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.

Egg Foo Yung

Confession: when I was growing up, I was wary of Egg Foo Yung. I wasn’t 100% certain what it was, and, frankly, when I looked at it, it seemed like something I wouldn’t like.

Ah, the mistakes of youth! Egg Foo Yung is, basically, an omelette. A simple, vegetable-filled, delicious, customizable omelette. For a gluten-free, mostly plant-based athlete, it’s also a great way to get lots of protein after a long run. I have a habit of making breakfast-for-dinner meals on Saturday nights since my body is craving loads of protein, and this gives me that plus lots of veggies.

Basic Carrot Slaw

Carrots are the perfect vegetable to star in a salad. Flavor-wise, they can range from savory to sweet. Presentation-wise, they are perfect for every style: long ribbons, pretty julienned batons, shredded, or even cut into simple coins. For this salad, you can julienne the carrots or shred them — your choice (or, you know, do whatever works to get dinner on the table).

About half an hour before assembling the salad, lightly salt the carrots to draw out moisture — this helps keeps your slaw crunchy despite the addition of dressing. Rinse and pat the carrots dry, then toss. The dressing below is Just A Suggestion. Carrots can handle just about anything, and the notes to the recipe include other ideas.

Gluten-Free Gochujang

Gochujang is a fermented, spicy bean paste that traditionally accompanies Korean dishes. The fermenting traditionally happens over time, yielding a deep, earthy flavor that makes you crave more. My recipe, as you might guess, is not super-traditional.

It is gluten free, though. So many commercial gochujang products out there have gluten added in the form of wheat or barley. Since finding gluten-free versions of this dish can be challenging, I’ve worked out my own version based on recipes I’ve found online. If I do say so myself, it is delicious.

 

Miso-Sesame Salad Dressing

Despite the fact that two strong flavors are used in this dressing, it doesn’t overpower salads (though I do advising keeping the salad simple). I always have miso in my refrigerator, so this comes together in a few minutes. While I like cheese on my salad as much as the next person, I think it doesn’t work with this dressing — plus it increases the saltiness a bit too much.

While I’ve never encountered miso that isn’t gluten-free, do check labels carefully!

Sushi Rice

I’ll admit it: I don’t have the patience to make sushi at home (though I hold out high hopes that someday I will!). I do love serving sushi rice — a slightly sweetened rice — with certain meals, particularly seared albacore.

Making the rice is amazingly simple; it’s even easier if you have a rice cooker that does the bulk of the work for you. The recipe below assumes you’re cooking your rice on the stovetop, so if you do use a rice cooker, follow the directions for your machine (some have a sushi rice setting, which is really nice).

One key thing to remember before cooking your rice is to wash it several times to remove the outer starches — I generally cover the rice in a bowl with water, swish a bit, then drain using a fine mesh strainer. You will notice the water is very cloudy the first couple of rinses, but will get clearer as the starches are removed.