Sesame Chile Tempeh with Gingered Watermelon Salsa Recipe

This is probably one of those, “I am the last to know” situations, but I wanted to tell you about a really great cooking show that I recently discovered.

I get only basic cable tv at this time, so I find some shows and channels coming through that I have never heard of before. One of those channels that I can’t get enough of is create tv. It is also online at One of the cooking shows on the channel is Christina Cooks (online at Christina Pirello, MFN, CCN, “creates” an entertaining show by actually teaching a class that is informative and laced with humor. I love her personality. Check out her interesting and inspiring story on her website. And please watch her show, it is one of my very favorites right now.

I’ll share with you here one of her recipes that I am making for the second time tonight because I love it so much. It is by far, the best recipe with tofu that I have ever had. Let it marinate for a couple of days rather than just one hour and it gets even better! I’m going to add brown rice with it tonight. Enjoy!

Sesame Chile Tempeh with Gingered Watermelon Salsa Recipe

2 tablespoons organic soy
1 tablespoon Thai chile paste
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil, plus more for frying (I used canola oil)
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 2-inch square pieces


2 cups seeded watermelon
1/2 yellow bell pepper
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely minced cilantro
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
sea salt
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced

Combine soy sauce, chile paste, garlic, sesame and avocado oils and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a zip-top plastic bag and place tempeh inside to marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

While the tempeh marinates, prepare the salsa. Mix together, watermelon, pepper, scallion, cilantro, ginger, mirin, lime juice, salt to taste and jalapeno. Toss carefully to combine, taking care not to break watermelon.


To prepare the tempeh, place a generous amount of avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry marinated tempeh (reserve any remaining marinade) until golden brown, turning once to ensure even browning, about 2-3 minutes per side.


To serve, lay tempeh on a platter and spoon any remaining marinade over top. Mound salsa on top and serve immediately.


Makes 4-5 servings.

Cumin-Lime Swordfish with Grape Salsa Recipe

When I went grocery shopping the other day I knew I wanted some sort of fish with salsa, great for summertime.  Well, as usual, I’m going for what’s on sale that day.  Swordfish was that days manager’s special, so I picked up four nice looking pieces.  I didn’t want the usual salsas I make like tomato or mango salsa but something a bit different this time.  I saw that the green grapes were on sale for 88 cent per pound, and I knew I had some cherry tomatoes in the fridge, so I figured I could make something fun with those.

For some inspiration, I turned to, one of the best places to get your creative juices flowing.  I searched for grape salsa and came up with this recipe;

The recipe on the Food Network site was for pork chops but I just switched that for the swordfish I purchased.  It worked out great!  Here it is with just a bit of tweaking for what I had on hand.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6 ounce) swordfish pieces

Grape Salsa:

  • 2 cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved (I only had red and really liked the color contrast)
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I used parsley because its what I had on hand.  Cilantro would have given it that extra zip.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For Swordfish: Preheat grill over high heat (I used a stove-top grill pan). Stir together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, lime zest, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub marinade evenly on swordfish, and set aside while you make the salsa.

For Salsa: Stir together tomatoes, grapes, onion, cilantro (or parsley), olive oil, lime juice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Set aside.

Grill the fish, turning once, until grill marks appear and fish is just cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a platter, and top fish with salsa.

I made enough for an additional meal and think the salsa was even better the next day.


Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Salsa Recipe

I just have to share one of my all time favorite recipes with you…Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Salsa!  It comes from Food Network superstar, Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa’s book, Parties!

I make it as often as I can when mangos are in season, and sometimes without the salsa because I love it so much.  I often suggest it to my clients when they want something special like last week when my favorite client had a special dinner guest…her father!   The meal went over very well with Dad and the other guests.

The recipe from the book:

Grilled Herb Shrimp

Serves 6

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium yellow onion, small diced

¼ Cup minced fresh parsley

¼ Cup minced fresh basil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ Cup good olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled (tails left on) and deveined

1.   Combine the garlic, onion, parsley, basil, mustard, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Add the shrimp and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

2.  Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals, and brush the grilling rack with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking.  Skewer the shrimp.  Five or six shrimp on a 12-inch skewer for a diner serving.  Grill the shrimp for 1 ½ minutes on each side.  Serve with Mango Salsa.

Mango Salsa

Makes 2 Cups

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 ½ Cups diced yellow onion (2 onions)

2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger

1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic

2 ripe mangos, peeled, seeded, and small diced

1/3 Cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, to taste (1 pepper)

2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves

1.  Sauté the olive oil, onions, and ginger in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the mangos; reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and jalapenos; cook for 10 more minutes, or until the orange juice is reduced, stirring occasionally.

2.  Remove from the heat and add the mint.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Notes:  I usually don’t like to marinate anything more than an hour or two, but this shrimp is one of those things that really does get better with more marinating time.  I try to give it at least four hours and have done it once overnight because of a timing issue.  I have not tried it marinated for 2 days as the recipe says is okay.  Try it a couple of different ways to see how you prefer it.

I don’t usually grill it outdoors but on my stovetop in a grill pan or on a griddle.

For the salsa I only use half the amount of onion suggested.  I love onion but in this case I feel it’s a better ratio.  But that’s just me.

I always follow new recipes pretty much to the letter, and then tweak them to my taste the next time.  That’s the great part about cooking being a culinary art!