Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 21: A Picnic by the Sea

I guess “teriyaki tempeh” doesn’t scream “beach picnic,” but who are you to judge me?

Above: Picnic lunch platter with teriyaki tempeh over brown rice, sesame cabbage slaw, steamed green beans, carrot sticks, ginger almond dip, and cherries.

Bright, colorful, filling–but not too rich, no no, wouldn’t want to interfere with sandy wanderings!

The only thing that relied on an actual written recipe was the cabbage slaw, and that came from Martha Stewart, of all places. It was all right–maybe a bit too salty? But it balanced all right with everything else on the plate. Plus I love chopping up cabbage super thin. Makes me feel like I have a knife skill. (Yeah, one.)

My teriyaki marinade is a haphazard thing I throw together in slightly different proportions every time. This one included ginger, garlic, whites of a scallion, soy sauce, mirin, agave nectar, and sesame oil, just enough to cover a container of uncooked tempeh slabs. It marinated overnight, then baked for about 40 minutes, or until most of the liquid cooked out. The result was super tender and flavorful (not to mention glossy and a pleasing shade of brown, perfect for insta).

For the almond dip, once again, I threw things in a food processor and hoped for the best: a handful whole almonds (unsoaked), fresh minced ginger, heaping teaspoon-ish of mild miso, eyeballed a tablespoon or two of tahini, agave nectar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and finally water until desired texture is reached. I was aiming for a kind of hummus-y texture that would contrast somehow with the teriyaki and cabbage dishes. It was a bit thick, but decent as a dip for crunchy veggies.

Just for the record, we really did eat this on a picnic table at the beach. It was a lovely gray day and we were trying to find a state beach along the Monterey coast that wasn’t completely packed, and just lucked out at Pajaro Dunes.

Food Blog

Pupusas with plantains and black beans and curtido

Oh, it makes a pretty picture…

I don’t think I’m quite adept with plantains yet. But this was a better outing than the Jamaican-style curry from a few weeks ago, where they were weirdly super dry. Probably helps that they’re in smaller pieces, stuffed inside a fat corn tortilla.

Anyway. I remember the first time I ate a pupusa–many years ago, at some restaurant in a part of the Portland metro area I forget–and it was fucking revelatory. I can’t make pupusas that taste anything like the experts’, but it’s fun to try. Plus I do like curtido, the vinegary cabbage slaw that goes with everything.