necessity is the mother of invention {& that's why we're here, friends} we dance to the music, we play in the kitchen & sometimes that means one of us breaks the wine glasses {we're not saying who} the cook is a cubicle-warmer/learning & development specialist by day, & a writer/photographer/kitchen goddess by night who has fun inventing healthy things she can actually eat we seriously both need capes & a kick-ass theme song & the baker is a catering delivery superhero; no job too big or too early or too floral not to come home & make magic with a mixer & an oven we are always gluten-free, dairy-free, & magically delicious now, somebody turn up the music! we're about to get our dance on!

12 March 2008

cilantro sensation

Jesus, don't cry
You can rely on me, honey
You can combine anything you want

Wilco, Jesus, etc.

I never used to like spicy things, but these days my tastebuds seem to crave that extra kick every now and then. Needing something light and incredibly easy when I came home a good deal later than usual last night, I put just a few things in a sauce pan that sounded good together in my head. And then voila!, (or should I say ole!), I had a super-simple dinner on a night when my appetite was saying, I'd like a little something, but there's no need to overdo it, girl. Gimme some nutrition and we're good to go.

Cilantro {like my good friend basil} is another green herb that elicits all sorts of crazy green affection from me. Any southwest-y or Mexican dish feels a little incomplete without it, if you ask me. Naked, if you will. And really, those lacy fragrant leaves are what inspired me to concoct today's recipe.

So what are we looking at today for ingredients? It's a pretty short list of ingredients, but I'll feature some of my favorites for you.

Black Beans: Rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, iron, folate, manganese, magnesium not to mention being low in fat, black beans are a nutritional powerhouse. The fiber helps lower cholesterol and reduce risk for heart disease. Those of who who have known me awhile know about my love affair with the black bean. {Note: links to recipes in that post have been updated.}

Cilantro: Cilantro/coriander seeds are known through out the world to have some magical and mysterious healing properties {confession: I added the "magical and mysterious" bit, so don't try to take that one to the bank}. It's thought of as an anti-diabetic plant in Europe and in India, it is utilized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Here in the U.S., we've stood up and taken note that it helps reduce cholesterol.

Tempeh: You might be less famlilar tempeh. A close relative to tofu, tempeh is a food made from fermented soybeans that is both high in fiber and loaded with wonderful first-rate protein. Rich in numerous vitamins and minerals {including but not limited to: riboflavin, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and isoflavones}. And seriously, don't let that "fermented" bit put you off. All cooked up and in a tasty little dish like this, you'll be asking for more.

1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 – 15 oz. can black beans
1 package Spicy Veggie Tempeh, cubed
Fresh cilantro
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt

What to do:
In a skillet, heat up olive oil to medium heat
Add cubed Spicy Veggie Tempeh
Cook until lightly browned

Add diced tomatoes and black beans
Reduce heat to low
Add sea salt & dash of cumin

Add cilantro leaves {as many as you want!!} & stir until heated through

Serving Suggestions:

  • If you're not that hungry {like I was when I made this}, eat by itself! It's kinda like a soup or something ...
  • Serve with rice or (my favorite) over oven roasted veggies such as green beans
  • Substitute tempeh with 1 lb. diced chicken breast {if you do this, you might want to add chili powder or if you're really brave, some habanero peppers to kick things up a bit}
  • Mixed in with cooked rice (about 2 c., I’m guessing) and put in a baking dish, top with cheese. Put in the oven on 375 until it's all nice & thick & bakey & the cheese is all melty.

Mmm … somebody stop me, I’m getting hungry!!!


Christianne said...

mmmm . . . i'm getting hungry, too! i didn't eat lunch today, so i am sure that is also contributing. :)

great idea for a dish, and also all the additional variations at the end! i love your recipes because they are so SIMPLE. thanks for sharing, chica.

kirsten said...

we're a couple of hungry-mungries then!! i had the last of it today for lunch & now i want more.

and i'm ALL about simple when in the kitchen ... gimme minimal prep, minimal steps & cooking time ... & i'm a happy girl! ;o)

Seen by Mercy said...

Kirsten! I tried this last week and just want to say THANK YOU! It was so yummy and Daniel loved it too! (that's the real shocker, since I'm much more inclined to vegetarian, whole-food type meals than he!)

I didn't have Spicy Veggie Tempeh (but I loooove tempeh, and that sounds good), so I used tofu and 1 lb chicken breast. It was delicious! I also loved your idea of toasting cubes of tofu in a different recipe - yum!