Tempeh Ruebens
January 10, 2010, 1:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of my husband’s favorite things to order in restaurants that have them, are tempeh ruebens.  They always look delicious, yet I’ve never ordered one along with him.  For a while now I’ve been thinking about trying to perfect one at home so we can have them whenever the urge strikes and tonight, I think I got it right.  They turned out absolutely delicious…warm and filling on a cold Minnesota night.  

Tempeh Ruebens

8 oz. tempeh (I used 5-grain, but plan on experimenting further with wild rice, etc.)

3 T. light miracle whip (you could use vegan mayo and make this vegan)

1 1/2 T. ketchup

1 T. sweet pickle relish

2-3 T. peanut oil

salt and pepper

1 1/2 T. butter or margarine

4 slices bread (rye or pumpernickel would make it more traditional, but I used whole grain)

1 c. sauerkraut, drained


In a medium saucepan, simmer enough water to cover tempeh.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Remove tempeh from water and drain on paper towels, patting dry.  Slice into as thin of slices as you can without crumbling it.

In a small bowl, combine miracle whip, ketchup and relish and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat peanut oil over medium heat.  Add sliced tempeh and fry on all sides until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Wipe out skillet and set aside. 

Butter each slice of bread on one side.  Return skillet to stove over med to low heat.  Add one slice of bread, butter side down.  Spread slice of bread with dressing mixture, then top with tempeh slices and sauerkraut.  Take additional slice of bread, spreading with dressing on non-buttered side and laying slice, dressing side down, on top of sauerkraut. 

Cook sandwich until brown on bottom side, then flip carefully and brown on second side.  Remove from skillet and slice. 

Repeat all steps for second sammie and then dig in!

**For those of you not familiar with tempeh, it is a soybean product sort of like tofu, but made from the whole soybean.  It has a high content of protein, dietary fiber and vitamins, and once fried, it gets nice and crisp on the outside, while still staying soft on the inside.  The flavor is nutty and more apparent than a tofu.**


Back in the Game & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
January 6, 2010, 12:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Over the holidays there was the usual baking of Christmas cookies and other various treats, but I also found myself in a slump of “easy food”.  Things that are not usually staples in our home became far too common.  Things like veggie chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and lots and lots of grilled cheese sammies.

Granted my pregnancy took me from extreme nausea in the fall months, to exhaustion as I now enter my 3rd trimester.  Throw in a bout with pinkeye for both my son and I, and well, I guess I had some valid excuses, but still….yuck.

Double yuck after I finally got a chance to watch Food Inc. the other night.  Wow.  I mean, I had a good idea as to what was going to be covered, but boy…it was the motivation I needed to hit the organic section of the store today and plan our meals for the week to get back in the healthier choices swing o’ things.

First on our list today was for my 3 year old and I to bake a “healthier” version of one of my faves…banana bread!  With the added bonus of a little chocolate…well, ya can’t go wrong.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (based on recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson, but mine wasn’t vegan)

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large ripe bananas

1/3 c. apple juice

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 T. canola oil

3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I used the really tiny ones)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil loaf pan and set aside. (make sure this is done well because it will definitely stick). 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then set aside.

In separate mixing bowl, combine bananas, apple juice, vanilla and oil and mix with hand mixer until well blended. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips, stirring gently until the flour is just moistened.  Do not over mix.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in to center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before slicing.


September 15, 2009, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have always liked apples.  For years in college I went through a ridiculous amount of Granny Smith apples, enjoying the tartness and crispness of the apple.  I hadn’t delved far enough into my love of apples to experiment much with others, because the few times I did, I found ones that were too soft, too grainy, too flavorless, or any number of other defects.

I am lucky enough to live in close proximity to the University of Minnesota, though, whose new developments in apples have been news for years.  In the 90’s, they introduced me to the Honeycrisp.  The Honeycrisp quickly booted the old Granny Smith out of my life, and I had a new obsession.  Scouring the fall apple orchard reports for the best weekends to pick Honeycrisps, I went crazy every Autumn, using them for apple pies, apple crisps, caramel apples, and eating them by the bushel.  Don’t get me wrong, there are other varieties out there that are pretty good.  I love a nice crisp Pink Lady out of Australia, but the hometown success story was clearly my fave.  It explodes with crispness and sweetness

I have sad news to report to my long time friend the Honeycrisp, though…there’s a new kid on the block.  My mom has been talking for weeks about this new apple coming out.  She couldn’t ever remember the name of it, though, but insisted I must try it when I got an opportunity.  I half listened.  I mean, orchard weekends in Minnesota are coming up, and I’ll have my pick of tasty Honeycrisps any time now….and my second favorite, the Zestar.

So yesterday while I was at Kowalski’s, wandering the produce aisle, I glanced over the apples, thinking I would pass by and plan a trip to an orchard this coming weekend.  Then I noticed a sign with a name I didn’t recognize.  Could this  be the new apple in town?  SweeTango was the name.  Could my mom really forget the name “SweeTango”?  I grabbed 3 and kept shopping.

