Mar 24 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Your Roots-Sweet Potato, Tempeh and Spinach Burrito


A few weeks ago, I shared a delicious way to prepare tempeh making a bacon sandwich. If you missed my recipe and have questions about tempeh, check out my blog post at I want to share with you a tasty burrito idea using tempeh and local produce this time of year, sweet potatoes and baby greens. These past several weeks, I have been focusing on breakfast ideas, root veggies and starting seeds for your garden. This burrito makes a easy healthy dinner recipe or a lunch recipe and is a great way to try some plant based cooking.

This burrito was inspired by one that I had in Boone about 10 years ago at a restaurant that is no longer there. It is has been enjoyed by vegetarians and meat eaters a like. Toasting the tempeh in the skillet makes it a beautiful brown and gives it a nutty flavor.

open taco

Sweet Potato, Tempeh and Spinach Burrito

1 large sweet potatoes, organic if possible and local

1 package tempeh (I like to use the local Smiling Hara Tempeh )

2 cups cooked black beans

1/2 medium onion chopped

1-2 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups fresh spinach or other local greens

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I have been using some from my window seal).

1/2 cup salsa (we use the one that we canned

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4-6 whole wheat tortillas

Olive oil

To Roast Sweet Potatoes and Onions

Cube sweet potatoes into 1/2 by 1/2 pieces. Place on cookie sheet along and toss with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. Roast in oven at 425 degrees and add onion. Roast 5-8 minutes or until potatoes and onion are soft and caramelized.

To make tempeh

Cube tempeh into 1/2 by 1/2 pieces. Saute it in a small amount of oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat, turning every 5 minutes until browned on most sides. Add chili powder, cumin and garlic to brown lightly. Add about 1/3 cup of water and turn down low and simmer about 5-10 minutes.

Mix potatoes with tempeh and mix together. To assemble burrito, add 1 cup filling, 1/3 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 tablespoon salsa. Roll it up like a burrito or fold in half like below. You can make a quesadilla or even use for a nacho filling! You can also add sour cream or Greek yogurt and guacamole if desired!

Makes 4-6 servings


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Give this recipe a try and share with your friends on social media! You guys will be in for a treat! Let me know how you like it!








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Mar 20 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Your Roots-Eat Kohlrabi

Have you eaten kohlrabi? Do you even know what it looks like? The first step to eating it is to learn a little more about it!

Kohlrabi is from the cabbage family. Its flavor is mild and sweet. It is not so popular here in the United States and it rarely makes it outside the southern states. However, it is more common in Europe and was even a delicacy among royalty.

Kohlrabi is low in calories, high in fiber, vitamin K, A, C and folic acid.  Since it is from the cabbage family, it also has some very cancer preventive properties! The whole plant is edible with the greens being very mild but rarely eaten. The most common part of the plant eaten is the bulb and for best results, you might want to peel and cut out the fibrous middle.

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Kohlrabi is a vegetable you might see in your CSA weekly box from your local farmer or at the local farmers market. Adding variety of less popular vegetables can be a great way to add more nutrients and beneficial phytonutrients in your diet. Now is the time to start kohlrabi in your garden, here is a little more about growing it

kholrabi edit

Some easy ways to prepare kohlrabi include lightly pan fried, boiled, mashed like potatoes and roasted. When cooked, the kohlrabi caramelizes and gets sweeter. I have definitely had great luck getting my family to eat it all of these ways.

Here are some fun and healthy food recipes using kohlrabi to try also

I hope this will inspire you to buy some kohlrabi when you see it and when you don’t see it-seek it and grow it! Once you try it, I think you will like it!

Please share this post with your friends on social media so they can try it too!

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Mar 18 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Your Roots-Salad for Breakfast?

I never heard about salad for breakfast until I moved to Asheville about 8 1/2 years ago. I am fortunate to live near the Sunny Point Cafe and I didn’t even see the breakfast salad on the menu for several years. After a few people raved about the salad, I thought that I had better try it. I discovered that it was amazing and now it is one of my favorite things to order there!

