Sunday, September 25, 2011

Autumn Sunday Notes and a Recipe. . .

Last night’s tasty, healthy, easy dinner:
Tempeh with Veggies, Mixed Rice, and Peanut Sauce.
It also happens to be vegan.
From my brown recipe notebook.

This morning I was up early-ish, but not as early as I like to rise. I drank a glass of water, counted my many blessings, and plopped on the living room floor for some quiet time. I really like sitting on the floor, so I am loving having this new, cushy rug. And my low-slung, antique tea table is perfect for this because when I sit in front of it, it’s the same height as when I sit on a chair at a regular table.

After quiet time, I hopped onto the treadmill. Yes, the treadmill. I adopted it from Aaron yesterday, who wanted it out of his apartment. We brought it here last evening, and then I made the dinner pictured above (the recipe will be at the end of this post; and, by the way, Kate, if you see this, I haven't forgotten the miso soup--I'll add that later today). After eating and cleaning up my mess, I spent the evening puttering around while listening to the Oregon Ducks football game. (Go Ducks! Yay Ducks!)

Oh, but I was talking about the treadmill. Since my fall term schedule is not going to allow me to easily go for a walk during the day, the treadmill might come in handy. Problem is, being on that thing is painfully boring. It’s sort of frustrating to walk and walk and walk and never get anywhere or see anything new! Just the same old walls, and they never get even an inch closer.

So, I am going to attempt to take up jogging again to shorten the amount of time I need to be on that machine. I commenced this morning, and forced myself to jog slowly and stop early in order to fend off feelings of spite for the treadmill and for jogging. I’ll just take my time and build slowly because what’s the hurry?! And we’ll see how it goes. I’m thankful to have a way to move (besides the aerobic routine I do two or three times a week in my living room), but I’ve got to figure out something to do while I’m on the treadmill besides watching the numbers change on the dashboard (or whatever it is called) because that is not exactly inspiring or motivation-building.

Anyway, after drinking my post-treadmill-workout green smoothie and taking a shower, it was off to church. I picked up Aaron, and as we walked down the sidewalk together to the entryway, we were both struck with a happy feeling of autumn. The sky was grey, and a blustery breeze picked up the earliest falling leaves of the season to send them dancing and skittering in the air and along the ground. I got so caught up in the feeling that I wanted to join the leaves! (When my sister came into church, she exclaimed about the nice fall feeling outside, too.)

Church was wonderful today, as usual. And I saw my friend Sue, who said she has been reading my blog, so if you see this, Sue—Hello to you! :-)

My niece and nephew came home with me after church because their mom, brother, sister, and a friend were going to nearby stores and would stop by here to pick the kids up when they finished shopping. I didn’t have much to offer my niece and nephew to eat but a banana. Then I popped the few kernels of popcorn that were left in the jar (must buy more today), and it made enough for a little snack, and that was good enough! (You’ve gotta have some kind of snack to eat when kids are over, you know!)

Soon, the shoppers arrived, and for just a little while, my house was full of people and buzzing chatter. It’s always so nice to have friends and family come by. A home is made for people.

And now it is quiet again, and I’m finishing my cup of coffee. The wind has picked up, and rain has begun to pour. It feels cozy in the house, and Sunday is a good day for being inside and feeling cozy.

I hope your day is as pleasant as mine.

And now, the recipe:

This is really quick and easy to make if you have pre-cooked rice and peanut sauce on hand. If not, it takes 50 minutes to cook whole grain rice and just a few to mix the peanut sauce.

Here are the amounts I used and how I cooked the dish. This made around 3 servings. I would have used more veggies but I’m cutting back to save money, and I can do this for some meals because I get plenty of vegetables over the course of the day:

~1/3 c. red bell pepper, chopped
~½ large head baby bok choy, leaves separated from stem; leaves julienned and stems chopped
~2 shallots, thinly sliced (1/2 medium yellow onion would work)
~1 medium to large carrot, grated
~6-8 oz. tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
~1 ½ c. cooked rice (I used a combination of short grain brown rice and black Chinese Forbidden rice
~peanut sauce (recipe follows)

Peanut sauce (use your favorite; mine is a bit tangy because I like it that way; amounts are approximate—I don’t measure): Thoroughly mix 1/3 c. peanut butter, 2-3 T. rice vinegar, 1-2 t garlic-chile sauce, juice of ½ lime, 2 minced cloves garlic, 1 t. toasted sesame oil (or so), 1-2 T maple or agave, 1-2 T. shoyu.

