Thursday, August 30, 2012

On the Run: Merrell Down & Dirty 10K

Ever since doing Tough Mudder at the beginning of the summer I've been itching to do another obstacle/mud run so when I found out about the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud and Obstacle Series, I signed up right away for the 10K.  (If you haven't heard of it before it may be because this was the first year it's been in Detroit.)  I didn't sign up with anyone but hoped that maybe I could convince a friend to join me in the fun.  If not I'd just go it alone.  Unlike Tough Mudder, none of the obstacles are difficult enough to need a team and with it only being 6.2 miles, I wouldn't get too lonely before it was over.  As it turned out, however, friend and fellow Tough Mudder Andy signed up, so we went on the adventure together.  We took his Subaru, which got us free VIP parking and lots of great Subaru swag - tee shirts, sun screen, and lip balm.  So we had to get a picture with the Subaru.  (Shhh, don't tell my Ford husband!  Although I suspect he may see this post.)

The event was held at Kensington Metropark, which turned out to be a great location.  There was a nice open area for the start, finish, showers, bag check, etc. and the trails were beautiful for the course.  There was also a nice lake for the water obstacle.  And it only took us about 40 minutes to get there so as I said, a great location!

The 10K started at 7:30 and was organized into waves that were 4 minutes apart.  It wasn't too busy of a race but that definitely helped keep the trail and obstacles less crowded.  We started in the first wave that wasn't military and safety personnel (that wave only had a few runners in it) so we were right up at the front.  Andy took off like a shot as I struggled up the first damp grassy hill.  It was at this point that I remembered my plan to do more trail running this summer.  oops.  Because that's all this race was - trail running.  But once I got warmed up I felt great!  I love running on the trails, up and down the hills, through the trees, over sand one moment and grass the next, not knowing what's coming next.  It's such a different sensation than what I'm used to with road running!  

Although I was a little behind at the beginning, I quickly gained speed and momentum and started to pass one person after another during the first 3 miles.  To steal a Scott Jurek term, I "chicked a lot of dudes."  haha!  I noted that many people slowed down a bit after completing an obstacle; I just kept right on going.  They would scale a wall and then stop for a drink.  I would hop down and keep right on running.  It was awesome!  

As I mentioned, all of the obstacles were easy enough to complete without help.  Up to this point they were the Monkey Cross, Cargo Net Climb, Balance Beams, Marine Hurdles, Tires, Ladder Walls, Low Walls, 5' Walls, Sand Bag Carry, and Pushups.  Funny story about the pushups.  I read ahead of time that we were going to have to do 20 of them but when we got to that part the military guy was telling us we had to do 10.  I said, "10 pushups?  I thought it was 20?"  He shrugged and said, "Okay, 20 pushups!"  I know everyone hated me.

I actually caught up with Andy again, I think around mile 5, heading up the steepest hill in the race toward the inflatable slide.  I had been running with another girl who, too, had passed a lot of guys and then the three of us sort of stuck together for a bit - through the Tunnels, the Water Crossing, and the first Mud Pit.  Then Andy and I pulled ahead.  We were almost to the end.  Three obstacles remained - the High Wall, Slippery Mountain, and the final Mud Pit.  High Wall?  Not so high, really, and with hand and footholds it was a cinch.  Slippery Mountain?  Well, they were not kidding about it being slippery!  It was a huge slanted wall coated with shampoo and you had pull yourself up by a rope.  I managed it in one attempt but it was definitely a challenge.  The most difficult obstacle by far!  Poor Andy didn't have such an easy time.  He completed the obstacle but it took him a few more attempts.  Don't ever say he's not a fighter!  

Then there was the final Mud Pit before you ran across the finish line.  I finished in 57:33 and placed 3rd in my age group.  Wahoo!  That's only 2:30 slower than my than my slowest non-obstacle 10K!  I didn't realize that I get a bronze medal but I supposedly have it coming in the mail.  I'll be sure to show you that when I get it.  Andy was just a few minutes behind me.  I was so proud of him!  This was only his second timed race and his first 10K.  He rocked!  (If only it weren't for that damn soap wall!)

