Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Tempeh Wraps

On Monday, the USDA released the 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans.  Americans are being encouraged to reduce obesity by eating less and eating better.  While these seem like common sense principles, this is a huge move for the industry-funded USDA.  One way to eat better, and consume fewer calories is to go vegetarian a few days a week.  So try tempeh!

Tempeh is one of those "meat-replacement" foods that frequently appears in vegetarian restaurants, but I never seem to cook it at home.  Similar to tofu, tempeh is soy-based.  However, tempeh is made from the whole soy bean, and therefore has a firmer texture, more dietary fiber, and higher protein content.  

Sorry, the tempeh is kind of hiding
A few weeks ago I spotted a package of tempeh when stocking up on my weekly quantity of tofu, and grabbed it figuring inspiration would follow.  It sat in my fridge for at least a week before I mustered up the energy to get creative with my little block of goodness.  At first, I planned on baking these little tempeh sticks, but it was taking too long, and looked very bland.  The best thing about these wraps: they take about 15 minutes, start to finish.  

Spice-Rubbed Tempeh Wraps
Makes 4 wraps
  • 1 8oz package of tempeh
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon  coriander
  • ½ onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • ½ can black beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 4 leafs lettuce, torn or chopped into large pieces
1.       Slice tempeh into sticks, ¼ inch wide and about 3 inches long (width of package). 
2.       Combine paprika, chili powder, cumin and coriander in a bowl, and rub each tempeh stick in the spices (if they are not sticking, get them a bit wet). 
3.       Put olive oil in sauté pan, and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and any remaining spices. 
4.       Once the onion begins to soften, increase the heat to medium-high and add the tempeh.  Cook until browned on all sides.
5.       Pour black beans into a pot and warm over low heat (~3-4 minutes)
6.       Warm tortillas in oven 1-2 minutes
7.       Lay tortilla flat and add tempeh, onions, avocado, bell pepper, beans, cilantro and lettuce.  Fold over one end and roll from sides.

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