about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh.

This is something I’ve been making consistently for over a year now, and each time I make it I think to myself – have I still not shared this one on the blog yet?  I’ve thought and talked (to Casey) a lot about this space and where I see it going.  And while I know food has been far from the focus for a while now, it’s still something that has remained really important to us.  I’d really like to get back to sharing some of our kitchen creations with you!

Now that my weekends are no longer spend puttering in the garden, mowing the grass, and simply sitting out in the sunshine, I’m feeling myself being drawn back into more cooking.  My goal going forward is to spend a little chunk of the weekends documenting a recipe for each week, and with Casey’s help I should be able to do that most of the time. 

My current focus and enthusiasm is centered around sharing some new Thanksgiving recipes.  I did a whole slew of them back in 2011, but the past two years we’ve mainly just cooked those same recipes over and over again.  And while they still remain some of my favorite dishes, I’m ready to try something new this year. 

This particular dish has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but was something I made for the family last week – and I thought it was long overdue that I share it with you. 

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

When I first dipped my toe into vegetarian cooking (and eating!) I wasn’t a huge fan of tempeh.  I found the taste to be somewhat bitter, and no matter how I tried to cook it (sautéed, baked, etc.) it always came out dry and crumbly.  And then on a trip to DC two years ago, I had this insane tempeh sandwich at Teaism that was so unbelievably juicy and delicious, and I made a vow that I was going to master tempeh myself.  And with this recipe, I feel like I did. 

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (4 to 6 servings)

  • 2 packages tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


If you are new to tempeh, don’t be scared of the outward appearance.  The pieces often have some dark grey or even black discoloring.  This is normal and doesn’t mean it is rotten.  It is sold in large slabs, but I found that the key to getting it soft and juicy is cutting it into small bites prior to cooking – that way all the yummy sauce and flavor coats all sites of every bite!

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Start by cutting the tempeh into bite-sized cubes. I always make two blocks at a time because there are four of us eating it, and I want there to be leftovers for the next day, but you can always halve the recipe to make just one.

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Add the tempeh to a small glass baking dish, and arrange evenly in one layer.  Mince the garlic, peel and mince the ginger, and add to a small mixing bowl. Add orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, and whisk it all to combine.

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Carefully pour the mixture over the tempeh, and set aside for at least an hour to marinate. If possible, leave out on a counter or a kitchen shelf (outside of the refrigerator), as marinating is most effective at room temperature.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Once you are ready to eat, heat a dry non-stick pan or skillet to medium high heat. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the tempeh from the baking dish, and add to the pan, leaving as much marinade as possible behind in the mixing bowl.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

You want to get a bit of color on the dry tempeh before cooking it in the sauce, so cook over medium-high heat for about ten minutes, stirring often, as the cubes get a bit of browning all over.

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Once there is enough color, turn the heat down to medium (around 5 on my electric stovetop!) and pour the rest of the sauce into the pan. It will sizzle and bubble due to the heat of the pain – keep stirring to coat all of the tempeh.

Now you just want to slowly let the sauce reduce. This is where you have to watch carefully. You don’t want it to be thin (like it was as a marinade) but you also don’t want it to completely cook away. Stir frequently for a few minutes as the viscosity of the sauce thickens, and remove from heat once it looks more like a sticky syrup – thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without running right off.

Serve immediately, or store for leftovers. I find this is just as good the next day!

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

I will be honest and tell you that these pictures were sort of thrown together at the last minute.  I’d planned to make some sesame broccoli on the side to photograph nicely with the tempeh, but just as I pulled it off the stove Cullen woke up from his nap with a 102 fever!  Yikes!

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

So don’t mind my messy photos, and promise me that if you are new to tempeh – or if you’d sworn it off in the past – you will give this recipe a try.  It is one of our weekly favorites, and it’s such a great source of healthy vegetarian protein for the whole family. 

Sesame Ginger Orange Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Enjoy – and have a great weekend!

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Halloween 2014!

I remember thinking last year on Halloween that we had finally reached that moment in parenting where suddenly things like holidays and childhood traditions were so much more fun now that we had kids of our own!  Graham was only a few weeks old, snuggled into an Ergo and zipped up inside my jacket away from the October cold, and Cullen was fumbling around in a giant robot costume shouting, “people open doors!” at each house.

And this year?  We had two legitimate trick or treaters!

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My mom found these two dinosaur costumes (or are they lizards??) at the Pottery Barn outlet and gave them to the boys last Christmas.  I had tucked them away and almost forgot about them, until I found them stuffed in a bin a few weeks ago when I was digging around in Cullen’s closet.  The sizes were perfect, and it made costume selection for this year pretty easy. 

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I was worried that there was no way Graham was going to actually wear it, as one year olds are not known for loving anything on their heads!  Every time I tried to try it on him he cried. 

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So on Halloween day, I waited until an hour before trick or treating to even attempt.  The first time I put it on him he ripped it right off, so I got Cullen dressed instead.  Once big brother had his costume on too, he forgot about the headpiece and left it alone – they were cracking each other up!

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And they were definitely cracking me up.  Those big gigantic tails and the spikes down the back.  I could not stop laughing all night. 

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Cullen’s buddy – who we have trick or treated with every single year – came over so we could all go out together.  His family is moving next year so this was their last year of doing it together, which was bittersweet.  Cullen does know yet and I am heartbroken just thinking about it.  Dinosaurs were a popular choice this year!

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Is there anything more fun than little kids in costumes?  Graham was a riot.  (And check out Casey’s amazing puzzle pumpkin!)

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We hung out at the house for a little bit before heading out, and I laughed every time I looked into the playroom…

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I joked that from now on whenever we are having a really tough or grouchy day, I am going to put the kids in costumes.  There is no way to stay angry or yell when your kids look this ridiculous!  :)

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Our neighborhood does a “village” trick or treat where all the shops and businesses on the main street hand out candy to the kids, and they close the street to traffic.  It was NUTS – there were hundreds and hundreds of families there!  And while the kids certainly had fun, I thought it was crowded and not at all what I think of when I picture Halloween.  It seems like this is a thing in Seattle – trick or treating in the business centers of neighborhoods instead of going house to house.  Maybe because it is a major city and is probably considered safer?  I don’t know – for me, trick or treat is all about visiting the neighbors and walking up each long driveway to knock on doors.

So when we got home, that is exactly what we did. 

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We only went to about ten or so houses, as that was plenty for two little guys.  Cullen loved knocking on the doors and talking to people, and Graham just loved running around with his pumpkin.  Graham is way too young for candy, and Cullen didn’t really care about it too much – he was much more interested in collecting than eating.  He did get to eat a few peanut M&M’s at the end of the night!

We had a really fun evening, and I can only imagine Halloween getting more and more fun with each passing year. 

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A Happy (belated) Halloween to all of you too!

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