Macro Mondays: Tempeh

Most people who get their protein from plant sources look to beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu. These are great choices, don't get me wrong, but you are surely missing out if you haven't tried tempeh. 

MM: Tasty Tempeh


What is it? 

Tempeh originates from Indonesia and is a traditional fermented soy product. While tofu is also a soy product, due to the fermenting process, tempeh has a completely different taste and nutritional profile.  It is much denser and firmer than tofu, which I like, as it is easier to slice and cook with. I also find it easier to digest (probably because of the fermentation). It comes in a cake or block, usually in the same section as you would find tofu.

According to, tempeh is extremely high in manganese, as well as copper, phosophorus, B2 & magnesium. These trace minerals are often hard to find in forms that we can metabolize well, so being able to eat it in a plant based fermented form is truly amazing.

Some Ideas for How to Eat & Cook it: 

1. Tempeh Stir Fry

One of the quickest ways to add some protein to your stir fry is to toss in some tempeh. I would recommend cutting it into cubes or slices, and frying it in a bit of sesame or toasted sesame oil.I made this for lunch the other day and we served it with some leftover brown rice, and everyone was very pleased.


**Please see this recipe at the end of the post.

2. Sandwiches

One of my absolute favourite sandiwiches is a Tempeh Reuben. Simply slice and lightly fry the tempeh. Spread some mustard on some high quality bread. Add the tempeh, and top it off with all natural sauerkraut. Prepare to die of happiness.  For more details check out my previous Macro Monday post where we looked at the Art of Macro Sandwiches.

3. Use it in place of meat such as bacon or sausages. 

One of the popular uses of tempeh is to create "tempeh bacon." Truthfully, I was never much of a bacon eater, so I don't personally have an overwhelmingly large need to recreate it, but I bet tempeh bacon would be delicious. Here's one of many recipes you could try. You can slice and marinate the tempeh in a wide variety of sauces, then either bake or fry it to make a very appealing meat replacement. You could serve it alongside some roasted sweet potato fries or hashbrowns for a delicious meat-free brunch. Perhaps serve it with some mushroom leek gravy and millet mashed potatoes for a celebratory dinner.

Kale, Leek & Tempeh Stir Fry

  • 1 TSBP sesame oil or toasted sesame oil.
  • 1 package of tempeh
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cups baby kale
  • 1-3 tsp shoyu (soy sauce). 

  1. Saute the leeks first in a bit of toasted sesame oil with a pinch of sea salt until slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the tempeh, and stir for a few moments, then place a lid on. Let the tempeh heat all the way through. If it's sticking, add a tiny bit of water.
  3. Add in the baby kale along with shoyu to taste, and put the lid on.
  4. Stir a few times, waiting until kale has softened. 
  5. Serve with some form of grain for a complete meal! 


What's your favourite way to eat Tempeh? 

Kale Salad & Some Blog Updates.

Hi guys,

Just wanted to let you know that I've been slowly updating all my pages over here. I guess spring cleaning has finally hit the Dainty Pig.

My Recipes & About pages, along with all others are continually being updated. I'm focusing on adding in more links to my recipes and posts with information.

If you'd like to see more of anything, feel free to comment or email anytime!

And because this is a foodie place, here's something nice & fresh from my world:

2 Minute Kale Salad



  • 2-3 cups baby kale
  • 3 small carrots
  • 4 red radishes
  • couple handfuls of peashoots
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1-2 TBSP Olive oil
  • Some sesame salt, vegetable seasoning & kelp powder (optional)


  1. Rinse & Chop all veggies.
  2. In the bottom of your serving dish mix up the olive oil, lemon juice, and optional seasoning.
  3. Add in the veggies & mix thoroughly.
  4. Serve with something grainy--> we ate this with some organic tortilla chips for a super speedy lunch.

Love always,


Macrobiotic Black Rice Recipe

Often people associate Macrobiotics with brown rice. While the Macrobiotic diet is incredibly varied, brown rice does play a strong role, as it is a very balanced food that is easy to digest and full of nutrients. This week, we're taking brown rice out for a joy ride, and cooking it with something new: black rice!


