Let’s talk about meat for second here. The good ol’ juicy stuff. I want to start by saying that I haven’t been a vegetarian for a very long time, so I am no expert, but since all of my recipes are vegetarian on this blog, I thought it was as good a time as any to touch on the subject, and chat about my personal story.
There are many different reasons why I made the decision to no longer eat meat, but the one that I feel is most important is that it is what feels right for me, my body, my values and my lifestyle. I had some trouble at first, explaining this in french to Matt’s family when we would go over for dinner, trying to gather my words in french and having confidence in my choice. There were some funny moments, there was all of sudden a leg of rabbit on my plate, and I will forever be known as the strange Canadian to Matt’s step dad (a butcher’s son and a true Corse), but that’s ok, it has led to some wonderful conversations. Chats about the food and food production industry, the choices we make everytime we go shopping, and a developing curiosity about what is on our plates. Now, chats about food and vegetarian cooking have become a very popular topic around the dinner table, and there is an increasing amount of veggie dishes for everyone to enjoy.
Matt isn’t a vegetarian, the man enjoys a good steak from time to time, it’s what feels right for him and that’s just fine. However since we met, he has seriously changed his eating habits, and we have both developped a real passion for knowing where our food comes from. We choose organic when possible and affordable, and local when in season. From time to time I come back to this since I know we can’t afford to be buying everything at the health food store. Matt buys his meat at our local butcher, sometimes 3 times a week, sometimes twice a month, it just depends. But he believes that buying good quality local meat and eating it less often is far better than eating a lesser quality every day. I’m with him on that, investing in our bodies and health is something we both value.
I thought it would hard at first, that we would be cooking seperate meals in our tiny kitchen. But it’s not. Not at all. In fact, it forces me to be creative with ingredients, spices and flavors. A little chicken, steak or salmon can be thrown in these skewers with no extra hassle and everyone can enjoy the same meal. But when we have guests over for dinner I always try to serve up a completely vegetarian main, it’s how I love to eat and I want to share that with them. Matt put on ban on tofu in the house, he absolutely hates the stuff. But somehow tempeh passes the test, and while we don’t eat it very often, I like a little bit every now and then, so we enjoyed these together as is. Offering up healthy and filling dishes is how I show my love for everyone who enters our home. I want to fill their bellies with all the wholesome veggies and grains, because to me, a happy belly is a happy heart.
MISO MARINADE FOR GRILLED VEGETABLE + TEMPEH SKEWERS
Kickin’ off bbq season with some sticky little miso marinated veggies! Use whatever you have, I threw in some tempeh because I like its flavor with miso, but if tofu is your thing by all means go for it! Or just use more veggies. Don’t skimp out on the mushrooms though, those are by far my favorite!
Ingredients 2 small zucchinis (or one larger one)
100g organic tempeh (or firm tofu)
8-12 white button mushrooms
2 tablespoons red miso paste
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 cup cooked grains of choice , I used red quinoa here, but brown rice is nice too!
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 spring onion, green and white parts
Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat bbq or grill to medium / high heat
Slice the zucchini into rounds, something similar in size to the button mushrooms, and cut tempeh into squares, place all the veg in a large bowl
Place miso, rice syrup, sesame oil, coconut oil, rice vinegar and garlic in a small blender and blend until smooth. Scoop the miso sauce over the vegetables and mix to combine with your hands. Get everything nice and covered to soak up that deliciousness! It might seem like a lot, but once on the grill it will be alright (use any leftover sauce in the bowl or blender to glaze over the veg while grilling)
Place marinated veg on wooden or metal skewers and set in the fridge while the grill preheats
If you haven’t cooked your grains before hand, now is a good time to get that started. Quinoa or millet can be done at the same time, but brown rice should be started a bit beforehand due to cooking times. Add the juice and zest of half a lime to cooked grains, as well as most of the sesame seeds
Place skewers on grill, and grill on each side for 8-10 minutes (depending on your bbq), and keep rotating until all sides are nice and brown and a bit crispy
Remove from grill, serve with grain lime toss, and sprinkle with basil, spring onion and remaining sesame seeds. Garnish with a leftover lime wedges.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!