It's been really nice, having time alone in a comfortable (grown-up) apartment, soaking up the gorgeous weather, and enjoying the breathtaking views of the city.
And of this lovely lady:
I think some people are born with a friend chicken gene. I sure wasn't raised on it, but boy, has it had a force in my adult life. I'm sure many of you feel the same.
But what do we do when we have an inkling and the best chicken and biscuits place is closed (or in my case, two subway rides away and behind bullet-proof glass)?
Stay with me here, for those who haven't already left in search of a deep fat fryer.
I have way too many vegetarians in my life. I love every stinking last one of them, but they are a pain and they make me want to go on rabid meat binges after we finish meals. (I mean, how do they ever get full?)
Since I can't do without the meat and I can't do without them, I stay on the lookout for alternatives. Fake meat. It's just another unfamiliar and challenging ingredient, really. I hope it makes me a better person.
Voila, tempeh tacos!
I don't totally get what tempeh is. I had to google it, like so many things in my life (a few months ago I even had to google Lady Gaga). It's a soy product fermented into a cake form, but you can crumble it up and pretend it's ground beef, which I did. (Incidentally, tempeh is sometimes referred to as a "meat analogue," which I find funny. It puts a little more distance between the meat than to call it a substitute.)
Would you believe tempeh has its own website? There is even a recipe to make your own tempeh, but I'll have to wait and try that when I am really trying to put off doing something important.
No offense, I have the utmost respect for the convictions of vegetarians and health-buffs- I simply don't have the discipline for that kind of lifestyle. I applaud you if you can stick to it and find balance with a diet that doesn't include meat. I simply couldn't do it.
I cook tempeh in a skillet just like ground beef, but I keep adding a few tablespoons of water at a time to soften it up. It actually does work as a pretty good substitute and can help you out in a pinch when you are cooking for someone who is a vegetarian with a wheat and dairy allergy (one step away from being a vegan).
It's actually pretty darn good when cooked with the right amount of seasoning. Okay, I'll keep working with it and stop grumbling when I have to skip meat now and then. Really, though, can we stop referring to it as an analogue and call a spade a spade? It's a substitute.