Macro Mondays: Black Rice

Black rice is very very healthy! Like other whole grain rice, it is rich in fibre & vitamin Bs. But black rice kicks it up a notch, because it has tons of anthocyanin antioxidants because of it's dark colour, just like blackberries & blueberries. These dark plant antioxidants are potentially cancer-fighting. Black rice is also known as purple rice or forbidden rice, and has been revered in China for centuries

A big THANK YOU to my lovely friends Kenji & Harumi for sending it to me all the way from Japan :)

Me, super happy because I found a Japanese parcel in the mailbox!

Me, super happy because I found a Japanese parcel in the mailbox!

It might have taken a few months, Kenji, but I finally made it, and we loved it!

This was my first time cooking it myself, and I can't wait to make it again. We made it in the pressure cooker with short grain rice (2 parts short grain 1 part black rice). We both thought that it added a really nice rich & sweet flavour. In fact, our leftovers disappeared really quickly!

Macrobiotic Black & Brown Rice [3 cooking methods]


Please Gather:

  • 2 cups short grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed
  • 3.5 cups spring water

Soak the above for about 6 hours or overnight (you can soak it right in the Ohsawa pot, if you're using it, or in the pressure cooker, or in the saucepan if you're boiling).

Once it's done soaking, you're ready to cook!

*Please always follow your own pressure cooker's directions!

Version #1 - Ohsawa Pot

  1. There needs to be 3.25 cups of water in with the rice, including the soaking water. I usually have to add in about 1 cup more fresh spring water after it's done soaking.
  2. Add a pinch of salt, put the lid on the Ohsawa pot, and lower it into the pressure cooker. I usually add about 3-4 cups water to the pressure cooker, and rest the closed Ohsawa pot on the trivet that came with my pressure cooker.
  3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, and bring to full pressure. Turn heat down to the lowest setting to maintain full pressure, and cook for 30 mins. Take off the heat, and let the pressure come down naturally (10-20 mins).
  4. Fluff up & serve.

Version #2 - Pressure Cooker with no Ohsawa Pot

  1. You need there to be 5.5 cups of water in with the rice, including the soaking water. Add whatever you need to make up the difference.
  2. Bring the rice to boil in the pressure cooker with the lid off.
  3. Add in a good pinch or two of sea salt.
  4. Fasten the lid, and bring it up to full pressure (2 bars in my kuhn rikon).
  5. Keep on the lowest heat to maintain full pressure, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Take off the heat, and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  7. Release any remaining pressure, and then fluff up & serve.

Version #3 - Stove Top (boiling)

  1. There should be between 5-6 cups of water in the pot, including the soaking water. You will most likely need to add 2 cups of fresh spring water.
  2. Bring to boil, and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Lower temperature until it's only simmering, and put the lid on.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't bubble over.
  5. If you need to add a bit more water, you can!
  6. Take off the heat, and let the rice rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then fluff up and serve.
  7. This is pretty much my basic brown rice, dainty pig style!


It's purple. It's pretty. And I bet it would taste dang good with some adzuki beans in there too & topped with black sesame. And since my idea wheel is turning, I'm thinking that it's sweet flavour would make it amazing in rice pudding.

Have you ever tried / made black rice?

The Journey of 1 pot of Quinoa into 3 Summer Macrobiotic Meals.

One Pot of Quinoa --> 3 Summer Meals


Summer is wonderful. Sunshine, hot weather, flowers; you just can't beat it. Part of enjoying the summer is enjoying patio meals, quick picnics, barbeques, and dining outside. Usually, I find myself spending less & less time in the kitchen as the weather improves. And while blue corn chips, salsa, and guacamole make a lovely quick summer treat, and coconut milk icecream at a BBQ are's nice to have a quick meal that is full of whole grains and veggies that is sitting in your fridge ready and waiting for you to gobble up. And bonus, these less than 10 minute meals taste awesome with a side of blue corn chips, guacamole & sunshine.

