The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 39: Tempeh Marinara

Tempeh Marinara

Tempeh Marinara

This week’s recipe builds on some of the earlier recipes, namely the Lentil Tomato Sauce and Walnut Parmesan. This one can take some time but it is worth the effort.  It’s especially good if you have some leftovers for the Lentil Tomato sauce.  Cook up some of your favorite pasta, or rice… roast some tomatoes and prep this tempeh…



Tempeh Marinara
1 package tempeh
1 cup non dairy milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices Field Roast Chao
1 recipe Lentil Tomato Sauce
4 servings favorite pasta
4 cups roasted grape tomatoes
Walnut Parmesan to garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prep a baking sheet with non stick spray.
  • Whisk together the nondairy milk and cornstarch. Let sit for 3-4 minutes.
  • Cut the tempeh brick in half and then slice each half lengthwise.
  • In a shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and spices.
  • Dip the tempeh into the milk mixture and then into the breadcrumbs to coat.  Press the tempeh into the crumbs to facilitate good bond.
  • Add the tempeh to the baking sheet. and repeat with all four pieces.
  • Bake 15 minutes and then flip. Cook another 5 minutes.
  • Top each piece of tempeh with a slice of Chao and return to oven. Cook another 4-5 minutes until Chao is melted.
  • Serve atop pasta with lentil tomato sauce.  Garnish with roasted tomatoes and sprinkle generously with walnut parm.

Store any leftover tempeh in the fridge. Leftovers make excellent sandwiches!

Project 52: The Recipes Week 38: Lentil Tomato Sauce

Continuing on my lentil themed recipes… This is combines all the freshness of the season.  In fact, all fresh produce were locally sourced and grown within 5 feet but no more than 5 miles from my home.  even my tomato paste was made locally.  But I digress.  There is nothing better than eating foods in season.  This also freezes nicely for that fresh pre-autumn sunshine taste when winter sucks the most.  The lentils add some bulk and chewiness to the sauce.

Sorry for the lack of photos from the final sauce (check next week’s post) but in the meantime, here are my onions cooking up deliciously. No oil for the sauteing, but they do get a nice caramelization on them anyway from the sugars.


Lentil Tomato Sauce
8-10 large ripe tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cups lentils

  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and puree in blender.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, saute the onions using a little water or broth to prevent sticking.
  • Cook onions 4-5 minutes until starting to brown slightly.  Add garlic and continue to sauce another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and bring to a high simmer.  Add all the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until lentils are soft.


Project 52: The Recipes Week 37: Lentil Brownies

Lentil Brownies

Lentil Brownies

Every so often you need something so chocolately fudgey goodness… and why not get a nice dose of iron and fiber in the process?

These brownies stay pretty soft in the middle, and leftovers should be refrigerated.



Lentil Brownies

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons Flax seed meal + 5 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup agave (or other liquid sweetner)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Prepare a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray, or use muffin tin for individual sized brownies!
  • Mix flax seed and water and allow to sit for 5 minutes until gelatinous.
  • Combine everything but walnuts and chocolate ships in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Spoon into prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until firm to touch and sides start to pull away.  If using muffin tins, reduce baking time to about 30 minutes.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 37: The problem with clouds

He overheard the mother tell her child that the clouds were soft, like pillows, floating in the sky… a place for angels to stretch their wings and take naps; a place for them to sit, their angel feet dangling off the edges while they looked after us. The child watched out the window of the plane, concerns not quite abated about the risk that clouds wouldn’t damage the plane.

Smart kid, he thought and turned to his own window. He knew the edges of clouds to be razor sharp. They were deceptive with a soft appearance until you touched one. Few actually do. He wondered if the angels wings were bloodied with their naps and stalking small, unsuspecting children. He imagined dangling legs falling zealously to earth, burning up as they did.

He opened his laptop. Amazon best sellers sometimes wrote themselves.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 36; Overnight Steel Oats

Overnight Steel Oats

Overnight Steel Oats

It isn’t something I’d really call a recipe–it seems too, well… my normal.  I’m a huge fan of overnight oats during the summer.  Basically, just oats and fruit tossed in the fridge with some non dairy milk.  Not too long ago, I decided to up the game and use steel cut oats. They are much chewier than their old fashioned counterparts… and I love it.

I seriously don’t think of making this as a “recipe” but I’ve been asked several times “how to” and so this is my version.  Change it up, mix and match, add some seeds, try different fruits… by winter I’ll be cooking my oats again (maybe) but for now, soaked is king.  I prep these while I’m making dinner next morning.  It’s the perfect way for me to get my fruit in (other than a smoothie); the hemp and molasses give it a nice iron kick–which is perfect for anemic me.

