My Newest Favorite Sandwich

I’ve often said that bacon is the only thing keeping me from being a vegetarian. Last week, I discovered a product that has eliminated that excuse.

I started reading about meat alternatives a few months ago when, for health reasons, I decided to cut down on my consumption of animal protein. The only alternative seemed to be tofu—and I didn’t like the texture (yes, I know: I’m a picky eater). And the recipes I found to alter the texture seemed like an awful lot of work. I mean, who wants to spend the better part of an hour just to fix breakfast?

Then I discovered tempeh (pronouced TEM-pay). Like tofu, it’s made from soybeans, but it has a much firmer texture. I looked around and found what I was looking for: a soy-based bacon substitute.

I was doubtful at first, but after reading several reviews, I decided to take the plunge. I headed to my nearest Wegman’s and bought a package of Lightlife® Fakin’ Bacon. As George Takei would say, “Oh, my!”

tempeh

Trust me on this: as a dyed-in-the-wool pork bacon eater, I can honestly say that this is the one food that has overcome my last objection to a vegetarian diet. Don’t believe me? Try my newest favorite sandwich—and the ultimate test for any bacon substitute—a TLT (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich:

Robyn’s TLT

  • 2 slices of your favorite bread
  • 2 slices of Lightlife® Fakin’ Bacon (I use 2 strips cut in half. I find that gives me the perfect size forr my bread)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • A nice ripe tomato
  • Mayonnaise
  1. Toast the bread and lightly coat with the mayo.
  2. Tear a piece of lettuce to fit.
  3. Slice the tomato.
  4. Put all of the ingredients on one piece of toast.
  5. Heat the tempeh in a fry pan with a little bit of oil or butter until the edges are crisp.
  6. Remove the tempeh from the pan and put it on top of the other ingredients. Cover with the other piece of toast.
  7. Enjoy!

I’ve also enjoyed this sandwich with the addition of a fried egg and a couple of slices of cheddar cheese on it as well. Hey! It’s cooking! Use your imagination: if you can imagine it, you can make it!

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ChefTap, Redux

I’ve been using ChefTap for a little over a week, and I must say I’m impressed. So much so that I’ve been adding all my new recipes to it instead of Pepperplate. And if it weren’t so time-consuming and cumbersome, I’ve move all of my recipes from Pepperplate into ChefTap.

Yes, it really is that good.

A Weakness That Wasn’t

A couple of recipes I clipped from the web didn’t have pictures. Oh, they were on the recipe’s site—they just didn’t clip when I save the recipe. I found this quite annoying until I discovered that the app works differently on my iPhone than on my iPad: on the iPad (as well as on the Fire 8), you can add a photo from your camera roll. In addition, if you call up a recipe, click on the generic place-holder photo, you can scroll to the right and see if the clipping pulled in any more photos. Then you simply select one and hey presto! Bob’s your uncle!

My Recommendation

If you’re at all serious about your recipes, my recommendation is to go with the Pro subscription. It’s only 20 bucks a year, and it’s definitely worth it if only for your own peace of mind. After all, Robyn’s First Rule of Computing states:

BE PARANOID AND COMPULSIVE!

Until next time,

Happy Cooking!

A New App

Pepperplate is a few years old now, and there’s hardly been an update. As a result, there are fewer sites that it’s compatible with. And that means I’m having to enter more and more recipes manually.

Enter ChefTap

When I got my new Fire 8 tablet, one of the recommended apps was ChefTap. It’s a more up-tp-date app than Pepperplate, and because of this, it can copy more sites than Pepperplate. It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to best use it, but I really wasn’t working that seriously with it the whole time. Let’s say it took me 30 minutes of actively working with it to get the hang of it.

I have it running on my Fire, my iPhone, and my laptop. I’m going to add it to my iPad as well.

How Does It Work?

ChefTap is a cooking app made by two people who love to cook. We wanted an easy way to collect and use recipes that we found on the internet. So, we made the app that we always wanted.

