GUADALAJARA ROASTED TEMPEH
The secret to cooking tempeh, the one that will forever free former haters from disparaging this delicious nutritional powerhouse, is to pre-cook the tempeh prior to marination. Begin with one 8-oz. package of tempeh; slice it into 8 large pieces. The easiest way to do this is to cut the entire block into 4 squares and then slice each square into a thinner piece by cutting horizontally with the knife. Place the tempeh in a skillet with water to just cover and simmer gently for 8 minutes. Don't even think of boiling the water as the tempeh will disintegrate.
After 8 minutes gently, with tongs, remove the tempeh to a large, shallow bowl and top with the following marinade: 1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry, 4 T. hot sauce, 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. tamari or soy sauce, 1 T. lemon juice, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1 t. ground cumin, 1/2 t. dried oregano and black pepper to taste. Let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature, agitating the bowl now and then, swirling so that all pieces of tempeh get some marinade love. If you like, you can refrigerate the tempeh and marinate for up to 8 hours.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler and place the tempeh on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spoon some leftover marinade on it and broil for 5 minutes. Flip the tempeh and splash with any marinade you may still have. Broil for another 5-7 minutes and serve hot or very warm, with rice, garlic bread or mashed potatoes.
AVOCADO GARLIC TOAST
Nothing to it but to do it: toast thick slices of a whole wheat baguette or Italian bread until just crisp. Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil. Rub each slice with the cut side of some garlic cloves. Top each slice with a thick wedge of avocado and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finish with a few slivers of scallion and a pinch of fresh, minced oregano or thyme.