Friday, September 3, 2010

Tempeh Sloppy Joes & House Updates

I haven't posted any life updates in a while, so today on the "post agenda" I have some house updates, then next week I will post some things I have learned thus far at my new job.

As some of you know Nick and I purchased our first home at the end of May. The house we purchased was (and still is) in need of some updates (we chose a really nice neighborhood, so in order to afford a house we had to purchase one that needed some work....). The last time you saw our bedroom it looked like this (Boring!).

My mom hired a decorator for us (love you mom) who has helped us pick out paint and a few other key decorations around the house (thanks Joyce!). Nick and I picked this comforter out ourselves, then Joyce (the decorator) picked out the paint.

Our bedroom is still a work in progress, as I would like to get a nice lamp and an area rug, and we still need to hang our giant mirror above the chest of drawers. Once we get that all finished I will provide a final picture of the room.

Before I started my new job I spent endless hours painting over this ugly green color in our living room.

Now we have yellow walls with a contrasting "clay" color on the back wall, which leads into our kitchen (painted the same color).

This room is also a work in progress, as we plan on moving the dining room table out, and putting it in our kitchen. Then we want to put a tv in the corner to make this the "hang out for friends", instead of the basement. We also need an area rug and a coffee table (Joyce suggested we get some decorative cubes instead of a coffee table. I love that idea!). We are also getting new wooden blinds next week, which we desperately need.

Ok, now it's food time.

Finally, a New Recipe!

Soy is a very healthy food for many reasons, but did you know it's good to consume soy about 2-3 weeks before your period?! Studies show it helps prevent PMS symptoms. Because of this, I often choose to buy tempeh during this time of my cycle (it's my favorite source of soy because it's not processed, and unlike tofu it doesn't give me foul gas). For the longest time I was simply marinating it in EVOO and low sodium soy sauce, then sauteeing it on the stove top. Then about a month ago I read Mari's blog and got the idea to make tempeh sloppy joe's!

I didn't follow her recipe exactly, but I still give her credit for the idea because I never would have thought to do this. I bought two blocks of tempeh and cut them into ~1 inch cubes. I added about 2 T canola oil to my pan and got the oil nice and hot before adding the tempeh.

After sauteeing the tempeh for about 10 minutes over medium heat, I started to break it up into even smaller pieces so it almost mimicked the look of ground beef. Once the tempeh was cooked I turned off the heat and waited for the pan to cool a bit before adding THIS:


NOTE: This is not the healthiest sauce in the world, by any means, which is why I only used about 3/4 of the can. Can you spot the nutrient that really makes this unhealthy?



Oh well, despite the high sodium content, this sauce rocks. I added it to the chunks of tempeh and mixed it up so the sauce was integrated nicely with the tempeh.

Hellllllo goodness!

I served it on a plate with some melted cheese (for me, no bread), and on some whole wheat toast with cheese (for Nick). I was in heaven. Nick.....was in hell. He liked it, but the texture was too difficult for him to get past. Will I make this again? Heck yeah! I could eat this every single day.

Before I leave today I just wanted to thank all of my friends and family who have recently told me they read my blog. It means so much to me and I'm so glad you enjoy it!

Katie L.
Michelle S.

(check out her blog; My Life As a Pastry Student)
Sarah C.
Claire K.
Cathy M.

I love you guys!

Question: Do you eat tempeh? Tofu? How do you like to prepare them? If you want more tempeh, check out this tempeh-oatmeal meatloaf posted by my friend Amanda. Also check out Rachel's tempeh burgers!

Happy Friday everyone!


  1. I love how to renovated your home! it looks really nice! Good job! :D
    I always eat tofu and never tried tempeh yet. I'll definitely give it a try soon. the sloppy joe looks fantastic! :D

  2. I love the house makeover!!! Especially your living room!

    I love tempeh sloppy joes. Veganomicon has a recipe for a homemade sauce that is AMAZING if you ever want to make one on your own.

  3. wow, your house looks great! I Love the colors!

  4. It seems like just yesterday that you guys moved in!

    I think your recipe for "Sloppy Joanna's" rocks! I do eat soy and sodium ;-) in moderation.

    Have a great weekend, Gina!

  5. Gina- I LOVE your house so far!! We actually picked a blue color for our bedroom and really like it (even though we are moving!!) and I love the bold kitchen/living area colors!
    I have never tried tempeh before, but you made it look pretty delicious!!
    And, thanks for the shout out =)
    Miss ya! Addy

  6. your place looks great! I bet it's hard work but feels amazing when each project is finished!

  7. Your house looks fantastic! You've put in so much work in such little time. Great job!

    I've never had tempeh and rarely eat tofu. I tend to avoid soy because it's link to breast cancer. Breast cancer runs rampant in my family.

  8. Your house is really coming along quite quickly! Looks great.

    I don't normally eat tempeh (didn't know how to spell it. =) ). However, this looks so good I could eat one right now for my second breakfast.

  9. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Wow your house looks incredible! It's like a Trading Spaces transformation, ha. I love the colors in your bedroom.

