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Your Pantry Staple and 3-Ingredient Recipes

by Marissa on August 2, 2010

Over the weekend I was relaxing with this month’s issue of Real Simple and the question posed to readers was this: What is your favorite pantry staple? The answers ranged from pickles to pasta. I gave this some thought and figured mine would have to be tempeh.

A product of Indonesia, tempeh is a high-protein fermented food traditionally made from soybeans. It has a bold, nutty flavor and a dense texture making it a suitable substitute for meat.

Tempeh keeps well in the refrigerator and it’s ideal for the nights when my boyfriend is traveling and I arrive home tired from work feeling uninspired to get involved in the kitchen.

I usually brown the tempeh in coconut oil on my stovetop and then make this delicious almond butter sauce inspired by the book The 3 Day Cleanse.

Spicy Almond Dressing

1/2 cup raw or roasted almond butter
6 Tbsp chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp Tamari
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
3/4 tsp ginger, peeled and chopped
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth

This combination of coconut-oil infused tempeh and gingery, slightly spicy almond butter sauce is the perfect healthy comfort food. On this night, I ate it over salad greens but it’s also great on top of whole grains like brown rice and quinoa and steamed or sauteed veggies. I also like it with quinoa pasta.

What is your favorite pantry staple?

Also in this month’s issue of Real Simple were a slew of three-ingredient recipes. I’m all about keeping it simple and easy in the kitchen, so I chose a few of the healthier ones to share here.

As a matter of fact, when I look for recipes, I always try to choose the ones with the fewest ingredients. Why? Fewer ingredients means the preparation time is usually quicker – nobody wants to slave away in the kitchen after a long day of work — and that the result is often healthier — yes, you can eat healthy when crunched for time!

Radishes with Creamy Ricotta

Place 1 cup of ricotta in a small bowl and drizzle with a Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil and 1/8 tsp each sea salt and black pepper Serve with two bunches of radishes.

Sauteed Spinach and Basil

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add1 bunch of spinach and 2 cups fresh basil leaves. Add 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper and cook, tossing until wilted for two to three minutes.

Minted Watermelon Salad

Cut up a quarter of a medium watermelon and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 thinly slidec red onion, 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves and 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper.

Parchment-baked Halibut with Orange

Place 4- 6ounce pieces of skinless halibut fillet (my personal preference would be to use red snapper) on 2 12-to 15-inch pieces of parchment, keeping the fish to one side; season with 1/2 tsp sea salt adn 1/4 tsp black pepper. Dividing evenly, top with 12 sprigs fresh thyme and 1 thinly sliced small orange. Fold the paper over the fish and make folds along the sides. Bake on a baking sheet at 400 for 12 minutes. Cut the packets open and serve.

What are your favorite simple, three-ingredient recipes?

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