Saute tempeh over medium heat in a neutral tasting oil, browning first one side and then the other, til golden. Salt lightly and remove from heat.

Now add more oil, if needed, and sauté all of the vegetables at once (minus the bok choy leaves) until crisp-tender. When the vegetables are ready, lightly salt them, and then add the bok choy leaves until they begin to wilt. Now add the tempeh, and heat through.) Toss in the cooked rice and, again, fry, stirring, til heated through. Stir in the peanut sauce until it is warmed and the dish is nicely mixed. Serve.

Bon (healthy) appétit!


  1. Susan, A year ago I started running, couldn't run more than a minute at the beginning. Couch to 5K is an online free training program. It really gave me a great plan for getting from nothing to 5K - and beyond. These days, 5K is my usual workout three times a week. So it worked for me - now I love to run!

  2. Susan, I feel the same way about treadmills! I ran cross country in HS & college, so though am just a sporadic runner now, it always has to be outside!
    I wanted to let you know that I made your scone recipe this morning. It was delicious! I replaced half the choc. chips with dried cherries and it turned out well. Thanks again for the recipe!

  3. Anonymous--Hey, well, thanks for the great encouragement! You know, for many years of my life, I was a runner, but I stopped when I encountered chronic health problems quite a few years ago (my body actually reacted to hard exercise in those days, which was torture for a lifelong competitive athlete!). Over the years, my health got better through diet, but I never started running again (I still remember those reactions--they'd take weeks or even months to overcome, so it's scared me to try again). I'm pretty fit because of the hard hill-climbing walking workouts I do, the mountain hiking, and the aerobics I developed, but I thought it would be nice to try running again. I jogged 1 1/2 miles this morning, and I really didn't feel tired at all (this actually surprised me), but I made myself stop anyway. I'll build slowly. My aerobics workout is so strenuous that it clearly has me in good shape (it's waaaaaay more tiring than the running was this morning). :-)

    And good for you! That is so great. You inspire me! :-)


  4. Rebecca, your comment wasn't there when I started mine! :-) Oh, nice--a runner! I'm a big running fan. I will definitely be going outside sometimes, and moreso as my schedule allows. Oh, and thank you for telling me about the scones. I'm so glad to hear that you liked them! I think it's a wonderful recipe. And I love chocolate and cherries--good call! :-)


  5. Your Sunday sounds delightful. (And so does the recipe. Yum.)

    I am thoroughly bored on the treadmill too. I wonder if listening to an interesting audio book or lecture would help. I'm not sure if it would. I just keep seeing stuff I need to clean when I'm on my treadmill.

    Hope your first day of school goes well.

  6. Hi, Susan! I recently visited HDH and was so happy to see you are blogging again:) I, too, walk on a treadmill, although I love to be outdoors. I agree it is dreadfully boring. My treadmill has a book holder on it, much like a cookbook holder that holds open the pages. I decided one morning to try and see if I could read and walk fast at the same time. It worked! The time flies by and I find myself walking longer:o) Blessings from Kansas! Gail

  7. Oh, Susan! This recipe sounds so yummy! I know I'll be trying it very soon, because I'm needing to cut back a bit right now, too! :) I have a 5 gallon bucket full of brown rice, the last of the peppers and onions from the garden and so this seems very economical! But who could ever feel as though they were cutting back when eating this?! It looks so wonderful!
    Why is it I enjoy reading about you using the last kernels of popcorn??? I crave a simpler life, I think. (And most people would think my life already very, very simple!)
    Anyhow, thanks again for sharing! You are a blessing!

  8. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy visiting your blog. It is an encouragement for me to read in the midst of a busy day. I am hoping and praying that your schedule this Fall will allow you to keep on blogging. No pressure though :0).

    PS. Tempeh is a favorite around our house so I can't wait to make this recipe!

  9. I made this for supper last night. It made my husband's top 10 list of all time-from anywhere meals! :) I think I remember making one of your breakfasts and him saying something like that, too. Your menu for the week looks lovely!

  10. Hey, I finally got a chance to read this blog, how fun to find myself in it.
    I've never used miso or tempeh, but you have tempted me to give them a try.