon Pesto

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley, packed
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, if desired
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Put the parsley, oil, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta and Toppings

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 2 Zucchini
  • 2 Carrots
  • 20 Capers (or more, if desired)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes or 3 regular sized tomatoes, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
  • 20 Kalamata Olives, chopped

Make the carrots and zucchini into noodles using a spiralizer. Top the spiralized noodles with the pesto. Add the capers, tomatoes, and olives. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Jackfruit!

I have a super fun, delightful new product to tell you about!! Jackfruit made by a wonderful company! The Jackfruit Company!

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What is Jackfruit you may ask?

This delicious fruit is a staple crop cultivated for years in South and Southeast Asia. It lends a “meaty” texture, is rich in fiber, is a healthy alternative to meat and can be made into a variety of delicious dishes!

You can learn more about this fun fruit here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit

Why jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a miracle crop. A single tree yields two to three tons of nutritious fruit each year, with minimal or zero maintenance. Jackfruit is extremely underutilized in proportion to its global potential, for lack of connection between growers and the international marketplace. The jackfruit also provides a potential solution to countries facing problems with food security.

The Jackfruit Company makes all these delicious products with this fruit:
– BBQ Jackfruit
– Sesame Ginger Jackfruit
– Tex-Mex Jackfruit
– Curry Jackfruit

And Coming Soon!
– Burgers
– Meatballs
– Nuggets- Tenders

 

A bit about the company….. Founder and CEO, Annie Ryu, visited India for the first time in 2011 and immediately saw an opportunity. After seeing how much Jackfruit was going to waste in the country, she wanted to find a solution to convert this lost resource into income and opportunity for farming families — all while creating a delicious, healthy meat-alternative food product. With that, The Jackfruit Company was born!!

Since 2011 the company’s mission has been to transform healthy eating, farmer’s livelihoods, and humanity’s eco footprint for the better. We love that! All the products are vegetarian, soy free, gluten free, sustainably and ethically sourced but definitely not lacking in flavor 🙂

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A jackfruit looks like this! And just of few of the beautiful dishes you make using it are below!

For information on this fascinating fruit, you can read more here:

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Curry Flavor!

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Curry Soup with Red Curry and veggies! Oh my goodness, this was amazing!

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Sesame Ginger Flavor!

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Sesame Ginger Buddha Bowl with a delicious miso dressing!

IMG_1113Tex – Mex Flavor!

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Taquitos made with the Tex – Mex Flavor and avocado creme!! Super easy and so delicious!

IMG_9402BBQ Flavor!

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Makes an easy BBQ Sandwich!

I had so much fun working on this post and tasting The Jackfruit Company’s yummy products! Every single one of them was delicious and you can make an abundance of diverse dishes with them. You can find some more fun recipes on their website:

http://www.thejackfruitcompany.com/category/recipes/

I’ve found the product quite regularly at specialty grocery stores in Colorado, the distribution is becoming more widespread too! Which is very exciting news! Here is a super duper simple store locator, bet you can find one close to you:

http://www.thejackfruitcompany.com/store-locator/

And now for a giveaway!! Enter here for your chance to win a coupon for 1 free package:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Mother’s Day!

In honor of Mother’s Day (A great day to celebrate ALL mothers) I would like to share one of my favorite recipes using vegan cheese!!

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When you eat cheese and dairy you inflict pain and cruelty on baby calves and their mothers especially. It’s hard for me to write this knowing how many beautiful, gentle, kind animals are suffering right now because someone can’t give up cheese.

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The reality is that many calves are born into this world to suffer. Dairy Farms artificially inseminate cows to impregnate them and when the baby calf is born it is torn from her so humans can drink her milk and put her back in the system to be used as a milk production machine. This creates much stress for both the mother and baby. How would you feel if this was done to you and your mother or your children?

IMG_9454The great news though is that some really wonderful vegan alternatives to both meat and diary do exist! Most of these are also really tasty too!

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The abundance of vegan cheeses is really incredible now and readily available at most specialty grocery stores and even becoming more common at mainstream grocery stores. Using these cheeses you can make some really delicious recipes including this one!!