ChefTap uses a specially designed artificial intelligence network that can pull only the recipe out of any unstructured text. Other apps that import recipes only work with a limited number of websites. ChefTap works with just about any website.

Clip recipes from any site or blog without copying and pasting. Import all of your Pinterest recipes with just a couple of taps. (From the ChefTap website)

The only downside I’ve found so far is that a regular account allows you to clip up to 100 recipes and sync them with your web account once a week. With a Pro account—$19.99 per year—you can:

  • Send links from your desktop browser to your Android device to be imported.
  • Sync all you want between your devices and web account.
  • Collect all the recipes that your device can hold. All of your recipes are stored on your device in addition to our servers. This lets you see your recipes without needing an internet connection. If you’re camping, or in the back of a grocery store, your recipes are always with you.
  • Priority Support: Move to the head of the line for support requests.

And yes, I did subscribe to the Pro version.

In Conclusion

ChefTap Basic:

Free

  • Android & iOS app with advanced recipe recognizer. Clip any recipe you find.
  • Offline access to your recipes
  • Edit recipes on your device or the web
  • Private notes & recipes
  • Tag / categorize recipes
  • Make List – Follow multiple recipes at the same time
  • Manage your recipes on-line
  • Add your own recipe photos
  • No advertisements
  • 100 recipe limit
  • Sync devices with website
    (cloud backup)
    Once / week

ChefTap Pro:

$19.99 USD / year

  • Android & iOS app with advanced recipe recognizer. Clip any recipe you find.
  • Offline access to your recipes
  • Edit recipes on your device or the web
  • Private notes & recipes
  • Tag / categorize recipes
  • Make List – Follow multiple recipes at the same time
  • Manage your recipes on-line
  • Add your own recipe photos
  • No advertisements
  • As many recipes as will fit on your device
    Learn more
  • Sync devices with website
    (cloud backup)
    Unlimited
  • Intelligent recipe scaling
  • Smart grocery list generator
    (Available for Android
    iOS coming soon)
  • Pantry/staples manager
    (Available for Android
    iOS coming soon)
  • Clone recipes
    (Available for Android
    iOS coming soon)
  • Clip recipes from your desktop
  • Priority support

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

Who doesn’t like cookie dough? And who doesn’t like salmonella? Not to worry: this recipe is eggless, so no salmonella!

choc chip cookie bars

I’m not gonna lie to you: this isn’t my recipe. But it looked so scrumptious I just had to share it with you! And they only take 20 minutes to prepare—plus 3 hours to chill and bake. Looks like I know what I’ll be making this weekend!

For the complete recipe, head on over to The Recipe Critic.

It’s Grocery Shopping Day

And for me, it’s a time for decisions. But first, some background:

I recently moved into my new place. And where before I had two rooms plus a kitchen and bath, I’m now renting a room in a house. I have a bedroom, and share the rest of the house with my landlord. Except even that’s not correct, because he also has one semi-permanent friend staying over, and another one who drops by every two weeks or so and stays sometimes for a couple of days, and sometimes for a week.

All of which add up to a very crowded refrigerator and freezer.

I use the bottom drawer of my dresser for storing things that don’t need to be refrigerated, but there are times when I don’t even have room enough in the refrigerator for a gallon of milk, much less a six-pack of hard cider.

Still, it’s better than living under a bridge, especially now that winter’s on its way. The temperature dropped to 44°F/6.6°C last night, and it’s not expected to get above the mid 50s today.

So when I do get to the store, I’m going to pick up some French bread, pizza sauce, and all the rest of the makings for a couple of French bread pizzas. Sure, it’s easier to buy them frozen and stick them in the oven, but I want my own recipes, not someone else’s. Mozzarella is a given, but maybe some Gruyere as well, caramelized onions, pear slices, spinach and bay leaves.

Oh…and I’ve also got a dynamite recipe for spinach and ricotta calzones I’ll be sharing with you a little later in the week.

Did I say French bread? Forget that: pizza is Italian, so I wonder why nobody ever talks about Italian bread pizza. The store I’m going to makes excellent Italian bread, and so I’ll be making Italian bread pizza!