After getting properly photographed, we hosed off and changed before heading over to the Burger Bash.  I gotta say that Down & Dirty knows how to do a Burger Bash right!  You ordered ahead of time and could choose either a meat burger, veggie burger, or fruit salad.  Yay for fruit salad!  It was pretty good quality fruit, too.  We just hung out on the grass enjoying our food, listening to the live music, and soaking up the sun. 

Then Andy got a haircut.  (It was for charity.  And he needed a haircut.)

Did I mention that there was a human hamster wheel?  I still regret not going in the it but we'd already been at Kensington for the entire morning so we figured it was time to get going.  And once you get in that thing there's no telling how long you'll stay in it.  Next year I'm definitely going in the human hamster wheel!  Maybe while Andy is getting his hair cut.

This race was so much fun.  I can't wait to do it again next year!

Anyone else get Down & Dirty?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Farmer's Market Fridays - 8/24/12

All summer long I knew this day would come but there is still no way I could be prepared for it.  How could I be prepared for my last summer Friday?  How could I be ready for the last Friday where I get to wake up and go to yoga, then leisurely stroll over to Starbucks for my coffee and oatmeal (which, BTW, I don't even have to order anymore because my ladies know me so well), and then go hang out at the farmer's market with all my favorite vendors - nay - friends?  There's no way to be ready for that.  No way.

But alas, ready or not, today was that day.  The weather was gorgeous so I really took my time at the market, chatting it up at all my favorite booths - Perkins Pickles, The Granola Tree, and Cellar Door Soap Co.  (In fact, I talked for so long that my mom finally left me at the market and went home!)  

I was most excited about Perkins Pickles because I used up my chow chow a few weeks ago and have been craving it ever since.  Although it was quite tempting to buy more, I limited myself to two jars.  Oh, and look!  It matches my hair!

At The Granola Tree I bought two more jars of Carrot Cake Jam and one of Cranberry Orange Marmalade.  You know how I love to make my Carrot Cake Jam Oatmeal!  I also found that the Cranberry Orange Marmalade, with slivered almonds and dried cranberries, makes a fantastic oatmeal, as well.

Believe it or not, I managed to walk away from Cellar Door without buying any soap.  It wasn't easy but I managed.  It helped that Brandon told me I couldn't buy any.  Repeatedly.  I'm glad he intervened because I need to save my soap money for next weekend when the Fall and Halloween soaps come out.  There are going to be TEN of them!!  And you know that I won't be able to pick and choose so I'll be coming home with TEN new soaps next week.  Brandon has been previewing one new soap each day on Facebook and will continue to do so up until the September 1st release date.  So far we've seen "Witches Brew," "Zombie Repellent," "Chai Latte," and "Apple Wood."  I can't wait to see the rest - and buy them all!  Muhahahahaha!

There was a new vendor this week at the market - Motor City MunchiesThey sell energy bars made with medjool dates, nuts, and hemp or chia seeds.  (Similar to Larabars but local, fresher, and more flavorful.)  In addition to the base ingredients, some also have vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, or cacao nibs.  They are all organic, gluten free, raw, and vegan.  There are 3 flavors - Raw Energy, Raw Vitality, and Raw Indulgence.  I sampled all three.  While all of the bars were delicious, I ended up buying the Raw Indulgence Bar, which has dates, cashews, cacao nibs, coconut, hemp seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon.  (Definitely the most indulgent of the three!)  While the bars are not cheap - $3 each - I wanted to support this new local business and figured it would be a nice treat.

I also finally bought some of Matt's Mix all-purpose seasoning.  Matt has been at the market for years.  I was talking to him last week about different vegetarian/vegan restaurants (his wife is vegan) and it occurred to me that I've never tried his mix!  So today I made sure to buy some.  It's a blend of Kosher salt, garlic, herbs, and spices that he claims is "great on everything!"  And I really don't think he would say it was if it wasn't.  I plan on using it on grilled veggies, kale chips, and popcorn with nutritional yeast.  There are recipes on his website; he specifically recommended I try the Black Bean Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad with Red Quinoa.  Thanks, Matt.  I think I will! 

Oh, and I bought some produce.  I picked up 4 huge red tomatoes and a massive bunch of curly kale.  Gotta make my kale chips - with Matt's Mix, of course!

So, that was my last summer Farmer's Market Friday.  But even though it was MY last day, the market still goes until the end of October.  Although who knows, perhaps I'll manage to sneak off work and get in one more trip before the season is over . . .

