Food & Recipes

Life is all aglow

Last weekend, I went a little crazy and decided that it was a good idea to spend all of Sunday cooking. I decided to make 9 dishes that I would refrigerate or freeze and use throughout the week for dinners and lunches:

Alex and I have been enjoying the fruits of my labor all week! (And continue to do so, in fact. There are plenty of leftovers that will probably carry into the next week.) It’s super satisfying being able to come home after work, choose an entree, and have it ready to eat in under 10 minutes. It’s also been nice not having dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. (As they say, variety is the spice of life!) However, it was slightly annoying spending hours at the supermarket and then many more hours on my feet in the kitchen. It did free up my time in the evenings, though, to make desserts. And, man, I love me some desserts! (My current favorite is the raspberry peach cobbler from Isa Does It. It calls for frozen peaches and raspberries so you can have this wonderfully summery dessert even in the middle of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad winter.)

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Food & Recipes

Tempeh Hash with Poached Avocado and Hollandaise Sauce

Last weekend, Alex and I were in Philadelphia. It was our first time visiting the city so we did some research and made a list of all the vegan restaurants within 5 miles of our hotel. (Quite serendipitously, the current issue of Chickpea Magazine had a vegan guide to Philly! I took copious notes as I made my lists in Evernote.) One restaurant that did not come up on our radar during this research, however, was Vegan Commissary. It only opened in December 2013 so it is brand new, explaining why we only stumbled upon it on Saturday morning as we searched for a place to get vegan breakfast/brunch. For such a new restaurant, though, it already had a lot of good reviews on Yelp so we decided to go there.

…Man, oh, man, was this place amazing! I had the breakfast wrap while Alex had the tempeh hash with poached avocado. We then followed that up with cinnamon rolls and quinoa porridge. (Walking everywhere, especially in snow and slush, works up quite an appetite!) We were in absolute vegan food bliss.

Now, I didn’t get to try the tempeh hash with poached avocado but I decided to recreate it—or my version of it—for breakfast today. The following is what I came up with and it was quite divine, if I do say so myself.

Tempeh Hash with Poached Avocado and Hollandaise Sauce
Serves 2
My attempt at recreating a delicious brunch item from Vegan Commissary, an amazing vegan restaurant in Philadelphia.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
973 calories
59 g
0 g
72 g
39 g
12 g
621 g
404 g
5 g
0 g
55 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
621g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 973
Calories from Fat 620
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 72g
111%
Saturated Fat 12g
58%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 14g
Monounsaturated Fat 41g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 404mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 59g
20%
Dietary Fiber 19g
74%
Sugars 5g
Protein 39g
Vitamin A
435%
Vitamin C
121%
Calcium
36%
Iron
63%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Tempeh Hash
  1. 8-oz tempeh, cubed
  2. 1/4 C onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  4. 1/2 C potato, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  5. 1/2 C sweet potato, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  6. 4 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds, chopped
  7. 2 Tbsp, rounded, nutritional yeast
  8. 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  9. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
  11. paprika, to taste
Poached Avocado
  1. 1 avocado, halved and peeled, pit removed
  2. 2 Tbsp water, divided
Hollandaise Sauce
  1. 1/4 C cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
  2. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  3. pinch sea salt
  4. pinch cayenne pepper
  5. 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
  6. 5 Tbsp water
  7. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  8. 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
To serve
  1. 1 handful of baby spinach
  2. 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  3. Sriracha, to taste (optional)
Tempeh Hash
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except paprika in a bowl and stir until everything is well coated in oil. (Add more oil as needed.)
  3. Lay out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet or in a shallow, wide dish. (If the dish is too deep, the top will brown and the rest will simply cook. You want to achieve maximum crispiness here.)
  4. Dust with paprika and bake for about 18 minutes, or until beginning to brown.
Poached Avocado
  1. While the hash is cooking, take out two square sheets of foil.
  2. Place an avocado half in the middle of one foil sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp water, and seal it (like a roomy pouch). Repeat for the other half.
  3. Once the time is up on the hash, stir the tempeh mixture and place the foil packets on a separate rack.
  4. Crank up the temperature to 400°F. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Hollandaise Sauce
  1. Drain and rinse the cashews. Place them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  2. Just before serving, heat the sauce in a microwave until warm (15-20 seconds).
To serve
  1. Divide the spinach among two plates.
  2. Spoon tempeh hash onto the dishes.
  3. Top with poached avocado.
  4. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce and sriracha (if using).
  5. Sprinkle on the fresh parsley.
  6. Enjoy!
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calories
973
fat
72g
protein
39g
carbs
59g
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acid-stars.com http://acid-stars.com/
When I make this next, I’ll try to get some photos before Alex and I gobble it all up.

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reddit_secret_santa_2013_-_gifts_wrapped

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Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

My Secret Santa giftee received his gift a day early, much to my delight. The package contained 7 individual gifts:

I also included a holiday card with a personal message, wherein I revealed my true identity.

I received a nice note from him this evening, thanking me for the gifts and explaining what they meant to him and his family. (He said the cookies were the first to go!) His message totally made my night. I was worried since I didn’t have much to go on when picking the gifts. Here’s what I knew about him:

  • He’s approximately my age
  • He recently quit smoking (and switched to e-cigarettes)
  • He has an 8-year-old son (with whom he plays chess)
  • His and his wife are expecting their second child
  • He likes the MN Vikings and the NZ All Blacks
  • He has two adorable dogs
  • He programs in Perl and bash
  • He’s into bodybuilding

I tried to hit the major points and I think I managed to do just that. His noted ended with: “Thank you, Allie, for the amazing gifts! It means a lot!”

I’ve enjoyed this gift-giving experience so much that I even signed up to be a rematcher for someone whose Secret Santa leaves them out in the cold.

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