Smarter Living: Recipes



Thanks to for sharing this delicious, meatless recipe as adapted from Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley.


  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 lb. cremini or white button mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus
  • 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 3 lemons
  • Dried currants
  • 1 lb. tempeh
  • Couscous
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Sea salt



  1. Peel and coarsely grate the carrots. Peel and thinly slice the red onion.
  2. Trim and thickly slice the mushrooms.
  3. Trim and cut the asparagus into 1/2-inch lengths.
  4. Trim and remove the strings from the sugar snap peas. Coarsely chop them.
  5. Rinse and pat dry the cilantro. Pluck 1/2 cup leaves.
  6. Rinse and pat dry the mint. Pluck 1/2 cup leaves.
  7. Squeeze enough lemons through your fingers until you have just under 1/2 cup juice.
  8. Measure out 1/3 cup juice into a small bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl measure 2 tbsps. lemon juice.
  9. Cut the tempeh into 1-inch squares. Grind 2 tsps. cumin seed and 1 tsp. coriander seed in a spice mill or mortar and pestle. Whisk them into the 1/3 cup lemon juice, along with 2 tsps. paprika and 1/2 tsp. (or to taste) cayenne pepper.
  10. Whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 1/4 cups of water.

Start Cooking

  1. Arrange the tempeh squares in a single layer in a heavy skillet. Pour the spice mixture over the tempeh and set the skillet over high heat.
  2. When the liquid boils reduce the heat so it is simmering. Cover and simmer until almost, but not all, of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. If it gets dry, add a little more water.
  3. While the tempeh is cooking, make the couscous. In a medium saucepan over high heat, warm 2 tbsps. oil. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 6 minutes.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooking, bring 1-1/4 cups water to a boil. After the mushrooms have cooked for 6 minutes, pour the boiling water over them.
  5. Stir the asparagus and the peas into the mushroom mixture and return it to a simmer. Stir in the couscous and 2 tsps. salt. Stir, cover and remove from the heat. Let sit so the couscous plumps for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Check the tempeh to be sure there is enough liquid in the pan.
  7. While the couscous is plumping and the tempeh is cooking, make the carrot salad. Mince the mint and the cilantro leaves and whisk them into the 2 tbsps. lemon juice, along with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the grated carrots and the currants and toss well. Taste for seasoning.
  8. Check the tempeh. It should be hot, plump and fragrant.
  9. Uncover the couscous and fluff it with a fork. Divide it among 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of tempeh and serve, with the carrot salad alongside.

Dinner is ready!

last revised 8/9/2011

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