So, I dare you to cook up one batch of quinoa, and mix it, mash it, flavour it, salad-ify it, wrap it, re-use it, so that you can prepare a meal in less than 10 mins., feel nourished, and enjoy the sunshine.

Step #1: Make Quinoa the Dainty Pig Way

The Dainty Pig way to prepare quinoa is to TOAST it. It makes it a million times better.

  1. Take 3 cups of quinoa and rinse if it's not pre-rinsed.
  2. Heat a saucepan or fry pan over med-high heat.
  3. Add the quinoa in, and stir constantly as it browns & toasts.
  4. It will smell delicious when you know it's done, usually about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Carefully (*watch for splattering), add in 6 cups of filtered water, stir around, and bring to boil.
  6. Add in a good pinch or two or sea salt, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Store in the fridge to make these 3 delicious meals over the next few days!

*For the following two meals, I have found that prepping a few hours or even the night before is great. You can prep and store the whole thing in a glass container with a lid in the fridge. Then, when you want to serve, give it a few shakes and it's good to go.

*I don't use much garlic in my cooking, but feel free to if you want!

Meal 1: Asparagus, Black Eyed Peas, & Pesto Quinoa Salad.



  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-4TBSP pesto of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp kelp powder
  • 1 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed or blanched, then cut into small pieces
  • 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed & drained
  • pea shoots or other leafy green (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa per person


  1. Mix lemon juice, kelp powder and Pesto in the bottom of your container or serving bowl.
  2. Add in the asparagus & beans.
  3. Add in the quinoa & toss well.
  4. Add in the optional greens (*here I used pea shoots), and toss once more.
  5. Devour.

*If you're a cheese eater, this will taste amazing with some goat cheese feta & fennel in there. My sister & I had something similar last summer out, and it was phenomenal.

*Here I used a vegan pesto, made from sunflower seeds, basil, lemon & spices. It was amazing!

Meal 2: Quinoa Tabbouleh with Snap Peas



  • Juice of 1 lemon (or more if you love lemon as much as I do)
  • 1-2Tbsp high quality olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp water (if desired).
  • Sea salt to taste and/or vegetable seasoning salt.
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp kelp powder
  • 1/2 - 1 bunch curly parsley minced (or just ripped up a bit) depending on how green you like your tabbouleh
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, rinsed and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cooked quinoa per person


  1. Add lemon juice, olive oil, kelp powder and salt/seasoning salt to bottom of bowl, and mix.
  2. Add in the water if you'd like a higher volume of dressing.
  3. Add in the snap peas and the parsley, stirring.
  4. Add in the quinoa last, and mix well.

I recommend serving this one with some good pita bread, and hummus. You can wrap it all up together, and thank me later!

Meal 3: Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Casserole.

This takes less than 10 minutes to prep, then you can pop this bad boy into the oven and relax while wait by sipping some refreshing iced herbal tea on the front steps.



  • 1 bunch kale, destemmed if you prefer, and diced.
  • 1 bunch broccolini, chopped up
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, for sauteing
  • Couple tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1-3 tsp shoyu
  • 2-4 cups cooked quinoa, whatever amount you have left!
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1.5 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy, and have also made it with almond milk)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-3 tsp dried thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat sesame oil in pan over med-high heat.
  3. Saute leeks with a pinch of sea salt, until translucent.
  4. Add in kale, stirring, until softened.
  5. Add in lemon juice and shoyu, then the broccolini, stirring for a few minutes.
  6. Take veggies off the heat, & let them rest in the pan until you're ready for 'em.
  7. Pour the quinoa into an ovenproof dish (I didn't oil mine, but you can if you prefer).
  8. Make up your casserole sauce:Whisk together the tahini, milk, salt & thyme.
  9. Spread veggies out on top of the quinoa.
  10. Pour the sauce evenly over the veggies. It will seep into the quinoa while it cooks.
  11. Cover casserole dish with lid or tinfoil.
  12. Bake for around 30 minutes, until everything is nice and hot.
  13. Leftovers are easy...just throw 'em back in the oven!

