Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coconut Tempeh with Creamy Parsnip Sauce

I started Wednesday morning off with a strawberry banana protein shake and a traffic-filled commute to work.  Don't worry, I took this picture while stopped in heavy traffic. 
I put together a healthy lunch with leftover frozen potstickers from Tuesday night, paired with carrots and peanut butter.  I know, I know ... if I'm supposed to be eating healthier, why does all this peanut butter keep popping up in my routine?  The reality is that carrots alone just won't cut it for me.  We all need protein and fat to feel full.  Peanut butter is a great way to add a little "oomph" to a meal or snack.  As long as it's kept in moderation ...
Mid-afternoon I snacked on some fresh mango.  It was sweet and delicious.  The perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
For dinner I decided to try a new recipe out of the Vegan Soul Kitchen, a cookbook gifted to me by my boyfriend's parents just after I decided to become vegan.  On the agenda last night: coconut tempeh with creamy celeriac sauce. 
Unfortunately, the key ingredient in celeriac sauce was supposed to be celeriac, or celery root.  But after searching for it unsuccessfully at both Whole Foods and my local large chain, Giant, and turned to a substitution in parsnips.  I knew the flavor would be completely different with parsnips, but thought the consistency would be right and hoped it would still be good.  On the plus side, my boyfriend hates celery with a fiery passion, so he was pleased about the switch. 
The sauce came together easily in the blender, and once that was done the rest of the recipe was a breeze. 
The "coconut" part of the recipe came from pan frying cubed tempeh in coconut oil on the stove top.  This was my first time using coconut oil, which is a bit odd to work with because it is solid at room temperature.  Luckily I had no major issues and fried up the tempeh quickly. 
This recipe would work much better as an appetizer, but was still a tasty dinner.  The only downside was that there wasn't much coconut flavor to speak of.  Not sure how to increase that in the future ... maybe you can't?  The other issue is that it's fried, so it probably wasn't the healthiest choice ...  Maybe next time I will cut down the amount of tempeh (I used two packages) and add a healthy, green side item to balance things out. 

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