  10. Your new house looks great. Love the paint color choice, too! :-)

    I didn't know that soy helps prevent PMS symptoms..definitely good to keep in mind. Do you know why it does that (haha, some habits from 760s will always stay with me, such as asking why all the time!).

  11. Wow--your house looks amazing! We still have to purchase new furniture and update some of the decor in our bedrooms as well--it's a lot of working having a house, huh?

  12. oh my god i feel like i just watched an episode of one of those homemakeover shows i can't remember the name right now but it's going to come to me as soon as i hit submit comment.

    love love love love love LOVE your dining room!!!!!! gorgeous. i think you s hould host a dinner party there and invite me and make me mint chocolate chip ice cream :)

  13. i also want more gina life updates.

  14. First off, I love what you guys have done to your place. I love the living room area. That painting on the wall ties in the colors so well. I love much fun!!
    I will definitely have to add more soy in my diet before my period. Thanks for the tip!
    Those sloppy joes look great!

  15. I love your wall colors!! At my old house (that was mine before I got married) my kitchen was a bold yellow and my dining room was cobalt blue with white crown molding and baseboards.

    Now my house (that I've been in almost 10 years!) is still all boring white. :(

    That was nice of your momma to hire a decorator! My decorating style could be considered "early miscellaneous!"

    Never tried tempeh, but love tofu. After I squish out all the water, I toss it in corn starch for stir frys - its crispy on the outside, yet still tender on the inside.

    Enjoy your weekend Gina!

  16. The house is looking really good- you have done a lot of work! I love it.

    Great recipe. I've only tried tempeh once and it wasn't very successful- but this makes me want to try again.

    Have a great holiday weekend, Gina!

  17. You have made some great progress with the decor! I love the bluish theme of the bedroom. I never thought of using tempeh in my sloppy joes, looks very interesting! I am going to try it!!

  18. You did a great job with your house! It looks beautiful. I love updating and improving our house; it feels so good! :-)

    I have only made tempeh once. Love your sloppy joes idea!

    Have a great weekend, Gina!

  19. I would totally eat those sloppy Joe's. I do like tempeh and soy, of course, since I am a vegetarian.

    Your house is looking great. I wish we had our own house to decorate but we are renting since we are overseas and we have borrowed furniture from the military too since we couldn't bring ours with us.

  20. You've done a great job with your house! It looks very cozy, homey, and happy :)

    I LOVE tempeh. My favorite recipe is the smoky grilled tempeh from Veganomicon (which is my fave cookbook in general). It's wonderful. My family loves it too, even though none of them are vegetarians as I am. I think tempeh is awesome with barbeque sauce and I guess sloppy joes are kinda up that alley... I'm giving this a try for sure. I haven't had sloppy joes in a very long time!

    Also, thanks for the consignment shop tip, and have a good time at the UA arts festival this weekend! I'll have to check that out sometime.

  21. Hey I just stumbled across your blog today while searching for images of tempeh. I actually just had it for the first time tonight. We had pasta and crumbled it in the sauce. I wasn't sure what to do with it and I was really craving pasta so I decided to add it for the protein. I really like your blog because A) my name is also Gina. B)I am getting ready to move back to Indiana- Go Midwest. And C) my husband also just bought a house that we will soon start updating. :)

  22. Love the home renos! You guys picked out some great colour schemes, they look fab ;)

    And I also love those tempeh sloppy joes. A must try! I'm a tempeh fan (though I haven't had it in a while) but I usually just eat it straight up plain. Same with tofu, though I do bake it a little more often than I bake tempeh. I haven't been getting my soy fill lately though, I need to bump it up, I miss me some tempeh/fu

  23. Hi Gina,

    Remember me? It's Natalia :)
    I still read your blog, Sorry I haven't commented! I'm a creeper reader haha :P

    I was wondering if you are still on FODMAPS? I'm looking into it more seriously but can't find a list of foods to avoid anywhere! (well, one that doesn't contradict another.) I don't eat fruit at all but just need to know about the veggies. Do you know where I can find a good list?
    You can email me at

    thanks a lot,

  24. Amazon launched two new Kindle e-readers priced at $139 and $189 late Wednesday, with the cheaper version a Wi-Fi-only e-reader and $10 less than the Wi-Fi-only Nook.

  25. Love what you have done to the house. Paint makes such an impact for not much money.

    I don't love tofu but I am trying to experiment with some recipes.

  26. Your bedroom looks great and I love what you've done with the living room so far. I didn't even think Eric and I did THAT much to our house, but when I look back at the original pictures I am amazed!

    Yum I love tempeh- never tried sloppy joe sauce though, I can't remember having at sloppy joe ever haha.

  27. Never really tried tempeh before, but planning to pick one up the next time I hit TJs. :-)

    Gosh, I LOVE your new place and what you've done to it! Very personal, attractive touches. How exciting to be able to decorate your own real home!

  28. I love your new house, especially the hardwood floors and the fireplace. Very nice. As far as Tempeh, I like to grill it with spices, such as all spice, and use it on my salad. Very tasty.