Do This if You Are Sore from Cooking + Tempeh Cubano Sandwich (oil-free)


One of the most commonly cited reasons that people give us when they cancel their Plant Fueled Meal Plans is this:

“It’s just too much work, I’m not ready for this.”

Our meal plans are based around batch cooking. Here’s how it works: we give you a detailed shopping list, along with 7 – 9 recipes to make during one block of time on your batching day (or two days if you split it up), and instructions on how to put together meals from those batching items. And then you take pictures of your meals and share them with the Dirties. The batching portion of the meal plan takes anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours, maybe a bit longer if you’re new to this.

The beauty of putting in the time to batch upfront is that you save time during the week because the bulk of the cooking is already done, plus you won’t have to stress over what’s for dinner or grab unhealthy take-out on the way home because you don’t have it in you to cook a full meal from scratch. Batching is kind of like having an insurance policy that pays out every single week. If you put in the time, you will eat like a plant based badass all week long. And your body will feel damn good because of it.

Most people understand this concept because, logically, it makes sense. What they can’t get with is spending a good portion of their day off in the kitchen, prepping and cooking food.

Cooking can be overwhelming at first if you aren’t used to being in the kitchen, preparing your own food. I get this. We aren’t taught to spend time in our kitchen, making sure we have healthy food to eat throughout the week. This is not something our parents teach us, nor do we learn this in school.

As a society, we have gotten pretty far removed from spending real, quality time in the kitchen, cooking food that will sustain and benefit us, both now and in the future. So if you’ve never used your kitchen for all its worth, then batch cooking might be overwhelming, but only the first couple times. The more you do it the easier and more natural it becomes. Pretty soon you will start to crave it!

Some people don’t batch cook because their body gets tired and sore from standing in the kitchen for multiple hours in a row. The most common areas of the body to get sore during batching are the lower back, feet and shoulders. When people don’t batch because they get sore from cooking, they go back to eating the same five things over and over again, grabbing take-out on their way home, and eating vegan junk food on the regular. It pains me to see this because the very thing that people are trying to get healthy by doing the meal plans – their body – is the same thing stopping them from doing the meal plans.

If someone doesn’t want to spend a generous block of time in their kitchen because they aren’t used to cooking for so long, there’s not much I can do about that. They need to decide it’s worth it and become ready on their own. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. It’s okay either way, this journey is personal to everyone and we are all at different stages on the journey.

However, if someone really wants to follow the meal plans but their sore back, shoulders and feet are keeping them from making it happen, WE GOT YOU!

My friend, Michelle Andrie is a body wizard. If you have a sore pinky toe, the woman can tell you why and what to do about it. She’s been a movement therapist for over 30 years and her way of teaching is totally unique. I knew that if anyone could help with back, shoulders and feet that are sore after cooking, it would be her.

I asked her to come over to my house and give us some tools and tips for staying pain-free while batching. Last Saturday we did the live class and today, I’m sharing the replay with you. The video is about and hour-and-a-half and I’m telling you, it is so worth your time. This kind of training is rare and you will be hard pressed to find something like this for free.

So grab a yoga mat and a tennis ball and let’s start the show!

Language warning: This video has a few F bombs.

I told you she was amazing. I didn’t even care that she got me naked! Do those things, okay? They will help you get through your weekly batching so you can reap all the benefits of eating a super healthy Whole Food Plant Based diet. I’m talkin’ cancer prevention, kick-ass immune system, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, leaner body, glowing skin, more energy – so many reasons to fuel your gorgeous body with life sustaining plants!

After you watch the video, tell me in the comments below the moves you are going to incorporate into your batching. If you’ve already tried some of these moves, I want to hear about that too. Talk to me is what I’m saying! 

You can practice your moves when you make the yummy recipe below.

Tempeh Cubano Sandwich (oil free)

Author: Molly Patrick


  • 1 package of tempeh 8oz. / 227g

Tempeh Marinade

  • Juice from 1 orange (about 1/2 cup / 120ml)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • teaspoon salt
  • A few turns black pepper


  • Sprouted English Muffin
  • Creamy Mustard Dressing (see notes)
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Tempeh
  • Sprouts


  • The first step is to steam your tempeh. Steaming is important because it helps the tempeh absorb the marinade and it will make for a better overall texture. You can use your Instant Pot or you can steam it on the stove. Whichever way you choose, first cut your tempeh in half, widthwise.
  • To use your Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water to the pot and place the trivet on the bottom. Place the tempeh directly on the trivet and lock the lid into place. Make sure the nozzle is in the “sealing” position. Use the manual mode and set the timer for 5 minutes. Use the natural release method when the time is up. If using the stove, add two cups of water to a pot, along with a steamer basket. Place the tempeh in the steamer basket and place a lid on the pot. Steam for 10 minutes. 
  • When the tempeh is steamed, carefully slice both halves, lengthwise, so that you have 4 thinner slabs in total. Set aside for now. 
  • Make the marinade by placing all of the marinade ingredients into a large bowl with a wide bottom, and whisking to combine (orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, coconut aminos, salt, pepper). 
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and then place the tempeh in the bowl with the marinade and marinate for about 15 minutes, turning over once or twice so all of the tempeh absorbs some marinade. 
  • Place the tempeh on a parchment covered baking sheet and pour the leftover marinade on top. Bake for 15 minutes, take out of the oven, flip over, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool completely before you store in the fridge. 


  • Toast your English Muffin (or regular bread if using that). Spread some Mustard Dressing on each muffin half (link to recipe in recipe notes) and layer with tempeh, cucumber and sprouts. 


Check out our delicious Creamy Mustard Dressing recipe.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with treating your body like the beautiful temple it is.



Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Jeannie on September 15, 2018 at 9:30 am

    This looks delicious for my Cuban husband. I am still trying to perfect my Cuban black beans recipe so hopefully this will be a good diversion. Just thought I would throw out the suggestion for Alvarado St. Bakery’s sprouted hamburger buns if you have never tried them. They are delicious and I prefer them over the sprouted English muffins. They can be tricky to locate, but I promise they are worth the effort. And keep the Cuban influenced recipes coming. Thank you!

  2. Debrah McCabe on September 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    5 stars
    I just happened to have a package of tempeh thawed and now I know what to do with it to go with our salad tonight! Thanks for the idea Molly.

  3. Jeannine Doran on September 16, 2018 at 5:30 am

    5 stars
    This looks great. On my to do list!

  4. Andrea on March 22, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    4 stars
    Finally made this tonight. Next time I’ll slice the tempeh into thin strips like we did for a recent batch. For us, the slabs of tempeh were too thick and strips would soak up more of the delicious marinade and carmelize while baking.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on March 23, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Hi Andrea, for sure, thinner strips will soak up more marinade. You may need to adjust the cook time down a little bit for thinner strips, just keep an eye on them. ~Karen

  5. Chris David on April 21, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Great recipe and really a nice one. Will surely try this

    • Team Dirty - Brittany on April 21, 2022 at 10:10 pm

      Report back and let us know how you like it! It is really tasty!

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