Salads for breakfasts or lunch are a quick healthy meal and a great way to get some fruits and vegetables in the diet. Another great realization that I found is that the breakfast salad can vary depending on the seasons using local food. For a spring salad, you can add carrots and/or strawberries. For summer, add tomatoes, peaches or berries. For fall, add some roasted butternut squash or apples and for winter, you can add a variety of roasted root vegetables and greens.

Sunny Point has a meat and vegetarian version of their salad, Hickory Nut Gap Farm has a local bacon or an easy vegetarian recipe idea with tofu bacon. To make it vegan, you can leave off the eggs and even add some nuts. You can also vary it by using turkey sausage or lean ham.

After doing a little research, I found that other people are eating breakfast salad and there are some recipes out there that look very tasty! However, I wanted to try to see if I could recreate the wonderful flavor of the Sunny Point breakfast salad. I hope that you like the results and will give it a try. Theirs comes with an angel biscuit which is a cross between a biscuit and yeast roll. Right now, I am not ready to go there but I am sure that I could get my husband to make some or you can visit Sunny Point Cafe to try one!

Breakfast Salad (makes 4 servings)

4 cups mixed lettuce

1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots

4 eggs, prepared your favorite way-I like mine scrambled

Breakfast Tofu Bacon or local meat bacon (see below)

Roasted potatoes (see below)

Mustard Maple Dressing (see below)

1/4 cup pecans if desired

In a bowl, add a bed of lettuce and your choice of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Add roasted potatoes and choice of breakfast protein. Drizzle with Mustard Maple Dressing and top with pecans if desired.


Mustard Maple Dressing

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoon Lusty Monk Mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over salad.



Tofu Bacon

Tofu is bland and can take on whatever flavor you marinade and cook it in. Notice my picture above which shows the tofu flavorful and crispy. My marinade has an Asian influence but feel free to get creative with other ideas! There is controversy out there regarding too much tofu in the diet but if you only eat it a few times a week, you won’t really be overdoing it. Feel free to substitute tempeh, seitan or beans also for your plant-based protein.


Block of tofu, getting ready for “treatment”.


Tofu sliced thin and cut into triangles. Ready for marinade.

To make marinade:

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sorghum

1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Tofu in marinade and ready to bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  When marinade is soaked into tofu and it is crisp.

Roast Potatoes

3 small potatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Cube potatoes into small pieces. In a small board toss potatoes with salt and pepper. Add to small pan. Roast potatoes the same amount of time as tofu and it should be done around the same time. Turn every 5 minutes.

Spring is finally on its way and the vegetables are being planted and soon will be picked from the farms and heading to the local farmers’ markets! I will be out and about signing Farm Fresh Nutrition! Stop by and see me at the West Asheville Tailgate Market on April  14 and stay tuned for more events to come. If you aren’t in WNC, you can get the book on Amazon or on my website!


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Mar 18 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Our Roots! Potatoes

I am a day late to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day season with my potato post but I hope that you enjoy my potato and greens pancakes! This is a great time to plant your potatoes in your garden. They are a super fun thing to grow even in a large patio pot for kids. Potatoes have gotten a bad name in the past and in moderate amounts, they are a healthy food and are rich in potassium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, protein. My husband’s grandma always said to wait until the new moon to plant them. Here is a little bit from Mother Earth News on how to officially plant them


Potatoes can also be part of a diabetic meal plan also. The most common way that people in the United States eat potatoes is fried and in large portions or as a huge baked potato which may actually be four servings and topped with lots of butter and sour cream and even bacon and cheese! The portion and the toppings could the fact that the potato has such a bad reputation.

There are lots of great heirloom varieties of potatoes which include dark red norland, Swedish peanut fingerling, yukon gold, kennebec, red pontiac and all blue. These are available at Sow True Seeds here in Asheville.


Here is a spring recipe that you can make with greens and baby potatoes from a local farmer! Make them for breakfast! They also make a quick healthy meal for supper! I topped these with Greek yogurt and scallions. They remind me of sour cream potato chips!