Overnight Steel Oats
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 date
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup steel oats
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped fruit

  • In a Vitamix add water, cinnamon, hemp seed, date, and molasses and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • In a plastic or glass container with a tight fitting lid, add oats, hemp “milk,” fruit, and nuts.
  • Place lid and leave overnight in the refrigerator

Stir well before enjoying.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 35; A morning after


I’ve never had a decent cup of coffee
in Brooklyn, or LA. He grinned,
a crooked morning smile; I could tell
he didn’t care. Minds a million
middles of  nowhere. His eyes parsing
the half empty makeshift stage;
remnants of a dream shadowed
as the sun spurs the Atlantic…
The sound of the tube is full and musical.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 35; Plant-Based Protein-Packed Pot Pies

plant based protein packed pot pie

Pot Pie Goodness

Did the title get your attention?  For the protein obsessed, this recipe is a complete gem, while also getting in a huge does of fiber and staying low in fat.  It’s become something of a challenge for me to find at least one dish a week that is not only something I want to eat after a long day when I have no appetite but packs in a macro boost while shoving in as much micro nutrient density as possible.  I want to continue building muscle, which requires a lot of things–chiefly eating at night after lifting when I really don’t want to.

My mission is also to get my iron levels back up. As a lifelong anemic, lifting has quickly depleted any reserves I had, and while I’m supplementing twice a day, I’d like to cut that back in time.  As such, I have added lentils to my ongoing Amazon order along with hemp seeds (to make my own milk) and cook as much as possible in my cast iron arsenal.  I’ve also worked very hard to not drink any coffee or tea after eating for 2 hours as both of reduce the absorption of plant based iron significantly.

plant based protein packed pot pie

Protein Packed!

Initially, I wanted shepherds pie. And then I remembered that every time I make a shepherds pie, I’m never satisfied. But I knew I wanted something lentil based and something with potatoes. I saw a similar recipe over on Bon Appetite–which is where the gouda idea came from.  For my version, I cut out most of the the added oil and salt.  I also added some different herbs and more veggies.  The crust is almost the same as the one offered there, except I swapped out for a whole grain version…. and obviously wouldn’t use dairy cheese.

The green goddess gouda may not look too pretty but it is just the subtle tang this pot pie needed to make it a bit more interesting.  I was drawn to it since it is bean based.  While I did use cashew milk to make it, the beans added a nice touch. I may make it again using the agar to see if it makes a nice based gouda hors d’oeuvre.  Another day.

Protein-Packed Pot Pies

1/2 cup lentils
1 -ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
8 ounce package fresh sliced baby bellas
1 sweet onion
3 small/medium carrots, coarsely chopped
3-4 fresh sage leaves (about 1 teaspoon)
2-3 fresh springs thyme (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 fresh sprig rosemary (about 1/4 teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 potatoes, chopped (I used yellow Yukon)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas
1 cup pinto beans

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 recipe Green Goddess Gouda (liquid smoke and agar omitted)

  • Bring three cups of water and lentils to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook 25 minutes. Drain lentils and mix with frozen peas. Set aside.
  • Soak dried mushrooms in 3 cups of hot water while the lentils cook. Drain (reserving the liquid) and chop mushrooms. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add fresh mushrooms. Allow to cook 4-5 minutes, adding a few drops of water as needed to prevent sticking. Mushrooms should release their own water in the process, so if water is initially needed, add a teaspoon or two as needed.
  • Add onion, carrots, herbs, and garlic to the mushrooms. Reduce to medium heat and allow to cook 3-4 minutes until onion and carrots start to soften.
  • Sprinkle pastry flour over the vegetables in the pan and toss to coat. Mixture will get sticky and dry very quickly. Allow to cook like this for a minute.
  • Add reserved liquid, potatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
  • Remove from heat and mix with lentils, peas, and beans.
  • To make the crust, add the cider to the soy milk (or any non dairy unsweetened milk) and allow to sit while you add everything else to a bowl of food processor and combine until crumbly. A food processor is faster, but a pastry knife or (worst case) a big fork will also do the trick.
  • Add the milk to the dough and work to just combined. Dough will be sticky.
  • Prepare the filling in individual or a single big casserole dish (this makes about 5 servings).
  • Drop small pieces of dough over the top of the filling. It will not be completely covered but you don’t want big gaps between pieces.
  • Spread the green goddess gouda over the top of the dough.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Will be done with a toothpick stuck into the crust comes out clean.

Serve warm, sprinkled with a little nutritional yeast.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 34; The Cost of Books and Records

IMG_20150710_162803023 (2)

7 p.m. Tuesday traffic
radio pumping monotunes
I can’t even hear
as I wonder about a book
I’ve yet to read filled with stories
I long to hear again
and the book I’m reading
that is never the same
in a yearly ritual.
a longing to leave
behind the parts
per million
traversing the current
the feel of paper
roughly soft
dancing with words
creating their own music
measured and metered
against the authors tongue.
creeping along toward the turn
one final spin of the wheel
closer to somewhere
in the middle
slow hand picks up
where the semi leaves off
there is a guitar
neck broken
atop the trash
someones dream
forgone due to price of labor