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review: Eat and Run

I don't really get into non-fiction.  I love to read but tend to pick up novels - love stories, psychological thrillers, the (ahem) occasional young adult vampire series.  I blame it on all the non-fiction I've had to read for school and still have to read for work.  To me novels are more of an escape.

Along came Scott Jurek's book Eat and Run.  I knew this was a book I had to read.  Yes, it's non-fiction but it's a memoir so that makes it a little easier.  But that's beside the point.  You see, Scott Jurek is a runner.  But he isn't just any runner.  He's an ultra runner, which means he runs distances of 50 miles, 100 miles, 150 miles, or more.  Pretty intense.  

But Scott Jurek isn't just any ultra runner.  He's a VEGAN ultra runner.  So that means he runs these distances on a vegan diet.  Do you know the crap I hear about running 13 miles on a vegan diet?  So like I said, my friends, this is a book I had to read.

Scott writes about his family and childhood, back before he was a runner, when he used to hunt with his father.  He writes of his transition from meat-eater to vegetarian to vegan, along with a stint as raw vegan (too much time chewing, he said).  Each chapter describes a race he either ran in or trained for, along with what was happening in his life at the time and the friendships he made along the way.  There are amazing stories of perseverance in the face of pain, sickness, exhaustion, and injury.  Some of the stories border on insanity, yes, but they are amazing nonetheless! 

In addition to the stories, at the end of each chapter Scott offers training tips for the everyday runner, along with his own vegan recipes.  Most of them look pretty easy to make and they all seem healthy and delicious.  I haven't tried any yet but am especially looking forward to making "Long Run Pizza Bread" and "Coco Rizo Cooler" - a rice/coconut milk drink with chia seeds that sounds refreshing after a hot summer run.

I really love that he shares these recipes for vegans, yes, but more importantly so that non-vegan athletes can see how delicious and satisfying a vegan diet can be!  I always get questions about where I get my protein and Scott addresses this issue.  (And really, if anything, Americans get too much protein.)  Clearly, a well-planned vegan diet will give you all the nutrients you need.  Scott found that as he transitioned to a vegan diet, his speed improved, his recovery time improved, and his overall health (e.g. blood pressure and triglycerides) improved dramatically. 

And honestly, you cannot NOT be inspired by this man!  I mean, it blows me away that he ran a 100-mile race at a 9:22/mile pace!  Or pushed out an 8-minute mile at mile 90.  (And these are just what stick out in my brain right now - he's probably done even better.)  I've run 10ks that have been slower than that!  Granted, he does a lot of training but it certainly has given me a lot to think about.  Since reading the book I've tried to push myself a bit more, especially when I feel like cutting my planned distance short.  "What's 7 miles?" I thought this morning.  "Scott Jurek might be running 27 - and he'd just be getting warmed up!"

So if you're a runner, whether you run 5ks, 10ks, marathons, or ultras - or maybe you just like to get out there and run a couple miles for fun - do yourself a favor and pick up Eat and Run.  

Read about the time I MET Scott Jurek here!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Easy Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Have an overabundance of cherry or grape tomatoes?  Want an easy, healthy, and delicious way to cook a lot of them at once?  Then get roasting!  Now is the perfect time, especially if you're in Michigan with this oddly cooler August we're having.

I got some beautiful heirloom cherry tomatoes at the farmer's market last week - 1 quart of yellow and 1 quart of some red variety.  You can use any kind you want.  I liked having two different varieties because of the color and flavor contrast.

I follow Susan's method over at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen; however, I usually find my tomatoes to be juicy enough that I don't need to add any broth or water.  Yesterday I stirred in some fresh basil from the garden after the tomatoes were done roasting.  We love these tomatoes so much that we always double the recipe and make it in a 9x11-inch pan - and there are NEVER leftovers!

Brian made bruschetta and spooned it over grilled Italian bread.

I made an entree of mine and served it atop a mix of quinoa and spinach.

There are many different things you can do with the tomatoes once they are roasted.  (Such as add them to my Israeli Couscous & Roasted Vegetable Salad.)  But honestly, they are so delicious you'll have a hard time wanting to do anything but just eat them straight out of the pan!

