In brainstorming recipes for the new year, I looked back at reader’s favorites from 2014 for guidance and inspiration. The most popular recipe, both in page views and comments, was Chimichurri Tempeh with Carrot Ribbons. I was excited to see this, actually. I love tempeh and am trying to find creative ways to incorporate more into my and CJ’s diet…and apparently you all are as well.
What a fun year this will be for both of us, starting with Buffalo Tempeh Tacos.
Back in October, I attended Boston’s Vegetarian Food Festival. It was a fairly mediocre experience until I saw a sign advertising lunch at a vegetarian/vegan taco food truck around the corner. Nothing gets me excited like a food truck, especially ones friendly to gluten-free folks. I followed additional signs promising TACO BLISS, and bliss it was.
Taco Party Truck was my favorite part of the food festival. Sweet Potato Taco with okonomiyaki sauce, pickled red cabbage, sliced scallions and cashew crema was divine. However, it was the Buffalo Tempeh Taco – “Red Hot” tempeh, tomato cucumber salsa, shredded lettuce, and vegan ranch dressing – that made me want to yell aloud, fist in the air, “TACO BLISS.”
As my first tempeh of the New Year, I paid homage to the Taco Bliss of Taco Party Truck. This meant marinating and baking tempeh in Frank’s Red Hot sauce, then tossing it in even more Frank’s before assembling the tacos.
Rather than a vegan ranch dressing, I complemented the buffalo
marinated soaked tempeh with a cool lime cashew crema. A squeeze bottle made it easy to drizzle the crema evenly across the taco. Best $2 I’ve ever spent.
Because there’s enough kick in this taco from Frank’s Red Hot sauce, I kept the salsa cool as well, mixing cucumber, tomatoes and white onion with fresh cilantro and lime juice. If you enjoy heat in abundance, I suggest adding a diced jalapeño as well to the salsa.
Wrapped in a warm corn tortilla, these tempeh tacos are quite the party for your tastebuds. Spicy, cool, soft, and crunchy all in one bite.
I would love to hear from you. What is your favorite way to eat tempeh? What about your favorite taco filling?
Gluten-Free Buffalo Tempeh Tacos with Vegan Crema and Tomato Cucumber Salsa
- 8 oz gluten-free tempeh
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, divided
- 10 gluten free soft corn tortillas
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 6 hours
- 3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
Tomato Cucumber Salsa
- 1 cup cucumber, deseeded and finely diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
- ¼ cup white onion, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
- Place the raw cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 6 hours or overnight.
- Rinse the tempeh and pat dry. Slice tempeh into half inch strips. Slice each strip in half lengthwise (to make them thinner).
- Place tempeh in an oven safe dish and pour ½ cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce over the tempeh. Gently toss together until the tempeh is coated, then arrange in a single layer. Cover and set aside to marinate as oven pre-heats to 350 F.
- While tempeh is marinating and oven is pre-heating, prepare the salsa. Wash and deseed ½ a large cucumber, dicing into ¼ inch pieces (will yield about 1 cup). Wash and deseed 2 ripe tomatoes, dicing into ¼ inch pieces (will yield about 1 cup). Finely dice ¼ white onion. Mince 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro. Add all ingredients to a bowl and combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- On the middle rack of the pre-heated 350 F oven, bake the tempeh in a covered dish for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- To prepare the crema, drain the soaked cashews and add to a blender or food processor along with the garlic clove, salt, almond milk, white wine vinegar and lime juice. Process until smooth.
- Using a spatula, gently remove the baked tempeh from the dish and place in a bowl. Pour the remaining ½ cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce over the tempeh and gently toss to coat.
- Warm the corn tortillas. To assemble the tacos, add 2-3 strips of tempeh to the bottom of the tortilla. Top with the salsa, then drizzle the crema on top.