Forgive me, for I have sinned.
This weekend, I lunched on chocolate truffles and ice cream sundaes and fewer vegetables than I normally consume in the first half of an average day.
I drank five espressos, fifteen cups of coffee and exactly two alcoholic beverages. (Water is really such a waste of intestinal space when there are stimulants to be had, no?)
I was wined and dined by a food network star, ate French fries at cocktail hour, reveled in my best friend in the entire word being close enough to touch and met people I have dreamed about almost every night for the past three years (oh how time does fly).
(Don't worry. These were all fully clothed, PG-rated kind of dreams. I'm not that creepy.)
(Okay, fine. Most of them were. You know me too well.)
I walked six miles there and back from the Mission to Union Square. Smelled (but did not inhale) the marijuana in the bad part of town and understood why sometimes two Donut Plants in a two block radius is just...necessary.
And now. I'm headed home.
Full. Tired. Indulged.
And anything but sorry.
I refuse to rue the day. It's just not my style.
But if I were to feel a hint of guilt. I'd do my penance in shreds of cabbage and strips of peppers and triangles of mirin/maple/soy soaked tempeh.
Which really isn't penance at all when you think about it. Just one truly delicious dinner.
Star Anise-Glazed Tempeh with Stir-Fried Peppers
Serves 4, adapted from Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp 5-spice powder
- 8 oz tempeh, cut in half width-wise and then into eighths
- 4 tsp peanut oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 6 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 head red cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
- Place the soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, maple syrup and five spice powder in a saucepan. Boil for 4-5 minutes, then turn off the heat and add the tempeh. Let it soak four minutes on each side. Set aside, reserving the marinade.
- Heat a wok to medium-high and add 2 tsp peanut oil. Add the tempeh and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add a few tbsp of the marinade and cook until it has evaporated and glazed the tempeh. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Wipe out the wok and add 2 tsp peanut oil. Over medium-high heat, cook the garlic, ginger and scallions for 1 minute. Add the peppers and cabbage. Cook until slightly softened, but still crisp, about ten minutes. Add the remaining marinade. and cook an additional five minutes. Serve over rice.