Later in the evening I was hungry for a snack and remembered my new found fruit.  I went to the kitchen, gave one a quick rinse and cut off a big slice.  Oh SweeTango this apple is good!!  I hurried to my laptop to look up the history of this sweet and tangy little darling.  Turns out, U of M researcher David Bedford created this beauty from the two best apples known to man.  What else but the Honeycrisp and the Zestar!?

It is just slightly tart, juicy as all heck, and a thing of beauty.  I’m sold.  Ahhh happy apple season to me!


Adieu for Now
June 1, 2009, 2:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Not like I need to tell anyone, but um…I haven’t been posting anything here for awhile.

Thing is, I got accepted to a Master’s program for Marriage and Family Therapy, began school, and began volunteering at a youth shelter all since my last post.  So, needless to say, my free time for the fun food stuff that I enjoy no longer exists and my relaxing evenings at home trying out recipes from a new cookbook are well….few and far between to say the least.

Unfortunately that means that there won’t be any new posts from me on this particular blog as I’ll have to put some of my extracurricular activities on hold for the time being.

If you still wanna check out what’s up with me, you can certainly do so at  

Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope that at some point you found something here that you liked. 

Until later…

Southwestern Chickpea Patties
May 18, 2009, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In realizing that it’s now officially shorts and t-shirt weather, I decided I really need to go a little more lo-cal on some of my favorite dinners.  Falafel is something that D.Jones and I both love, as is anything Mexical and/or southwestern.  I found a Weight Watchers recipe that is sort of an interesting combo of the two.  I added my own spin  to it and came up with this…

Southwestern Chickpea Patties

1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup low fat sour cream

4 garlic cloves

2 tsp cumin

1 to 2 tsp hot sauce (Tapatio is what I used)

1/4 white cornmeal

fresh salsa (homemade or store bought from the dairy area, which tastes much fresher and usually has more cilantro and onion to it.  Yum!)

Combine chickpeas, sour cream, garlic, cumin and hot sauce in a food processor.  Scrape bowl and stir to combine.  Form mixture into 5 medium sized patties.  Heat small amount of olive oil in skillet, or to reduce calories, spray skillet with olive oil spray.  Cook patties on medium heat until browned.  Turn and brown on second side and remove from heat to serving plate.  (If you are using olive oil spray, spray the top of the patty before flipping so it will brown better on the second side).


Serve topped with a spoonful of salsa and a small dollop of low fat sour cream.

You can make these as spicy as you like by altering the amount of hot sauce in the recipe or using a hotter salsa for topping. 

Served with a side salad, these made a delicious, low calorie, spicy and perfect dinner.   And really, they couldn’t be much easier!


Brew Review – Robert the Bruce from Three Floyds
May 6, 2009, 1:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

D.Jones has been a huge fan of everything that has come out of Three Floyds brewing in Indiana.  He hasn’t yet found a beer from them that he doesn’t love and on a recent trip to Illinois, he was able to pick up quite a selection from them to bring home to sample.

We couldn’t wait to check out the Robert the Bruce Scottish Style Ale, and it doesn’t disappoint.  The first thing we noticed after the pour, which was very dark amber with a nice head, was the apparent aroma of pipe tobacco.  The flavor is full of caramel malt.  It’s thick and hearty and creamy.  The tobacco again shows up in the taste, along with hints of roasted malt.   6.5% A.B.V and 35 I.B.U.s.   This one is sweet and yummy.  I call this dessert.  Cheers!

Two thumbs way up for Robert the Bruce.


Sunday Pizza Apologies and a Double Brew Review from Buzzards Bay
May 5, 2009, 1:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

First, a quick apology for the absence of a Sunday pizza review.  My pizza partner, aka my husband, was out of town, and didn’t want to miss out on any of the places on our list, but it will resume shortly….we promise.

Upon D.Jones’ return from out of town, he brought with him a mind-blowing assortment of various brews from around the country that we intend to try in short order…beginning tonight with two selections from Buzzards Bay Brewing in Westport, MA.   This place was a recommendation from a friend in Boston so we were eager to open ’em up and check ’em out.

First up was their Pilsner, which poured light golden and well carbonated with a nice head. 


It’s hoppier than a traditional pilsner which gives a nice bite at the back of the tongue, and finishes dry.   This beer is not particularly complex, but offers more of a bitterness than may be expected from a traditional pilsner.   It’s drinkable and the A.B.V.  of only 5.1% includes it in the “session beer” category for the hopheads amongst us.

Next up we poured the Gold Medal Lager…


This one also poured light golden and highly carbonated.   Their website describes this beer as a “hearty, easy drinking brewski” and we would concur.  D.Jones called it thicker and almost creamy, which I guess I can see a little bit.  The very end offers perhaps a hint of caramel and overall it has a good mouth feel to it, for what is essentially their self-proclaimed session beer.  A.B.V. is 5.4%.

Two thumbs up for both of our first selections from Buzzards Bay!