Perfect Summer Gingernade

Happy Last Day Of Winter!!! Summer is officially on its way which in Australia means some serious sun. Last weekend it actually peeked it’s head out of the clouds (just to let us know it was on its way!) and I made sure I took full advantage of it. I spent the day reclining on some awesome secondhand day beds we recently found and feasted on an amazing Vegan Platter (see that recipe here). The only thing that would have topped it off was some wine. But alas, I am pregnant, so instead I tried to make a drink so toe-tappingly tantalizing that I wouldn’t even miss the sweet grape nectar of the gods. I think I succeeded! Here is the recipe to my Perfect Summer Gingernade…

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup Ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of Raw Honey or Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 Cup Mint, finely chopped
  • 2 x Lemons
  • Water (approx 4 Cups)
  • Iceblocks, slices of citrus and some leftover mint to serve

Method

Put ginger, mint and honey/agave into a bowl or a container with a lid on it.

Pour 2 Cups of boiling water onto mixture and gently stir.

Let it steep (cover the bowl) for at least 30 minutes. I let mine steep over night so it was especially gingery!

Strain the liquid and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

When you are ready to serve, pour the liquid into a jug. Squeeze the juice of both your lemons into the liquid – I like my flavours bitey and strong though so maybe start with one and see how you like it! Then top up with 2 Cups of water to dilute the lemonade.

Serve with ice blocks, finely chopped mint and slices of citrus fruit! When I am allowed to enjoy alcohol again I am going to add sliced cucumber and Pimms for a really English affair. ENJOY!

Terrific Grilled Tempeh (Plus A Great Asian Marinade!)

Vegan – Vegetarian – Low Carb

20 minutes prep (BUT – Prepared the day before), 20 minutes cooking
Serves approx 6 people (in a salad or stir-fry)

A Healthy Fresh Summer Salad

I get asked a lot what Tempeh is and the best (more appetising definition) that I can give is that it is Tofu’s healthier cousin. Now for the gross technical term. It is fermented whole soybeans which sounds disgusting but actually just means that it is full of probiotics as well as other nutritious goodies like manganese and copper. It is also a fantastic source of protein and fiber.

Did you know…? Soy products like tempeh have been shown to lower cholesterol levels (by approx. 30%) and lower LDL aka bad cholesterol levels by as much as 35-40%. All these reasons make it a great meat substitute.

Ingredients

  • 500g Tempeh
  • 1/3 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar (White Wine Vinegar is fine too)
  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce (Gluten-Free Option – Use Tamari)
  • 1/8 Cup Water
  • 1/8 Cup Five Spice powder
  • ¼ Cup olive oil (Option: extra virgin if possible)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Kecap Manis (Option: Backstrap molasses)
  • 3 x garlic cloves, minced
  • Ginger root (approx 10cm length), peeled and chopped
  • Ground pepper to taste
*Plus salad, vegetables or burger materials to serve

Method

  • Slice your tempeh into 1cm thick patties and score on both sides
  • Combine all the remaining ingredients into a container or dish to make the marinade
  • Put the slices of tempeh into the marinade, turn them over once of twice and make sure they are coated in marinade

Like healthy little sardines

  • Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours – at the very least 12 hours!
  • Heat up a grill / pan and place tempeh onto it

BBQ Tempeh – NOM.

  • Grill / fry each side for 10 minutes or until they are a dark golden brown

OMG – THAT SMELLS AMAZING!

  • Serve either on a simple salad, in a stirfry or as the ‘meat’ of a burger

Add greens, avocado and sweet chilli and you are in for a treat!

Serving Suggestions

  • Asian Fusion Salad (pictured) – Cut the grilled tempeh into squares and serve with a simple salad of lettuce, red capsicum, avocado, coriander and sweet chilli sauce for a light summer dinner.
  • Stir-Fry – Cut the uncooked tempeh into strips and stirfry in wok with some peanut oil. Add broccoli, snowpeas, bean shoots and bok choy with a splash of the marinade. Dress with chopped peanuts and coriander.
  • Burger – Leave the cooked tempeh in ‘steak shape’. Fill a wholemeal bun with lettuce, grated carrot, cucumber and avocado. Add tempeh and sweet chilli. Serve with homemade chips and salad for a heartier meal.
  • Let your imagination run away with you – so many options, so little time!

Notes

  • It is rare (in my experience at least) to find supermarkets that stock tempeh.  Your best bet will be gourmet deli’s (Fresh Provisions, Limes etc), organic and vegan friendly stores (Manna in Fremantle) or the ever faithful – Asian stores. It is either found in the fridge or freezer section. Lots of the organic delivery companies also have tempeh aca
  • Don’t just throw away the marinade at the end of the meal. Either use it as the oil for your cooking or marinade something else in it the next day. I have chunked up squares of hard tofu and cannot wait to get home and make a great stir-fry out of it. My husband also stole some for his dinners.
  • As with any soy products – make sure you buy non-GMO (not genetically modified)