So that's it! Three summertime meals, ready to go and waiting for you. You can take any of these meals and throw them inside a wrap or pita, or serve alongside or on top of a green salad.

*Some Other Ways to Use Up Extra Quinoa:

  • Make a Macrobiotic Mexican Feast!
  • Heat some up with nondairy milk as a porridge in the morning.
  • Simply use it cold in the morning, and top with nondairy milk & berries!
  • You can even blend up quinoa into your smoothie!
  • And of course, throw some into your favourite cookies and muffins.

Macro Mondays: Macrobiotic Sandwich School.

Sandwiches are delicious. They are easy to pack if you are on the go, and they can be as filling or as light as your day requires. Just because you've decided to eat more in tune with Macrobiotics, doesn't mean that you have to give up delicious sandwiches. This post was most definitely inspired by some amazingly delicious sandwiches I ate while visiting the West Coast these past few weeks. For this weeks Macro Mondays, let's examine just how to make a macrobiotic sandwich.

MM: The Art of a Macrobiotic Sandwich

Organic Wholegrain Spelt Sourdough with smoked tofu, lettuce, hummus, roasted veggie spread, and a few avocado slices.

Organic Wholegrain Spelt Sourdough with smoked tofu, lettuce, hummus, roasted veggie spread, and a few avocado slices.

1. Choose GOOD bread.

This means no wonder bread. Usually it also means no bread that has an expiry date months in the future. I'm talking about the kind of bread that requires you to chew!! Hearty, grainy, crusty bread that is full of flavour and love. Find a good bakery that makes true sourdough bread. Bread that is made this way has no yeast, and is much much MUCH easier to digest. And also, much tastier. If possible, choose one that is fully or at least partially whole grain. My favourite bakery here in Edmonton, what used to be called Treestone, stone grinds their own flour, using local organic grains, and most loaves are all natural sourdough. Yum!

2. Find something spreadable.

Instead of the regular old mayo situation (FYI - mayo has always been my most hated food...not sure why, but it just grosses me out!), try some good quality mustard, vegetable spreads, hummus, dairy free pesto, or even a small amount of olive oil or flax oil. I have also used various nut/seed butters including tahini (you could even whip up some tahini + lemon +miso dressing). These things will all add flavour, and prevent your sandwich from becoming too dry. If you want a non-strict-macro treat, try guacamole or avocado. The sandwich above had some form of vegetable spread on the bottom, and hummus on the top. So good.

3. Pick a protein.

I recommend lightly sauteed extra firm tofu, smoked tofu, or some tempeh. These all have great texture, and seem vaguely reminiscent of deli meats. You could also choose to omit this part if you are using hummus as your spread, as it's already full of protein. If you feel like being adventurous, try falafels, or a lentil patty. If you are using a wrap, you can throw in some black beans or pinto beans. If you're a fish eater, salmon sandwiches are pretty stellar.

4. Something green.

Lettuce. Arugula. Kale. Collards. If you don't want them raw, you can lightly steam the greens to make them a bit more digestible, and also to try a new texture. I love throwing in pea shoots, sprouts, and herbs like parsley too.

5. Something crunchy.

Cucumbers...radishes...sauerkraut. Natural dill pickles. Pickled beets. You get it. Tempeh reubens with real sauerkraut ---> heaven.

6. Randoms & Fun Suprises.

These would be things that are really yummy, and allow you to use what you have in your fridge. I like sauteed portabella mushrooms, or leftover roasted vegetables. Throw in some baked pumpkin pieces for a whole new taste. You can also try adding in dulse for some salty goodness.

Tempeh Reuben with sauerkraut, pickled beets, and mustard. My mom loved it. I was a little jealous, not going to lie.

Tempeh Reuben with sauerkraut, pickled beets, and mustard. My mom loved it. I was a little jealous, not going to lie.

If I had to pick an all time favourite Macro sandwich, I'd have to go with a tempeh reuben, like the one above. Hearty crusty sourdough rye bread, with good mustard, real sauerkraut, and lightly sauteed Tempeh is truly a treat. Pair it with some soup, and you're in for a heavenly lunch.

