Mongolian Tempeh Stir-Fry

As part of my mission to turn old favorites into plant-based recipes, I discovered gluten-free tempeh* is a perfect stand-in for steak in a stir fry. The fermented soy in the tempeh will soak up loads of flavor from the sauce, and sauteeing your tempeh for a few minutes helps bring out the flavor (uncooked tempeh may be a bit weird, flavor-wise, for some people, but once it’s cooked, it is amazing!).

If you saw my recipe for Egg Foo Yung, you’ll recall that one suggestion I made is using the stem of broccoli to make the vegetable filling. This recipe uses broccoli florets, so maybe serve the two dishes in the same week (that’s how I did it!). Also, if you have leftover green onions, they can be put to use here as well.

*: Make sure your tempeh is gluten free as not all brands / flavors are.

Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag-Style)

First off, this is not an authentic Sinangag. When I discovered this fried rice dish, I also discovered that every household in the Philippines has its own spin on the traditional breakfast dish. Some use garlic and rice only. Some add soy sauce.

Many serve the vinegar sauce on the side only. As I played with variations on the recipe, I felt the rice needed a bit liquid while stir frying. I hit upon this approach after misreading a recipe in Saveur (http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/filipino-garlic-fried-rice-with-vinegar-sauce-sinangag). Adding the sauce to the stir fried rice mellows the vinegar and garlic a bit, while incorporating heat from the red chile flakes.

If you prefer, omit the sauce while stir frying. You’ll still need a good amount of garlic, remembering to reserve some for a crunch topping. It will be delicious either way.

Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my favorite go-to dishes during the week because I always have leftover rice in the refrigerator — I make a big batch every week because it’s great for lunches and dinners. Taking a few minutes to mix up a sauce, shred some chicken, pull out some veggies, and, if I have one handy, crack an egg makes ordinary rice more interesting.

The recipe below assumes you’re working with pre-cooked chicken and frozen vegetables. If you choose to cook your chicken, make sure it’s cut into very small bite-sized pieces. Saute the chicken until nearly cooked through and set aside. Do the same for the vegetables.

Fish sauce is a key ingredient here. It adds flavor that soy sauce alone can’t create. Also, this is a lightly sauced fried rice because the fish sauce adds to much flavor. If you like more sauce, add at the end to make sure your flavors are balanced.

Sorta Chicken Pot Pie

Once, in a moment of weakness, I confessed my deepest, darkest secret to my former boss: at those times I really needed serious comfort food, I reached for frozen chicken pot pies served over rice. Ain’t nothing healthy about that, but so comforting.

Obviously, I never eat like this in front of my husband. At least, I hope I don’t.

My former boss has never forgotten this. Just like I know about her meatball sandwich cravings. Sometimes, you just need food that serves your soul. Food that reminds you of something…even if that memory is a formerly-frozen chicken pot pie made on an assembly line.

So one day, faced with leftover chicken and carrots and celery that needed to be used, I thought “pot pie”. Then I thought “do I really want to make gluten-free pot pie?” The answer was — and was based quite a bit on the time of day this craving hit — was no. However, I still had the chicken, carrots, and celery.

Something had to be done.

This is definitely not the stuff you remember from your childhood. I serve it over rice (score!). And — in another nod to my misspent youth — took advantage of GF Bisquik to make drop biscuits to serve as my “crust”.