What do you like to do with roasted tomatoes?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Farmer's Market Fridays - 8/17/12

Today has been the most perfect day.  Which I have to say I really needed because it has not been all that great of a week for me.  (I'll spare you the "Debbie Downer" wah-wah details.  In hindsight, maybe starting my week with reading the Rachel Dratch memoir was a bad idea.)  I woke up feeling pretty positive, though, and was thankful I had yoga to start my day.  I met my mom and Callie at Sattva for a pretty challenging practice.  Although I felt really stiff at the beginning, after what seemed like 20 sun salutes I was a bit more loosened up!

After yoga we walked over to Starbucks for the usual post-yoga breakfast - Perfect Oatmeal with all the toppings and a Venti coffee.  The weather is gorgeous - temps in the low 70's and sunny with blue skies and fluffy white clouds - so we sat outside while we ate and sipped our coffee.  It was the kind of morning where we probably could have sat there for hours because it was so beautiful outside!

But we had to move on.  There were jams to be tasted and soaps to be smelled!  So off to the farmer's market we went.  From The Granola Tree I bought more Carrot Cake Jam (I went through nearly a whole jar in my oatmeal last week!) and a new flavor this week - Cranberry Orange Marmalade.  Mmm, super delish!  I'll be trying that in my oatmeal with some almonds for sure!

My current stash - Carrot Cake, Cranberry Orange, and Strawberry Coconut

Next stop, why Cellar Door Soap Co., of course!  Today I was on a mission for some gentlemanly soaps.  I really want Brian to start using Cellar Door Soaps.  He's been testing out my "Turkish Mocha" and has liked it well enough but I think he would really settle into it if he had his own gentlemanly bar.  (Not that they aren't ALL manly enough but well, you know.)  So anyway, there are a few different scents of the gentlemanly variety and I wanted to make sure to get one that was moisturizing enough for his skin.  Brandon's sister was running the booth today and she suggested either Sex Panther or Blackbeard's Delight.  You probably want to know, "Which one smells better?"  Tough to say.  They both smell pretty awesome.  That's not the question I asked myself, though.  The real question was, "WWNPHD?"  (That's, "What would Neil Patrick Harris do?")  If you read my post a few weeks ago, then you know which soap I bought for Brian.  

I also bought one of the Cellar Door soap wooden soap dishes (pictured below).  I've always used the soap exclusively in the shower but now I'm going to start using it for hand soap.  Uh oh, looks like I'll be going through soap a bit quicker now!

lively Lemon Verbena and sultry Sex Panther

Besides soap, I bought Brian some of his favorite Traffic Jam cookies. I also bought two kinds of heirloom cherry tomatoes - one container of red and one of yellow.  They will be perfect for roasting with just a little salt and pepper and fresh basil.  Our favorite!

Oh, and then I got a pedicure.  I had my toenails painted purple to match the purple streaks in my hair.  What did I tell you?  A perfect day!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Recipes on the Bell Plantation Website!

I submitted two of my PB2 recipes to the Bell Plantation website and they are both up!  Do they put every recipe up that is submitted?  Maybe.  But am I still excited about it?  Of course!  It looks like they've recently redone their recipe section because at first there were some typos and I was embarrassed to admit that they were mine.  Looks as though they've since remedied the situation.  

Since they've gone up on the website I've gotten a lot more traffic on my blog so thanks Bell Plantation!
There are also a lot of other great recipes on the site.  (Not all are vegan, though, but many can be modified.)  Check them out!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oatmeal Cranberry PB2 Balls

Last night I made PB2 Balls but I was out of chocolate chips so I substituted dried cranberries.  I'm not a huge chocolate fan so this was a nice change.  I liked the tartness of the cranberries against the sweetness of the PB2.  I was also out of quick-cooking oats so I used old-fashioned oats and they worked out great.  All I had to do was add a little extra water.  So here if you like my PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls, try the new Oatmeal Cranberry PB2 Balls!

Oatmeal Cranberry PB2 Balls
(printable recipe)


5 tbsp old-fashioned oats
2 tbsp PB2 
2 tbsp dried cranberries 
1 tbsp agave nectar 
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water


Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix well.  Roll dough into three balls (I use my Pampered Chef small scoop) and place in a covered container.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes if you are going to eat them soon or refrigerate if you are not going to eat them right away.

Makes 3 balls.