Vegan Pizza Quesadillas

 

IMG_0466They are super easy and quick! I make them often as an easy comfort food when I get home after a long day at work.

IMG_0429You can use all sorts of delicious veggies! My favorite is loads of spinach, black olives and mushrooms. Use whatever you like on your pizza!

IMG_0436And some vegan cheese! This is Daiya Cheese which is becoming more easily accessible at many supermarkets.

IMG_0440Chop and sautee your veggies in oil or a splash of water for about 5 mins until wilted and cooked.

IMG_0450Prep the tortilla by spreading about two tablespoons of pizza sauce on half of a tortilla, sprinkle enough of the sauteed vegetables (don’t load it up too much around a half cup of veggies is a good measure) to cover the pizza sauce, sprinkle with approximately one tablespoon of vegan cheese (or more if you like). Fold the empty side of the tortilla on the filled half to make a quesadilla. You can alter the proportions to suite your tastes but, this is a good guide.

IMG_0453Melt some vegan butter in a pan and cook the tortilla on both sides until it gets brown, just like you would a quesadilla.

IMG_0464Cut in half and serve! Very yummy!

We love and appreciate you Moms!!!! ❤ ALL Moms!! 🙂

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Happy Piggies in A Blanket!

I had a delightful time a few weeks ago at the Denver Gala and fundraiser for the Humane League. I donated a few appetizers, they were so delicious I thought I must share them! 🙂

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I made Vegan Not-Pigs in a blanket! They are so fun and easy!

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And used pretty convenient ingredients; Field Roast is one of my favorite vegan meat alternatives! You could use really any type of vegan sausages or meats!

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& Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

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Cut in half

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Roll up the vegan sausages in their blanket

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And cook at 350° for 15 minutes

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The final product!! One package of both yields about 12 happy piggies in a blanket. They are great for parties and potlucks! 🙂

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I was also delighted to have my logo along with so many other cool local business supporters!

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Here we are dressed up to support a great cause! If you would like more info on the Humane League and how to support their great work, you can find them here: http://www.thehumaneleague.com/

 

Healthy Skoop – a Colorado Small Business Giveaway!!

Me!I am delighted to offer this review and giveaway from the great folks at Healthy Skoop! As many of you know, through this blog, my coaching and vegan chef services I work to help people live their happiest, healthiest and most vibrant life. The reason I really like Healthy Skoop products is that they can help you do just that! Live your best life!

The other reason I love Healthy Skoop is that it is a Colorado based small business (I live in Denver). I love small businesses and I especially love businesses that are good for our health also doing great things in things community. For every serving of Skoop sold, they donate one serving of free fresh fruits and veggies to a school lunch program in America. How cool is that!?!

SkoopHealthy Skoop uses plant based ingredients and formulates the products using leading edge science with organic and naturally sourced ingredients. Healthy Skoop was created by a Dr. James Rouse who is naturopathic doctor that has studied nutrition for 25 years and authored 11 books. I love the fact that there is nothing weird or funky in the blends, just pure health promoting ingredients directly sourced from nature.

SampleA few of the delicious products you can purchase include; Super Skoop, an all-in-one nutritional shake, Ignite, a superfood endurance beet blend, A –Game, a daily super foods blend, B-strong, a plant based protein, and last but not least, B-lovely, a specially formulated beauty blend.

Sample PacksWhat are the benefits? All Healty Skoop products are specially blended with disease fighting, health promoting plant based ingredients. Just a few of these include; plant based proteins, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3s, probiotics and adaptogenic herbs. Each product is designed to boost your productivity and help you in certain areas or they also offer a sample pack where you can give a little taste of all the benefits the blends offer. Healthy Skoop makes it quick and easy to get a daily dose of super nutrition and help you become a super you!

BoulderSkoopinWhere do you get healthy skoop? You can get more info on Healthy Skoop and purchase products on their website: https://healthyskoop.com/

You can also find them on social media!

Facebook – Healthy Skoop – https://www.facebook.com/HealthySkoop?ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter – @healthyskoop – https://twitter.com/HealthySkoop

Instagram – @healthyskoop – https://www.instagram.com/healthyskoop/

 

 

 

Greens BlendAnd now for the giveaway! The great folks at Healthy Skoop are giving away a month’s supply, that’s 3 10-serving Super Skoop proteins and 1 30-serving A-Game!! Yippie!

