March 24, 2010

Tropical getaway

The brisk change of the weather in western Massachusetts has definitely gotten me down. It was beautiful and warm last week, but now it's just gloomy and rainy. What to do when you want to be reminded of the warm breeze and sunshine? Cook! One of the many nice things about cooking is that you can travel wherever you want to go.

Teriyaki tempeh, red quinoa and peach salsa

I'm not lying when I say that this meal lifted my spirits. How could it not? It's gorgeous and bright. The star here is really the salsa; I could eat it by the bucketful.

Teriyaki tempeh
- 1/2 package of tempeh, cut into triangles
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp water

- In a medium pot, bring water to boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add tempeh, and allow to steam for 10 minutes.
- In a sauce pan, combine remaining ingredients (except cornstarch). Bring to a slow boil, then quickly reduce to simmer. Add cornstarch and stir until thickened.
- Thoroughly coat tempeh triangles in teriyaki sauce.
- Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the sauce begins to caramelize.

Peach salsa
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches (you can use fresh or canned if desired)
- 1/3 cup frozen corn (though it would be even more delicious with fresh roasted corn)
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper
- 1 large shallot (red onion would be lovely too, but I only had shallots on hand)
- 1/2 lime, juice + zest
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt & pepper, to taste

- Cut all of the produce into bite size pieces.
- In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cayenne and agave. Whisk until combined. Mix into fruits/veggies.
- Top with cilantro. Stir until combined. Season as needed.
- For optimum results, allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer it sits, the better the flavors meld.

The quinoa is pretty straight forward. Bring 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and they sprout their little tails. I kept mine plain because there was more than enough flavor in this dish already. I quite like the red quinoa, it has more of a bite and a nicer color than its white counterpart. I think I'm going to combine both and make a "quinoa blend" since I'm running low on both, so we'll see how that turns out.

Now, to actually get to the islands...;)


  1. what a delicious recipe! where in massachusetts are you from? i grew up in acton!

  2. Thank you! I'm from The Berkshires and go to school in Amherst.