What's your favourite kind of sandwich?!

Keep it simple.

I've been all about the throw-it-together with whatever lurks in my fridge kind of meals these days.

I enjoyed this one for dinner, a few weeks back when the weather was a tad warmer: 


Brown Rice, sauteed carrots, celery & radish, steamed kale and corn, and baked squash and leeks.

This meal took surprisingly little work, despite the fact that it included multiple dishes. A perhaps obvious tip, when making multiple dishes, is to start the longest cooking one first. Timing is everything, after all.

1.  I baked a butternut squash in the oven for ~50 mins @400F.

My method for baking squashes is: Cut the squash in half, take out all the seeds & gunk, rub a bit of salt on the flesh, and place cut side down in a baking dish filled with about 1/2-1" of water. Bake at 400F for 30-40 mins. Then take out, dump out the remaining water, flip the squash over, and put it back in the oven for another 15 mins or so. So yummy!

2. Once the squash was in the oven, I rinsed the brown rice & got the pressure cooker going. Once up to full pressure (2 bars in my lovely dear kuhn rikon) I cooked it for 35 mins, then let it naturally release for 15 minutes. If you're new to cooking brown rice check out: brown rice dainty pig style version 1 (boiling) & version 2 (pressure cooking).

3. While the squash & rice were cooking, I washed some kale, and some corn on the cob. I cut up a carrot, celery stalk, and a few radishes.

4. After 20 minutes or so, I put a cut up leek (with a bit of sea salt and olive oil) in the oven for about 25-30 mins in a separate little dish.

5. When the squash was done, I turned the oven off, and kept it inside the oven until everything else was ready. I prepared 2 pots for the corn and kale.

6. When the pressure was down on the rice, I took the lid off and let it sit in the cooker for ~5 mins (this helps it from sticking!).  While the rice was cooling, I put the corn into a few inches of boiling water (that i started while the rice pressure was coming down). Once the corn was done, about 4 minutes later, to save dishes I put the celery, carrots, and radish into the same water. I added a tiny bit of shoyu and let cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring. Meanwhile, I steamed the kale in a few cm of water.

6. Serve everything up & feast! Bonus: most of the veggies in my fridge got used!


Fast lunch - rice cake heaven.

Sometimes rice cakes make the perfect lunch.

They're great, because they last for a long time in the cupboard, and they are a wonderfully crunchy gluten-free option for me. Also, they are tasty with pretty much any topping, sweet or savoury.


For lunch, I usually go the savoury route, and one of my favourite things is making a mock-hummus with whatever beans I have on hand, and some sort of greens.


These were organic black beans, mixed with a tiny pinch of cayenne, lemon, and olive or flax oil. I topped it with some fresh pea shoots. The only problem do you eat it without everything falling off? Well, here's the best solution I've found:


Yup. Nori---that thing you see on sushi. Simply rip up a sheet into 4 squares, and use 2 squares layered on top of eachother per rice cake. It makes it like a sandwich, while providing tons of tasty good-for-you minerals. And it's much, much easier to hold.

Another favourite combo I've been enjoying recently is:

  • pumpkin or sunflower seed butter
  • mustard (the wholegrain kind with apple cider vinegar)
  • sauerkraut (traditional, no vinegar kind)
  • a giant pile of lettuce
  • nori on top

The good thing about eating some fresh raw greens is that the watery nature of raw veggies is more yin, compared to the contractive yang nature of rice cakes. 

I usually cut up a few carrots, celery, and radish to munch on along with the rice cakes. Sometimes I steam the veggies on side---just depends on my mood.

My favourite brands for rice cake ingredients are: 

Side note: I've found the best price for these ingredients to be at iHerb -- especially for the rice cakes. Even living in Canada, the prices are so low that including the shipping, it's still cheaper than most store prices. I usually order a box from iherb every couple of months, filled with my favourite macrobiotic goodies, teas, and natural organic soaps. Using my code  ROP008 at checkout will get you $5-$10 off your first order. 

