Break the Barrier and Tempeh with Vegetable Salsa

by Joanne on October 28, 2010

When we exercise for a long time, we get bored.  Our muscles get bored and reach a plateau.  We stop seeing changes and begin to wonder why are we working so hard?  Like anything in life, change has to happen to make gains.   We reach a comfort level in our workout when it’s not as hard as it used to be.  We’ve adapted.  What is hard is making a change.  It’s tough physically (getting out of that zone) and mentally.

Here is an inspirational quote that sets the stage for breaking the barrier:

By Terrence Mahon, Team Running USA Head Coach

Act as if you already are.  This is one of the many mantras that we employ when it comes time to go after a goal that is beyond what has already been accomplished.  Breaking new ground physically requires you to first break that mental barrier so that it can move into being.

This quote hit home with me as I pursue training for the Boston Marathon in April.  It’s not going to be easy because winters in New York are tough.  Sometimes the snow, ice, and cold will force long, boring runs on the treadmill.  By the end of March, I’m going to make the prediction that our gym walls will be totally PLASTERED with motivational quotes to keep me running on that DREADMILL.    

Do you use motivational quotes to help you reach or remind you of your goals?

As for running, I did take Wednesday off then felt guilty about it all day because the morning was perfect for running.  It was 60 degrees.  Oh well. Missed that one. 

Thursday (this morning) was still perfect for running.  It was 58 degrees, the only drawback being the wind. I got out there when the werewolves and witches, ghosts and goblins stilled roamed the dark streets.  Shane’s scared of those things so he’s not much help.  Actually, I can deal with seeing the spooks, it’s the skunk that scare the dickens out of me.


We ran for close to 90 minutes. It turned out to be a 9.1 mile run.  I wore compression tights which really help to stabilize that troublesome hamstring.  I ran just under a 10 min. mile pace but I didn’t stop the Garmin when stopping with Shane so it wasn’t a bad run.



This dinner has amazing flavor.  The salsa, even though I used “medium” offered just the right amount of kick.  It was spicy with pepper, fresh with tomato, and rounded out nicely with the light addition of cheese.   If you prefer meat, substitute ground turkey for the tempeh.


1 large tomato, sliced thin

8 oz tempeh

1/2 onion chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

6 oz sliced mushrooms

1 jar Pace Salsa

2 TBS red wine

1/4 cup non fat milk

1 TBS flour

1/2 cup Fat Free Feta cheese crumbles

2 TBS Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place the tomato slices on the bottom of a baking dish that you have coated with non stick spray.

Brown the tempeh with the onion, garlic and mushrooms for about 8 minutes on medium high, 4 min. per side. *You do not need to add olive oil to the pan – sauté dry.

Remove the tempeh mix and add to the baking dish on top of the tomatoes.

In the pan you used to brown the tempeh, add the salsa and red wine on medium high.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 6 minutes.  Add on top of the tempeh in the baking dish.

Now put the milk in the pan and stir in the flour until it thickens (on medium heat), about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Add the feta cheese and stir.  Pour over the the ingredients in the baking dish. *You will only have just a small amount of the white feta sauce. Top with the Parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes.


I discovered Tempeh when I made a serious attempt to cut out wheat gluten from my diet.  It was pretty tough being vegetarian and gluten free in upstate New York.   When you say you are vegetarian, everyone wants to feed you pasta. 


Tempeh is a terrific source of protein and described as one of nature’s most perfect foods. The three grain organic Lightlife brand I use is a blend of organic soybean, millet, brown rice, and barley. 

240 calories. Fat is 11 g. Zero Cholesterol. 10 mg of sodium. 360 mg of Potassium. Carbohydrates are 16 g with 9 grams of fiber.  Protein is 20 g (40% in one serving).  Serving size is 4 oz (half the package used above).

Have you ever tried Tempeh?


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  • At 2010.10.28 17:43, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

    I have tried tempeh, but found it was kind of musty tasting to me. Ick!

    • At 2010.10.29 07:03, Joanne said:

      Try it in a saucier recipe. It has appealing texture and will take on any flavor it’s mixed with.

      • At 2010.10.28 21:04, Soma said:

        I have never tried tempeh. But i have heard that if you are not used to the taste it takes sometime to get used to it and I guess that is what is keeping from trying it.

        9 miles!! gal .. I need to get inspired.

        • At 2010.10.29 07:04, Joanne said:

          I think it’s more the look of tempeh that takes getting used to. It always looks moldy to me.

          • At 2010.10.28 21:23, Heather said:

            I’ve eaten it, but never cooked with it myself. I have to do that sometime soon – this looks great! I love how adventurous you are in the kitchen.

            • At 2010.10.29 07:05, Joanne said:

              I love my kitchen adventures although they can get pretty scary.

              • At 2010.10.29 09:45, Paige @ Two Runners And A Brown Dog said:

                I loved the comment you left me of your “favorite days” list. I agree with you about Tuesday and Wednesday…they just get in the way!!! 🙂 Have a great weekend!!!

                • At 2010.10.29 14:21, Karen said:

                  I’ve never tried tempeh. Sounds like a great healthy substitute for ground meat though. This dish looks great…hearty and healthy. Big flavors here!

                  • At 2010.10.29 17:43, Hannah said:

                    I love tempeh and am always happy to find more ideas for cooking with it! My favorite type is the 5-grain variety from SoyBoy- The more grains the better, right? 😉

                    • At 2010.10.30 14:41, Natalie said:

                      this looks good, I never know what to do w tempeh

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