Tuesday, 19 August 2014

BBQ Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

       I can't believe I've surpassed 10 000 views! With just over 60 posts, its time for some change. I've been working on something new for the blog. I've been drawing away and tinkering with fonts to create a new title header. As soon as it's complete, I will update the blog and let all my followers know (if you aren't following me yet, go ahead and try it. You can follow No Empty Fridge by email by submitting your email in subscription app in the right sidebar). 

       Anyhoo, seeing as it's been great whether lately, chilly night and hot days, I've whipped up a tasty recipe for BBQ-style tempeh that is perfect on lettuce wraps. For those new to the product, tempeh is made from soy beans, like tofu, but the beans are left whole, then fermented and formed into bricks. Tempeh is a hearty source of protein for vegetarians that can really soak up flavour. The best way to get the most flavour in the shortest amount of time is to steam or boil the tempeh for 10-20 minutes first and then marinate it. By parcooking the tempeh, it absorbs the marinade better and much faster than if you where to solely marinate it. This method also makes the tempeh more moist, so it can better hold up to longer or dryer cooking methods, such as pan frying, baking and barbecuing. 
       I've used this recipe when making fajitas with cilantro lime rice and guacamole and most recently on lettuce wraps with couscous, avocado, balsamic-marinaded red onions and lemon-mustard marinated hearts of palm. So tasty! You can find out how I did all of this below, starting with the main attraction: BBQ Tempeh.  

Serves: 3-5


1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 cup (3 tbsp) ketchup 
3 tbsp sriracha or garlic chili paste 
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey or agave 
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

3 tbsp vegan margarine


1. In a medium large pot with your steamer basket, add a couple of inches of water and place the full brick of tempeh in a the steamer. Steam for 10-20 minutes covered.
2. While the tempeh is steaming whisk together all ingredients in a sealable container. If you're making my lettuce wraps, you will also want to start preparing your other toppings, see below for more information.
3. When the tempeh is done steaming, let it cool, then slice it into about quarter inch strips, then cut those strips into 3 width wise. 
4. Place the chunks of tempeh into the marinate, seal well with the lid, shake and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, shaking or turning after 15 minutes. 
5. When you are ready to prepare your tempeh, heat up a nonstick pan with the margarine on medium heat. Add the tempeh and all the leftover marinade. Let cook for 5-10 minutes on the one side, until dark brown and then flip the tempeh over and cook on the other side for about 5 minutes before removing from the heat.

If you are serving this on top of lettuce wraps, you'll need:
• Large leaf lettuce: washed and air or patted dry
• 1 cup couscous: cooked by covering couscous with 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl and then covering with plastic wrap to let steam for 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. (Fluff and season couscous before serving)
• ~1/4 cup sliced red onion: marinated in 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper for at least 10 minutes
• 1 can hearts of palm: drained, rinsed, and marinated in 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey or agave and salt and pepper to taste, for at least 20 minutes
• 1 avocado: sliced thinly 

Are you a lettuce wrap fan? Or do you prefer tortillas when you are wrapping up your meal?