You can enter the giveaway at this link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

 

 

Happy Earth Day! Let’s Keep Our Ocean Healthy!

Happy Earth Day! One of my favorite days of the year. As some of you know… In one of my professions, I am a biologist and environmental scientist. I have always loved animals and the environment. I loved them both so much that I made a career out of protecting them.

While I enjoy what I do very much in the environmental sciences, it can also be quite distressing. One of the of the many things very troubling to me is the crisis in the oceans. In our beautiful oceans once full of life and diversity, fisheries are overharvested without much thought. I’ve heard the statistic that half of the ocean’s resources have been depleted.  At the rate fish are being caught, they say our oceans could collapse and be empty by 2050. 90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone, 80% of commercial fisheries are overexploited.

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Our ocean is so important because half of the oxygen we breathe comes from it. The ocean stores our carbon and return to us breathable air. In this very biodiverse ecosystem of plants and animals, life began. By decimating fish populations and removing apex predators, we are destroying a delicate and vital marine balance. Some scientists conclude that we’ve already passed the point of being able to reverse the damage. We are destroying the biodiversity of our oceans which will be very difficult to restore, who knows how many species that were never ever been identified, have gone extinct.

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The way many commercial fisheries harvest fish is with a trawling net, as you can in the picture above and below, a trawling net does what it is designed to do: capture everything in it path, very efficiently. Have you heard the term bycatch? This is the term for the other sea life that are killed in the process of trying to get the target fish in these nets. Bycatch includes animals like; sea turtle, dolphins, whales, sharks, seahorses and birds. All of these other species are picked up in these nets, often with very little ways to escape. They are usually then killed. Every year, at least 7.3 million tons of marine life are caught incidentally. In some fisheries, the percentage of bycatch far outweighs the amount of target catch.

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Overharvesting fish populations is not the only crisis in our oceans, we also face a huge problem with pollution. Our ocean is losing fish and these fish are being replaced by plastic. It’s also being filled with debris from irresponsible fishing practices. Many species of marine animals ingest this debris or become entangled in nets, causing them great injury.

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While this information can be upsetting, the great news is that there are some fantastic alternatives to fish and seafood out there! And as I’ve mentioned many times before, eating a more plant based/vegan diet can help lessen our environmental impact in many respects.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Veggie Sushi (nori rolls loaded with veggies are quite divine!)

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Gardein Golden Fish Filets, which has become very readily available in many grocery stores and are deeelicious!!!

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Miso soup — so easy to make and super healthy too!

Check out my recipe for Tofu Tacos!

And one of my favorite recipes for Tuna-less Salad!!

Vegan toona! This one is a little tougher to find, but can be found online and when mixed with some amazing flavors is quite good! You can by it here!

                     Vegan Toona          Toona Salad

                             Toona on Crackers              Toona Salad Sandwich

Check out some of these other great resources too with loads of delicious plant based recipes!

EMPTY OCEANS: Is The World Running Out Of Fish?

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-vegan-seafood-dishes-without-the-fish/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/miss-fish-try-these-yummy-alternative-recipes/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/why-you-should-go-vegan-for-the-oceans-this-earth-day/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/global-fish-harvests-far-higher-than-official-figures-study-says/

http://tryveg.com/2015/10/vegan-seafood-options/

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Do you have any favorite fishless recipes? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

Spring-y Rice Pilaf

I’ve been experimenting a lot with recipes. I’ve found some not so good ones, some that need some tweeking and some that are just perfect!!

This one is just that perfect! I was inspired by an episode of Rachel Ray to make and veganize the lovely spring rice pilaf!

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Easy Vegan Pilaf with Herbs

The herbs in this pilaf are splendid and so aromatic. The lemon in gives the dish a nice brightness and compliments the herbs just perfectly! The other great part about this dish is that it is super easy too! 🙂

Serves 4

  • 1 cup dill
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup green onions
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 box rice pilaf (Near East is a good, easy to find brand)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup peas (depending on how much you like peas) (frozen works well)
  • 1 package of Beyond Chicken (or other vegan chicken)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Pulse the dill, parsley, green onions, and spinach in a food processor fitted with an S-blade until chopped finely.

