May 22, 2011

Balinese Food

These humid spring days in Vermont remind me of the time I spent living on the equator in Bali. Every afternoon, rain showers would refresh the island and support the thriving plant life. I lived with a family who prepared delicious food and taught me how to cook it, not with recipes but with hands, stories, and laughter. Here are my renditions of some of the dishes I enjoyed so much. I hope this menu piques your curiosity!

Marinated Tempeh with Spinach and Coconut Milk

Slice tempeh into ½ inch cubes (both length-wise and width-wise,

depending on the thickness of the tempeh).

Throw cubes into a large bowl and add these ingredients:

1 Tablespoon mustard

2 teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon each cumin and coriander

1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

Toss with a spoon until tempeh cubes are well-coated. Leave to marinate for ½ hour.

Meanwhile, peel and dice two large shallots.

Then, mince 1 inch fresh ginger root.

Place 2 Tablespoons coconut oil in a deep-bottomed skillet and sauté shallots and ginger for 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent.

Add salt, ½ Tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon turmeric.

Add the tempeh and its marinade.

Open a can of coconut milk, mix well, and add to skillet. Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.

Wash and chop 1 large bunch spinach.

Add to the skillet and simmer for 5 more minutes, until spinach is well wilted.

Coconut Pancakes

Mix together:

a cap-full of apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice concentrate

¼ cup vegetable oil (olive or sunflower oil)

1 egg or 2 Tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cup rice flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

Cook in an oiled skillet as pancakes and serve with tempeh dish.

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