Green Potato Pancakes

1 pound potatoes grated

10 ounces spring greens, washed well, sliced then, sauteed in olive oil with liquid squeezed out

2 tablespoon your choice of fresh herbs

1/4 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon oil

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup onion, grated

1/4 cup grated hard cheese (preferably local)

Oil for pan frying

9 inch cast iron skillet

Mix all the ingredients together. Heat oil in the pan and add the batter at about 1/8  cup at a time. Let brown and flip. Let get brown on the other side. Drain well on paper towels.

Makes 8-10 pancakes at 2 per person to make 4-5 servings.


This makes an easy vegetarian recipe which you can also make with sweet potatoes. If you would like more seasonal meals for spring sign up for my newsletter! Please also feel free to share this recipe with your friends on face book, pinterest, twitter and would love for you to send a comment on the blog!


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Mar 11 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Your Roots! Eat Some Cole!

Just for the record, I did not misspell coal! Cole crops are members of the cabbage family and include cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The family even includes turnips, arugula, bok choy, collard greens, horseradish, radish, rutabaga, watercress, kohlrabi, wasabi and kale.

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Here are some broccoli plants that I started.


Other names for this family include cruciferous or brassica. These are considered to be cool weather plants meaning around March 15 is when you can put them in the ground in order for them to be mature by late spring before the weather gets too hot.  To plant cole plants by seeds, the ideal time to plant these is in mid-January so if you have not got this head start use plants to start your crops. You can also start seeds the last part of July to plant for a fall crop.


When discussing the health benefits of cole crops, nutritionists often refer to them as cruciferous vegetables. It does not matter what you refer to them as but the important thing is to include them as part of a healthy diet since they are rich in vitamins C, E, K, folate and fiber. Some of them also contain calcium and iron. In addition, these veggies have a wide number of beneficial plant chemicals which include beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxathia and glucosinates (a sulfur containing compound). They have powerful anti-cancer properties. For even more nutritional information, check out this fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute

So you can see there are a lot of veggies in this family to share with you but I am including a broccoli recipe to you today. I will post more in the future about some other family members in upcoming posts. You can check out some of my past posts on cole crops also!





Although, you won’t be able to make this plant based recipe from local produce from broccoli and carrots until late spring, I wanted to share a recipe to make when it comes!

Thai Broccoli Salad

Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped purple onion

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup peanuts to garnish salad




For Dressing for Salad

Mix the following ingredients:

1-2 teaspoons or more sriracha sauce (depending on your heat tolerance)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

1 tablespoon sorghum

1 clove garlic minced

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Juice from one lime



WP_20150311_004[1]To Make

Mix broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, chopped cilantro and onion. Toss with dressing. Garnish with lime wedges, peanuts and additional cilantro!



For additional seasonal, spring recipe ideas, stay tuned to the blog for more to come! My book Farm Fresh Nutrition is a great base to eating local food, improving your health, supporting the environment and local farmers. You can get a copy at West Village Market, Willows Dream, Malaprops, and soon Katuah Market in Asheville. It is also available online through my website and other locations. Looking forward to sharing again with you soon! Enjoy the new season of foods!

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Mar 11 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Our Roots! Make some Quinoa!

Published by under local food nutrition



Not many of us may have quinoa for breakfast. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain that has become popular in the US and can be used in place of rice in many dishes. It originated in a lake area between Peru and Bolivia, South America. Quinoa is gluten free which make it a staple of the celiac diet.  In addition, it is rich in protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, iron and fiber. It is one of the great vegetarian sources of protein.

There are several varieties of quinoa which include a white/ivory variety which is shown here. There is also a red and a black variety. Quinoa makes a natural pesticide on its outside kernels. This will not harm us but has a bitter taste, so it is important to rinse quinoa in a colander before preparing. Quinoa also can be purchased into flakes and flour.

Quinoa is not a local food where I live, but makes a great backdrop to fruits and vegetables grown where I live. Some of my favorite ways to eat it include roasted or grilled vegetables over the quinoa. It also makes a delicious pilaf with the vegetables cooked right into it or the base of one of a stir-fry. I also makes a great salad. You can use it in place of bulgar wheat in tabouli, mix it with black beans and corn to make a Southwestern flavor or add apple, dried cherry and curry for another flavorful treat.

