Healthy Substitutes For Old Favorites: Easy!

June 9, 2013 in Bees, Diet, Fiber, Food and Recipes, Health, Nutrition, Tempeh, Vegetarianism by Matt Maggiacomo

Ahhhh, seafood. It might be the only thing I truly miss since committing to a vegan diet.

Seafood isn’t simply a category of food that I used to enjoy. In New England, fresh seafood is a huge part of our culture. You’ve probably heard the jokes about how Bostonians love their chowda, but the fact is that the best clam chowda on the planet originates right here in Rhode Island. And it’s best in the summer, and this will be my first summer without it.

I also miss salmon from time to time. Honey-glazed salmon served over brown rice or quinoa was a weekly staple in my household before I went vegan. There are many reasons why I’m glad I don’t eat salmon any more, but none of them have stopped salmon from being delicious, and fond memories of it persist even as I approach my one-year veganniversary.

Here’s a fun fact though: I still eat honey. Most vegans don’t, and many of them would take issue with my calling myself a vegan despite eating honey. Well, here’s the deal: Honeybee populations are collapsing. It’s an unsolved mystery, but my money’s on systemic pesticides. This is a complex issue for another time, and probably also another blog, but long story short: It’s really important to support local, organic honey farms. Without healthy populations of honeybees, entire sections of the agriculture industry could collapse. Given how much local produce I eat, it’s in my best interest to throw some money at a local beekeeper every so often.

I don’t eat it on a regular basis, but occasionally we’ll pick up a jar of honey at the farmer’s market. The other day we snagged a jar of the best honey I’ve ever had in my life: Aquidneck Honey’s specialty product, hot honey. It’s like regular honey, except it’s infused with Scorpion peppers. It’s fucking delicious, and its best use is as a marinade.

The other day, I took a package of tempeh, cut it into filet-sized pieces, and steamed it for ten minutes. Then I lightly oiled a skillet, covered the tempeh with the hot honey, and grilled it up with some pineapple. Served over quinoa, the honey-glazed tempeh proved to be a perfect, uber-healthy alternative to my old favorite. Here’s a picture!


Honey-glazed tempeh with grilled pineapple and quinoa!

Honey-glazed tempeh with grilled pineapple and quinoa!