Monday, May 19, 2014

Kale-Tempeh-Lentil Bowl

Earlier this year I got knocked out by a virus, spent two full weeks laying down, and felt weak and shabby by the time I recovered. I hated the way I felt so I made the decision to run. I downloaded the RunKeeper app to my iPhone and started the free Couch to 5K program. I even signed up for an actual run that would be the cap to my training program and my semester.

I'm not a fast runner. There are many forms of exercise that I enjoy a lot more than running but being married to a runner and friends with people who run and do races all the time eventually makes you want to run too, and maybe just complete one race.

Well, I finally did it. Yesterday I took part in the Graffiti Run in Camden, NJ. I had two goals: finish in less than 30 minutes and to not walk at any point. I made both goals. I finished in just about 25 minutes (estimated because I didn't use my app and there were no official times) and I didn't stop for anything.

Toward the last half mile I really wanted to quit (aka walk) but I could see the finish line flags waving in the distance and suddenly Paul was there with his phone, taking pictures and cheering loudly for me. He jogged backward as I jogged forward making me laugh and making some teenage girls get a little judgey.


5... 4... 3... 2... RUN!

Squeaky clean and smiling on the far right.

See? Teen judgey face. But one of the three people in this photo isn't walking and finished hard.

If you want to cross running a 5K off your list I cannot tell you loud enough - DO IT. Don't make any more excuses, just start now and do it. It feels so good! Now I can go back to water workouts, Red Hot Dance, and the yoga I love so dearly. I know that if I keep my fitness up I can do 5K's alongside Paul and his friends in the future and no longer be worried that I can't cut it.

Now that that's over, it's back to... still working on my fitness and eating well! I have been making this Kale Tempeh Lentil Bowl regularly for about 9 months. I discovered this meal while hanging out with my friend Beth one night and she whipped up two bowls for dinner. I had never had tempeh before but I was sold after one bite. Beth is the type of person who should have a food blog. She makes these amazing dishes that people swoon over and when you ask for the recipe she humbly shrugs and says she didn't use one. To my stomach's delight, she finally used a recipe! She shared it with me and today I share it with you.

The original recipe is from the blog Eat Spin Run Repeat. I substituted onion for leeks, mostly because I have onions and they're delicious, and I left out a few herbs. You should check out the original recipe and see if the added herbs sound good to you. This is a powerhouse meal - full of fiber, protein, iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. Oh, and it's delicious. New to tempeh? Head to Trader Joes. They carry one kind - it has an awesome rich nutty flavor and is half the cost of the exact same product in the regular grocery store. 

Kale-Tempeh-Lentil Bowl
adapted from Eat Spin Run Repeat
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 giant bowl all for you!


  • 4 oz. Tempeh, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup green lentils, uncooked and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 5 small white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded curly kale
In a ziplock bag or tupperware container, combine 1 tsp olive oil with 2 tsp soy sauce. Add the tempeh cubes, toss to coat, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Add lentils to a small sauce pan, add stock and one bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf but do not drain excess liquid.

Place a frying pan over medium heat and add the tempeh cubes straight from the bag. Do not add any more oil, the juices from the bag will be enough! Cook several minutes, browning the tempeh on all sides. When tempeh is golden, remove from pan and set aside.

Add 2 tsp olive oil to the same pan and add garlic and onion. Cook until soft and transparent. Add mushrooms and cook until softened. Reduce heat.

Add lentils, agave, and apple cider vinegar and toss to combine. Add kale and toss gently until it begins to brighten in color and wilt slightly - about one minute. Add tempeh.

Take off heat, transfer to a gorgeous bowl, and enjoy thoroughly.

A successful color run and fabulous meal have me fueled up for a great evening. I am so grateful that all the color washed off my skin because I'm off to get ready to be on Paul's arm for a fancy dinner event! It might not be best for business if he were to show up with a smurf for a date. 

Until next time... 

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