Since we are focusing on breakfast during the great beginnings theme, here is a easy breakfast idea that includes local apples and pecans. But try quinoa for other meals also!

Quinoa with apple


Breakfast Quinoa with Apples and Pecans

Where I live apples are a good fruit to have in the fall and winter unless you are lucky enough to have a “keeper apple”.  As we head into spring, you can use local produce like strawberries and in the summer a variety of black, blue and raspberries and peaches. Next fall in addition to apples try pears and figs. In the winter when fresh fruit is sparse, try drying and freezing fruit during the season for a welcome treat when its cold and dark outside!

1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of ground cardamon
Pinch of salt
1 chopped apple
¼ cup pecans
Bring milk and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer. Cook until most
of coconut milk is absorbed (which will be about 12-15 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in maple syrup, cardamon, and chopped apples. Top with pecans.
Makes two servings.
Eating breakfast is one of the best ways to lose weight if you are trying to shed a few pounds before summer. This quick easy meal is healthy and something warm to have on a cold morning!
Would you like more ideas for breakfast, reaching a healthy weight and eating seasonal foods? Stay tuned to my blog for more ideas! I have a lot of fresh things coming this spring!

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Mar 09 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Your Roots! Eat SomeTurnips!

Published by under local food nutrition

Turnips are one of those vegetables that many of us don’t love. They are one of the “ugly duckling” vegetables. They have a lot to offer but not many takers.

My dad always enjoyed growing them and we would often cook them with potatoes and mash them. Still I was not their  number one fan until I got several bunches in my CSA box last year. I had to find out what to do with them, give them away or compost them. I was up to the challenge. I found with a little effort and some good ideas to know what to do with them, I would truly appreciate their nourishment that they provide! Turnips are packed with nutrients! Rich in the nutrients potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and low in calories. They are a member of the cruciferous family which contain powerful anti-cancer properties. In addition to eating the root, the greens are also edible and can be used in many of the recipes that you already use greens. Turnips come in a beautiful pink, a white and half purple/half white varieties.When the roots are roasted, they caramelize and become very sweet and delicious!

Early spring is a great time to grow turnips so prepare your soil and plant them. Here is a great link to successfully grow your turnips

They grow great in Western North Carolina so make an available local food! If you don’t want to grow them, buy them from a local farmer!


Here are some delicious healthy food recipes to prepare turnip roots. If they are not part of your usual food choices, add some variety to your diet and give these plant based recipes a try!




My favorite way to eat turnips is to roast them with other vegetables at 425 degrees until they caramelize! I slice them, put on a cookie sheet and toss them in olive oil and seasonings. Here are some pictures to give you an idea

turnips and beets

turnips and beets

turnips. beets, sweet potatoes and potatoes awaiting some olive oil and roasting!

turnips. beets, sweet potatoes and potatoes awaiting some olive oil and roasting!


Here they are roasted and ready to be added to your plate!

Here are some other recipe ideas

Turnip Gratin


Chinese Turnip Soup

Turnip and Potato Patties

You can also eat them raw on salads or on a relish plate. Make turnips something that you at least eat sometimes so you will reap their health benefits! Sign up for my newsletter and Vine Ripe Nutrition‘s You Tube channel for more health tips and delicious meal ideas

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Mar 05 2015

Great Beginnings: Getting Back to Your Roots! Eat Your Sweet Potatoes

The past two weeks, I have been sharing new ideas for quick and easy breakfasts ! I have a few more more that will share before spring is in full swing but with planting season coming, I wanted to share with you some root vegetables that are easy to grow and tasty ways to eat them! Try my mini sweet potato casserole recipe for dessert baked in ramekins. It’s just the right portion and contains a lot of great flavors.

North Carolina is the sweet potato capital of the US so we are able to get this local food almost year round. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant. They also contain vitamin C, potassium and calcium. Many of my clients like to use sweet potatoes in their diabetic meal plan because it is lower on the glycemic index.

sweet potatoes

To pick a sweet potato:

Make sure that it is not bruised and does not have any soft spots. If you aren’t using right away, store in a cool dry place but not in the fridge!

