When I was in high school, my cross-country coach used to threaten to make me run hurdles. Everyone knew it was a joke -- me jump over hurdles? The girl who regularly fell over nothing on our long runs? With my long limbs and gawky frame, I was constantly picking myself up off the ground, and today, I still have scars on my knees from all the contact with the pavement, asphalt and concrete.
My balance has improved since those days, but I still find myself on the verge of an embarrassing spill from time to time (ie. yesterday when I skidded across the lobby of my office building). I may not ever be able to traverse a balance beam like those adorable gymnasts with ribbons in their hair, but not all areas of my life are as unbalanced as my center of gravity. I do know how to bring some equilibrium to my diet. After indulging in steak, cookies and full-fat bowls of ice cream, I am more than happy to give my body a break with some heart-healthy whole grains, low-fat proteins, and fiberlicious greens.
A couple weeks ago, that break came in the form of the pictured maple glazed tempeh with green beans, shitake mushrooms and brown rice. I discovered the recipe on 101 Cookbooks, my go-to site when I'm craving something healthy, and as usual, adapted it to my tastes. While it wasn't as flavorful as I hoped, I loved the combination of the tempeh, green beans and shitake mushrooms. After two nights of the hearty dish, I felt right with myself again and ready for more chocolate. (You know, to balance out all the greens and roughage and what not.)
Maple Glazed Tempeh with Green Beans, Shitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice
Adapted from recipe on 101 Cookbooks
8 ounces tempeh (I used Lightlife)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons ginger
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Green beans, cut into pieces
Shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Cut tempeh into triangles and marinate in soy-maple mixture for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package instructions.
3. When tempeh is done marinating, saute in a frying pan over medium heat, reserving the marinade to stirfry with the vegetables. When both sides are golden brown, remove from the skillet.
4. Add sesame oil to hot skillet and saute onions until slightly tender. Add the green beans, the marinade and cook for a couple minutes before adding the shitake mushrooms and the tempeh back to the pan. Cook together until marinade has reduced and coated the veggies and tempeh, and then serve over brown rice.