Cook the pilaf according to the package directions.

When you have only five minutes left on the pilaf add the peas and vegan chicken and let cook (I chopped the chicken strips in half but they would be fine to leave whole).

When cooking is complete, stir the mixture together and add the prepared greens.  Add the juice of the lemon and stir to combine. Serve immediately!

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If you don’t have any vegan chicken, it would be fine to leave out and add more green peas or some type of white bean, or just leave as is. It’s a great dish!

What are some of your favorite spring recipes? Here are some spring season fruits and veggies to inspire you! 🙂

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-spring-foods-seasonal-vegetables-fruits-image54282215

 

Ethical Choices Program

I have exciting news! I am now a Humane Educator teaching students about healthy eating and ethical food choices at High Schools in Colorado!!

IMG_4864The Ethical Choices Program is a non-profit organization that aims to empower high-school students to make thoughtful, responsible lifestyle decisions, which will be essential if our communities are to live harmoniously and sustainably. This program looks at issues related to modern agriculture and its impact on the environment, our health, and animals. It challenges students to use critical thinking skills that are important in all walks of life. We believe that Humane Education promotes respect and consideration for oneself and other living creatures by encouraging students to develop their best humane qualities such as compassion, a sense of justice and integrity.

IMG_4850In order to encourage participation and critical thinking, we use several approaches (age-appropriate videos, activities and open-ended questions) that engage the students. We offer free presentations to public and private high schools. Science, Health, Family Consumer Science, Social Studies, Ethics classes and Environmental Clubs are among those that have benefited from our program. We offer 4 presentations on topics like: The Environment and Modern Agriculture, Healthful Eating, Factory Farming and The Ethics of Eating.

IMG_4869In the first 3 months of this year (January to March), the Humane Educators have given presentations to almost 6,000 teenagers across the United States and Canada, at 254 presentations. Our 31 Educators are charging full steam ahead spreading the message of compassionate, plant-based living to high schools, community colleges, universities, health fairs, veg fests and more.

IMG_4846The Ethical Choices Program believes that our best hope resides in raising a generation that represents the best of humanity and which has the knowledge, tools, and commitment to solve problems. You can visit our website, www.EthicalChoicesProgram.org, if you would like to learn more about the program, instructors and mission. If you know any teachers who would be interested in having any of these presentations in your classroom, you can contact any of our fabulous Educators here: http://www.ethicalchoicesprogram.org/#!blank/blygx

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Lettuce Wraps with Tempeh & Peanut Sauce

I love tempeh! It is really delicious if it’s prepared correctly. It’s a great source of protein and has a host of other nutritional benefits. You can learn all about tempeh here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh. One of the best ways to prepare tempeh is to steam, simmer or marinade before using it in a recipe. If you don’t prepare it correctly, it can seem kind wierd and dry. I’ll try to keep posting recipes, tips and tricks so you can experiment with one of my favorite foods! I’ve also really come to love lettuce wraps (and wraps in general)! This recipe is quite fun, especially if you like peanut sauce. The peanut sauce can be used for in a diversity of other dishes too!

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For the peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (depending on how hot you want the sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth, set aside.

For the wraps:

  • 1 package tempeh
  • ½ can water chestnuts (julienned)
  • 2 carrots (julienned)
  • ¼ – ½ red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 head Bibb or butter lettuce
  • Several sliced green onions (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Lightly steam or simmer the tempeh in water for about 10 minutes (turn once, halfway thru, do not overcook). Dry, let cool, cube it then dry sauté the cubes for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often (you can also stir fry in a bit of oil). Turn to low, add approximately ½ cup of the prepared peanut sauce and sauté another 2-3 minute, just until warm. Add the tempeh cubes to the cleaned and prepared lettuce leaves, top with the remaining ingredients as you see in the photo. Serve with the peanut sauce and top the wraps or dip as desired.

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Hope you enjoy this dish with a diversity of wonderful ingredients and flavors!