To grow a sweet potato:

You can’t plant sweet potato slips in the ground until around the  1st of June when the ground is warm,  but now’s the time to start growing the sweet potato slips. What are sweet potato slips? Many of us grew our own sweet potato plant in elementary school. You can buy the slips around planting time but growing your own can be fun especially with kids. Think about your garden space since a sweet potato vine can take up a lot of room and needs a lot of sun. We have an urban garden, so I will be planting these in my existing landscape because I don’t have a lot of space in our existing garden. I am going to try these just for fun and see how they work out. I have a sunny spot in my front yard that needs a little greenery.

Purchase organic sweet potatoes since many conventional ones could be irradiated. Cut the sweet potato in half and put in a pint mason jar or something similar in size. Fill jar halfway with water. Push tooth picks into two sides of the potato so only half of it goes into the water. In just a few days, little sweet potato plants will sprout from the potato. After a few weeks when the slips are about 4-6 inches long, pull them from the potato and let these sit in a little water and they will root and be ready to plant. One article mentioned 30 plants can grow from one potato so, if you are planting in a small garden one potato will be more than enough!

Dessert 1 of 3 edits

Ginger Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole

I have added coconut and candied ginger for a new twist to an old favorite. Try this healthy easy recipe for a warm and cozy dessert now and save it for next year’s Thanksgiving celebration later! Makes 4 small ramkins.

2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon candy ginger


1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon chilled Smart or Earth Balance (depending on your preference) or butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoon shredded coconut

Combine the first six ingredients in bowl and stir well. Spoon sweet potato mixture into 4 small white, ramekins that have been greased. For topping, combine brown sugar and margarine in a bowl and cut margarine in with pastry blender under mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the pecans and coconut and sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

For some other really tasty sweet potatoes, check out my book Farm Fresh Nutrition!

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Mar 04 2015

Great Beginnings: Breakfast Grit Bowls with “plant meat”

Seitan, a vegetarian meat substitute, has been traditionally made from the high protein component of wheat. Sadrah Schadel and Mike Woliansky, the owners of No Evil Foods began making seitan about six years ago for home use. They began experimenting by adding kidney beans, tomatoes, organic herbs and spices, chick peas and nutritional yeast to make their product even more flavorful and healthy. These ingredients add additional nutrients like iron, Vitamin B6 and B12 in addition to the already high protein food which has as much as animal proteins. Almost one year ago, their company, No Evil Foods began selling three types of “plant meat”, Italian-sausage (the Stallion) , chorizo  (Zapatisa) and the mock chicken type (The Prepper) in the tailgate markets almost one year ago.

no evil foods new

They create their plant meat once a week at Blue Ridge Food Ventures. In addition to doing the production themselves,  they also do the packaging, shipping and marketing so they keep very busy!

One of things that they like to share with new customers is the positive environmental impact by eating one or two meatless meals a week and using plant meat as a choice of protein.

No Evil Foods “plant meat” is now available around Asheville at both Whole Foods, Katuah Market and West Village Market. I also saw on facebook that they are venturing out to Charlotte and surrounding areas. Sadrah and Mike are working with local chefs and staff in restaurants to teach them ways prepare their product and see just how wonderful it tastes! Once the chefs have had an opportunity to taste the final results, it is only a matter of time that they add it to their menus! This includes a hoagie at Wicked Weed, Baby Bella Mushroom Pizza at Mellow Mushroom, pulled “pork” at 12 Bones, Cajun chorizo brunch item at Chestnut, vegan breakfast burrito at West Village Market and jerk “chicken” vegetable cup at Nine Mile.

Some of Shadrah and Mike’s favorite ways to prepare No Evil Foods are “Chicken” Salad, made with onions, celery and vegan mayonnaise, Curry Stir Fry, Pulled “Pork” Sandwich made from “the prepper” prepared with dry rub and smoked served on a bun with slaw, Breakfast Scramble, Chorizo Taco, and Fajita. It makes a great option to make easy vegetarian recipes!

