I began making this recipe over 4 years ago when I tried going Vegan. Although my attempt to eat animal free didn't last long (one word: cheese), I did discover a few pretty incredible recipes and these Smoky Tempeh Wraps with Tahini Carrot Slaw are my favorite.
I remember the first time I made them- it was shortly after my husband and I had returned from 6 months traveling around SE Asia, a time when my once limited palate said, no more boring food! It's time for something new. Tahini and tempeh were two VERY new ingredients for me. I knew I had eaten tahini in hummus, but I had never actually used it in cooking. And tempeh? What was tempeh?
But, I was going vegan, remember? I needed to figure these things out.
Tahini, simply put, is a paste/sauce/dip/condiment made from toasted ground sesame seeds. It's good stuff. Tempeh is made by a natural and controlled fermentation process of soybeans, binding them into a cake-like or log-shaped form. It has a firm texture and naturally nutty flavor. I am a BIG fan of this vegan meat substitute.
Once I located these ingredients (they are now at nearly every market), I needed to learn about other popular vegan ingredients- liquid smoke, liquid aminos and agave syrup. These are all important in marinades and dressings and help give the tempeh in this recipe a nutty deep smoky flavor which makes the perfect complement to the creamy carrot tahini slaw with sweet oranges.
Finally, add a generous handful of greens (and maybe some sliced avocado if you really want to pack in the good stuff), wrap it all up in a big fluffy tortilla and you will have yourself something pretty special (and crazy healthy). Yes, my husband will eat anything and everything, but he went crazy for these wraps (and still does).
And, just in case you're curious, here's a look at the same recipe over at my old blog back in 2012- while my photography skills and food styling have a looong way to go, I'd say they already have come quite a way.
Smoky Tempeh Wraps with Tahini Carrot Slaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 8 minutes | Total Time: 23 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the tempeh:
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 tablespoons liquid aminos
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons agave syrup
freshly ground black pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages tempeh, sliced into cubes or logs
For the Carrot Slaw:
10 ounces shredded carrots
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large orange, zested, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoon vegenaise
salt and pepper, to taste
Large tortillas (choose your favorite!)
Baby Kale (or other favorite greens)
In a large shallow dish whisk together the liquid smoke, liquid aminos, chili powder, apple cider vinegar, agave syrup and freshly ground black pepper. Slice tempeh into approximately 1/2 inch thick logs or cubes and mix with marinade. Gently toss to coat. All tempeh to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
As the tempeh marinates, prepare the carrot slaw- in a medium bowl whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, agave syrup, vegenaise and salt and pepper. In a separate, larger bowl, toss together the shredded carrots, red onion, orange zest and orange pieces. Gently mix the carrots with the mayo and season as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil to the pan. When the skillet is hot, add the tempeh in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd the pan (you may need to do this in two batches) as well as half the liquid from the marinade. Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip, cooking the other side an additional 2-3 minutes or until tempeh is golden brown. Remove from heat.
Assemble your wraps- top a large tortilla with your favorite greens, carrot slaw and several pieces of smoked tempeh.
Recipe inspired by Healthy. Happy. Life.