*If you don't have PB2 you can substitute regular peanut butter, probably 2 tbsp. but you may need to reduce the amount of water slightly.  Please leave a comment below if you make this substitution!  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Circuit Training - Isometrics

For the past few weeks I've been going to a new class called "Circuit Pump".  It's on Thursday nights after cycle so I'm at the gym for two classes.  While cycle is all cardio, circuit is all strength so the two actually complement each other quite well and I don't get over-tired.  It's also the same instructor - Sam - so the first class sort of flows naturally into the second.  By the end of the night I've gotten an amazing full-body workout and it hardly feels like I've been there for over two hours!

For anyone who's never taken a circuit class, the way it works is there are stations set up around the room.  Some circuit classes might be all cardio, some all strength, some a mix of both.  As I said, this class is all strength.  You spend one minute at each station with a very short break as you move to the next.  Once you get through all the stations you have a one minute rest and then you repeat.  In Sam's class we go through 3 times and then do 10 minutes of abs all together at the end.

This week he had us do isometrics, which are static holds rather dynamic movements.  For example, instead of doing squats for a minute we held a squat position.  Instead of doing push-ups we held a low push-up position.  Instead of doing tricep dips we lowered down halfway and held it.  You get the idea.  We used our own body weight for some of the exercises and for some we used a weight, a band, or a stability ball.  

It was an extremely challenging class, especially by the time we hit the stations for the third round.  My muscles were shaking trying to make it to one minute and there were a couple, like the push-up and tricep holds, that I wasn't even able to hold the whole time! Isometrics isn't something that you want to do too often but it's a great way to shake up your strength training every once in a while.

Do you do isometric exercises in your strength training?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Farmer's Market Fridays - 8/10/12

I know it's been two weeks since my last farmer's market post.  It's not that I didn't go last week - I just didn't get anything that seemed exciting enough to write about.  And I have to admit that last Friday I was feeling a little lazy when it came to blogging.  Ah well.  It happens.

Today is a dreary day.  A good day to sit at the computer.  It's cloudy, rainy, and only about 65 degrees.  Quite a change from last week when it was in the upper 90's and sunny! 

Callie - my new sister-in-law (yay!) - joined my mom and me for our Friday morning routine of yoga, Starbucks, and the Farmer's Market.  Since it was raining there weren't as many vendors at the market but there was still a decent turn-out.  I bought 4 big red tomatoes as well as a container of sweet purple cherry tomatoes.

We also visited Cellar Door so Callie could pick up a few bars of soap.  Since there weren't any new scents today I didn't get any for myself but I think I smelled every single bar!  Brandon was telling me about the Halloween soaps he was working on recently.  I can't wait for those!

Well, today seems like a good day to curl up on the couch with the cats and a book.  And probably take a nap.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dinner for One: Steamed Squash Italiano

What's a hungry girl to do when she's on her own for dinner, doesn't want to pick up carry-out, and doesn't want to cook?  Why, make her usual stand-by, Chickpea Teryaki Stir-Fry, of course!  

Except that when I went to get my frozen stir-fry veggies out of the freezer, I realized that I didn't have any.  Oops.  And the last thing I wanted to do was go to Kroger to get some.  I'd already been to that nuthouse once that day.

Okay, Plan B.  In the produce drawer I found a slightly shriveled (but still good) red bell pepper and 2 squash from the Farmer's Market last week.  On the counter we had some gorgeous red ripe tomatoes.  In the drawer we had a can of - you guessed it - chickpeas.  Would it require more work than the frozen veggie stir-fry?  A bit.  Could I still whip up a delicious dinner in less than 30 minutes?  Easily.

It ended up being a really nice change anyway.  It was definitely more light and fresh than the stir-fry.  This made a really large bowl of veggies so it could easily serve 2 people, especially if you want to add some pasta or a grain.  I'm calling it "Dinner for One," however, because I ate it all myself.  The whole entire bowl.  I was pretty full when I was done but since it was just veggies I wasn't weighed down and thus didn't stay full for too long.

Steamed Squash Italiano
(printable recipe)


1 zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch half moons
1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch half moons
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/4 cup vegetable broth or white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Balsamic vinegar (splash or two)
Italian seasoning, to taste
Nutritional yeast, to taste


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the squash, pepper, and broth or wine.  Stir and cover with a lid.  Steam for 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times, until vegetables are tender.

2. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasoning.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and some of the liquid cooks off.  

3. Scoop into a large bowl and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Makes 1 large serving.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Shoes - Brooks Ravenna 3

For the past couple of years I've been running in Nike+ Pegasus.  I used Nikes because I wanted to track my runs using Nike+ iPod so I had to get the shoes that could fit the little foot pod.  Now I have the new iPod Nano that no longer requires the foot pod but because I was used to Nikes I kept wearing them.  What can I say?  I'm a creature of habit.

I like to read up on other brands of running shoes and have started to wonder if there isn't a better one out there for me.  I'm always losing toenails (currently sporting 8.5!) and although that's common for runners, maybe switching my shoes might help.  I've heard great things about Brooks and then one day when we were at REI I saw these and fell in love.  I was drawn in by the contrast of the gray with neon yellow and green.  Super sweet!

Brooks Ravenna 3

I didn't buy them right away.  I waited until we went back with a 20% off coupon.  They were my treat to myself for completing Tough Mudder.  But I didn't wear them right away.  I wanted to get a little more wear out of my current pair.  Then last week I started reading  Eat and Run by vegan ultra runner Scott Jurek (book review to follow).  Jurek is sponsored by Brooks so I was inspired to lace them up this morning for a 9-mile run.  I know it was just the first run but they felt really good.  They're lightweight, comfortable, and seemed to provide the right amount of cushion.  Hopefully they'll hold up well for all the upcoming fall races I'll inevitably be running.

I also tried out my cute new running shorts!  They're PINK!  

What are your favorite running shoes? 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Astro Coffee - Detroit, MI

I recently told you about the just-opened Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. but I can't believe I haven't written a post about this little gem that's been around for a few years.  Astro Coffee is a cozy little shop on Michigan Avenue in Corktown.  It's the kind of place where I always feel like I could sit for hours.  The furniture is an eclectic mix of recycled or refurbished items with wooden tables and chairs.  There are metal stools at the window seat overlooking Michigan Avenue.

In the center of everything is the coffee bar, or what I like to think of as the kitchen.  Because when I'm there I really feel like I'm sitting in someone's kitchen, especially when they're cooking or baking.  (They have food - cakes, sandwiches, croissants - but not often vegan items.  My BFF Katie did have some vegan cake once.)  The whole side wall is a chalkboard with the coffees of the day listed with a flavor description.  My mom and I went today and we each got a different Ethiopian roast.  Hers was a little lighter than mine.  Both were fantastic.  

They do pour-over coffee so after you order you have to wait a few minutes for your coffee.  Although it takes longer and is more expensive than Starbucks, it's a worthwhile treat every once in a while.  Plus the atmosphere is way cooler than any Starbucks I've ever been to!  I've only had their regular coffees but Brian and Katie love their lattes.  And they do latte art - bonus!

If you're looking for a really good cup of coffee or just want to step out of your Starbucks rut, check out Astro Coffee.  You're going to love it!

Astro Coffee is located at 2124 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48216

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chow Chow Time

A couple of weeks ago I told you how I visited the Perkins Pickles booth at the Dearborn Farmer's Market.  (If you haven't read that post, be sure to check it out!)  While I was there I bought chow chow, which is pickled red cabbage, green tomatoes, pearl onions, carrots, and jalapeƱos.  It's been sitting on the counter ever since and I've been looking at it daily, trying to decide just the right thing to put it on.  Finally yesterday I decided to just go for it and try it out on some tempeh burgers.  

I followed this recipe from Whole Foods for the tempeh.  Instead of cutting it into 4 pieces, however, I just cut it in half so it was in 2 thick squares.  (It's a lot easier to grill that way.)  Be sure to marinate it well for the best flavor.  I let mine sit for about 4 hours, flipping halfway through.

When the tempeh was ready we served it on whole-wheat buns with Trader Joe's Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and the chow chow.  Oh wow!  These were the most amazing tempeh burgers I've ever eaten!  The tempeh itself was totally flavorful so even without the chow chow they'd be great.  But with the chow chow?  To die for!

Check out Perkins Pickles on Facebook to find out where you can purchase their chow chow for yourself.  And if you're looking for a simple and delicious tempeh burger, definitely give this recipe a try!