One of the ways that you can enjoy some “plant meat” is to make yourself a grit bowl. Try my colorful version with sweet potatoes and spinach which is packed with nutrition and is filling! Right now, in WNC you can get all the ingredients so your breakfast bowl can be a  local food!  If you can’t get No Evil foods where you live, traditional seitan can be purchased in many natural grocery stores, there are also recipes that you can use to make it at home 

grit breakfast bowl

Seitan Breakfast Grit Bowls

(makes 4)

2 cups spinach or other seasonal greens

1 medium roasted sweet potato

1/2 cup onion

1/2 package No Evil Foods chorizo (Zapatisa)

Grits (

Make sweet potatoes according to directions here

To make grits: let 2 1/4 cups water to boil and take 1/2 cup grits and turn down heat below and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of your choice of fat whether it be olive oil or Earth Balance tub margarine. You will have to stir often to prevent grits from sticking and scorching. You may need additional water. These grits will finish cooking in about 30-40 minutes depending on if they are fine or coarse ground. You can take a taste to see if they are done. They can also be cooked ahead of time and reheated to make your bowls quick.

Crumble or chopped chorizo in a small amount of oil in a skillet and cook until crispy and crunchy. Drain if necessary on a paper towel. The chorizo is spicy so if you need a mild version, try their Italian “sausage”.

Layer the grits, sweet potatoes, spinach and top with chorizo! Hope that you will love these as much as I do! I have some other great combos for breakfast bowls that I will share soon!

You can top with cheese if desired. Otherwise this recipe is vegan.

breakfast bowl

These grit bowls can also be made for an easy healthy dinner recipe!

Stay tuned and Sign up for my new You Tube Channel in the next few days when we unveil it! We have a lot of fun and interesting things planned!



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Feb 26 2015

Great Beginnings: Breakfast Tempeh Bacon Sandwich

Published by under local food nutrition

Let’s talk about how to make a high protein breakfast sandwich recipe without the high fat breakfast meats!

If you have never had tempeh, you may not have heard of this food (check out page 112 from my book Farm Fresh Nutrition to find out more about tempeh). When I first began moving towards a plant based recipes, I ate a lot of tofu and I felt a little nervous about tempeh. Tempeh is made from beans that are fermented with a mushroom spore to create a nutty flavored, chewy food which is a rich, vegetarian source of protein and  in minerals such as manganese, phosphorus and copper and phytonutrients. With a little time, I have grown fond of the taste of tempeh and all the versatile ways to prepare it- brown it in some oil, steam it, grill it and bake it! I have also had the chance to meet Sarah and Chad who make local tempeh where in Asheville and soon will be making hempeh! Traditionally tempeh has been made with soy beans but Smiling Hara also makes some out of black bean and black eye peas! Check out their awesome company at and until March 17, you can vote for them to get a Fed Ex grant!


You may not have Smiling Hara tempeh where you live but you should be able to find tempeh and make this sandwich. It is great to have a variety of protein in your diet and a diet rich in protein can help you feel your best throughout the day. If you want to use corn tortillas rather than bread this be a tasty alternative also.

open BLT

Breakfast Tempeh Sandwich

1/8 cup maple syrup or brown sugar

1 teaspoon liquid smoke or smoked paprika

2 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon oil

Mix maple syrup or brown sugar, liquid smoke or smoked paprika, vinegar, garlic powder, and pepper in a 9 inch pyrex pie plate. Take the block of tempeh and cut it into strips that are about 1/4 inch thick and marinate it for about 30 minutes. Turn it over once. Heat skillet and add the olive oil. Add tempeh (keeping remaining tempeh in plate) and cook about 2-3 minutes and turn over. Cook a little more. I like to add the rest of the marinade and cook this flavor into tempeh. When browned on both sides, take out of skillet. Makes enough for 3-4 sandwiches.

To assemble sandwiches: put on toasted bread, add lettuce or other salad greens, tomato and mayonnaise and mustard.

The tempeh can be cooked ahead of time and added in the morning. this sandwich also makes a great vegetarian lunch! Be brave try some tempeh and let me know your experience with my tempeh bacon recipe!


Stay tuned for more Great Beginning posts coming up next week!

In you are in Asheville, put on your calendar April 9 for a workshop on spring seasonal menu ideas and a book signing at Katuah Market

More details coming soon!

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