When I was younger my best friend and I would have what we called “bed picnics.” We’d ransack the fridge and then load up a tray with the weird concoctions we created, quickly dashing to her bedroom to watch dance competition shows and snack away. One of our favorite creations were lettuce leaves filled with leftover Chinese takeaway after we saw a cooking show host make something similar, albeit much more refined than ours of course. I recently found myself craving those odd little lettuce boats, so I went down to the kitchen to figure out how to turn those memories into a delicious vegan meal. These Teriyaki Tempeh Boats are the perfect quick meal for a busy weekday or to pack away for a picnic, whether on the beach or in bed! With the sweet yet savory flavor of the teriyaki tempeh balanced by the fresh crunch of the salad and lettuce, these are sure to satisfy.
YIELDS 5 servings
- 1 Medium carrot, ribboned
- 1/3 cup Celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Lime juice
- To taste Salt and pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon Sesame oil
- 8 ounces (1 package) Tempeh, chopped
- 1/3 cup Pineapple juice (can substitute with orange or apple juice, but flavor will vary)
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons Fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Coconut palm sugar (sub: agave, maple syrup, brown sugar)
- 5 Large lettuce leafs, washed and with bottom stalk cut off
- 1/4 cup Roasted cashews, chopped
1.) Prepare salad topping: rinse and ribbon one large carrot (about 1 cup of carrot) with a vegetable peeler, and add to bowl with chopped celery, lime juice and toss together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside in fridge while you cook the tempeh. 2.) In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onions in sesame oil until translucent. Add in the 8 ounces of chopped tempeh and stir-fry until the edges of the tempeh pieces are golden brown. Reduce heat to the lowest setting as you prepare the sauce. 3.) In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, minced ginger, garlic powder, and coconut palm sugar. Turn the heat for the frying pan back up to medium heat as you pour the sauce in. Stir until all the pieces of tempeh are evenly coated and the sauce has reduced, which should take about 5 minutes. 4.) Assemble the dish by filling each lettuce leaf with a generous scoop of teriyaki tempeh. Top with the crunchy carrot and celery salad and a sprinkle of chopped cashews.
Also by Aubrey: Vegan Spicy Peanut Noodles
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Photos: Aubrey Pacheco