Do you like rice cakes? What do you put on them?

Celeriac & Carrot Soup - with kombu dashi

I've been debating what recipe to post first on the dainty pig's new blog home. You see, I've done a lot of baking recently. But this soup was just SO good. I mean the kind of good where you plan for leftovers but end up eating the whole pot of soup in one go. Wait..that's happened to you before, right?  


This creamy, slightly sweet, completely comforting soup is surprisingly simple, quick and easy, but tastes beyond delicious.

I'm also rather embarrassed to say that it's my first time trying celeriac. This lovely & fragrant root vegetable made it's way into my kitchen because it happened to be included in the organic vegetable box we get delivered every couple of weeks. I took it out of the box, and it looked pretty yucky...gritty, dirty, and shaped rather weirdly. But I had faith that it would turn out to be an ugly duckling kind of situation. Looks like I was right.

Carrot & Celeriac Soup

*largely inspired by this recipe @ the nourishing gourmet


  • 1-2 TBSP vegetable oil -- I used olive oil
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced, most the white part
  • 4 small-medium celery roots, peeled & diced
  • 4 giant carrots (~6 medium carrots), cut into chunks
  • 8 cups of veggie broth (I used kombu-dashi, kelp broth, see directions at bottom of post)
  • few pinches of sea salt
  • parsley & pumpkin seeds for garnish, if desired


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, over medium heat (making sure oil doesn't smoke)
  2. SautΓ© green onions for a few minutes
  3. Add carrots & sautΓ© for another couple of minutes.
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top, and put lid on. Let the veggies "sweat" for a few minutes (adding a tiny bit of water if necessary, to prevent burning)
  5. Gently pour in the broth, give a quick stir.
  6. Add in celery root, and let soup come to a boil.
  7. Simmer with the lid on for 20-25 minutes, until veggies are tender (mine took only 20 mins.).
  8. Very carefully puree or blend soup, to create a creamy & thick consistency. If you are in no rush, then I recommend letting the soup cool for a bit, before spooning it into a blender. I personally used an immersion blender in the big pot I cooked it in.
  9. Pour back into saucepan and reheat. Taste and add a bit more sea salt if necessary.
  10. Serve immediately, garnishing with some parsley and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Kombu Dashi

  • Take a few 2" squares of dried kelp (kombu). Wipe off excess salt if desired, and then place in the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Pour 8 cups of boiling water over top.
  • Put a lid or plate on top of the bowl, and let sit at least 30 minutes. The longer the better.
  • Remove kelp and use liquid as a very quick stock for any soups / sauces.

* My favourite restaurant in Japan used kombu dashi in lots of their cooking.  Another version is to simply let the kombu soak in room-temperature water (or in the fridge) overnight. The longer soaking time with cooler water does the trick.

We ate this soup with a side of steamed greens, and some leftover brown rice. It was so good I would have eaten it for breakfast, had we managed to keep leftovers.

Have you ever eaten celeriac? How do you enjoy it?


I have been just LOVING nishime-style veggies lately.

If you haven't ever tried making veggies like this, then please do.

You won't regret it!

It's quite simple to do: it's just cooking layered veggies, with a tiny bit of water, for a long time. They're very lightly seasoned with sea salt or shoyu.  But, the veggies become soft and buttery like no other technique i've ever tried. Parsnips and Carrots become extra sweet and yummy. In fact, T & I often have to rock paper scissors for the last piece of parsnip.

The one below was made with leeks, daikon, carrots & parsnip. It cooked have cooked down a little more so there was less liquid left, but I was in a bit of a rush.


Served with a really lazy "brown rice ball" and steamed greens.


Served with steamed greens, and millet soup with pinto beans and corn.

Here's a link to the recipe I usually use.

It's from The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobioticsby Jessica Porter.

I don't often cook with onions, so I subbed some leeks in, instead.

Coming this week: a recap of my lifestyle & diet SPRING CLEANING experience.

What's your favourite nishime combination?