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Monday, June 20, 2016

Recipe Review from 6/13/2016

Two outstanding recipes this past week.   I highly recommend both.   Read on and enjoy!

The Meal Plan: 
Sun (L)  Tempeh Rubens  (S)  Slow Cooker Beef and Lettuce Wraps
Mon (yoga)  leftovers
Tues - leftovers
Wed (out at YMCA function)
Thurs (yoga)  leftovers
Fri - brats
Sat (garage sale)           (S) Out

Tempeh Rubens  (Ckng Lght, June 2016)  vegetarian
Three admissions - I have never had a ruben, this was my first time using tempeh, and my first time trying naturally fermented sauerkraut.  Being of German-Polish decent, I do love sauerkraut.  The Husband, of Irish decent, is convinced cabbage should be eaten cooked or fresh, not out of a can.

The compromise?  Naturally fermented.   It's something we've been wanting to try because we keep hearing how awesome it is.  I did go with a local store-bought variety because I didn't want to make a gallon of the stuff only to discover it didn't live up to the hype.  That, and I could be stuck eating a gallon of kraut.  Pint jar definitely was the way to go.

I found my tempeh at the co-op.  It worked fine.  Nothing notable there other than that is a very convenient morsel of food. 

Overall, these were very tasty - tangy, fresh, zingy, with a bit of melted cheese to balance everything out.  I would make them again.  Not sure I would go out of my way to order one in a restaurant tho. 

I did have leftover dressing that I put on sandwiches at the start of the week.  Tasty!  

1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons refrigerated sauerkraut, drained and divided
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 ounces tempeh
Photo from
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/4 cups water
8 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain rye bread, toasted
2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1. Place Greek yogurt, ketchup, 2 tablespoons sauerkraut, and mustard in a mini food processor; process until smooth.

2. Cut tempeh in half horizontally; cut each half into 4 slices, forming 8 pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add vinegar, soy sauce, dill, and caraway, stirring constantly. Add tempeh; cook 1 minute on each side. Add 1 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until water evaporates, turning tempeh occasionally.

3. Preheat broiler to high. Place 4 bread slices in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet. Divide cheese evenly among bread slices. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Top cheese with about 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, 1 1/2 tablespoons onion mixture, 2 pieces tempeh, and about 3 tablespoons sauerkraut. Spread remaining yogurt mixture evenly over 1 side of remaining 4 bread slices. Place bread, yogurt side down, on top of sauerkraut.

Slow Cooker Beef and Lettuce Wraps  (Ckng Lght, June 2016)  gluten free*
Do not be put off by the ingredient list!  This comes together very quickly and then you walk away for 6-8 hours.  Final assembly goes very quickly, so definitely do the quick pickles first. 

I'm not fond of beef, but even I had to admit that this turned out fantastic.   Oh my gosh, the beef was just meltingly tender, the Asian flavors a great compliment, and I loved the sweet crunch of the pickles and carrots.  

Photo from
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed  (I used sirloin tip roast)
1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce** (watch for gluten free option)
11 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
1 tablespoon white miso (soybean paste)
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
3/4 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
3/4 cup julienne-cut carrot
1 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
16 Bibb lettuce leaves
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds 
1. Coat bottom and sides of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer onion slices in bottom of slow cooker; top with garlic.

2. Heat canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chuck roast to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef on top of onions and garlic; pour any drippings from pan over top.

3. Combine stock, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over beef and onions in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

4. Place cucumber and carrot in 2 shallow bowls 15 minutes before meat is done. Combine remaining 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; divide vinegar mixture evenly between cucumbers and carrots. Let stand until ready to serve; drain well.

5. Transfer beef from slow cooker to a large platter; shred with 2 forks. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; add shredded beef to pan, pressing into an even layer. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, without stirring. Turn off heat. Sprinkle evenly with salt and 1/4 cup cooking liquid from slow cooker; toss to coat. Discard remaining cooking liquid, onions, and garlic. Divide beef and pickles among lettuce leaves; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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