I've been dying to mix up my tempeh routine. Unbelievably Vegan Tempeh
has been our go-to for the last couple of years (and it's seriously good), but I've found that the sauce doesn't always go with everything.
These tahini-glazed bites were the product of a quest to make a more neutral flavored version, perhaps one that could be made "plain" but tossed with different sauces (kind of like chicken wings...?). It also happened to be a great use for a new brand of tahini I was recently introduced to, Philadelphia's small batch produced, locally made Soom Foods
. Perhaps the creamiest tahini I've ever tried, this stuff made the perfect coating for the tempeh. (I also love that it's a small venture run by awesome young women entrepreneurs. High five!!)
The tempeh itself is SO easy to make. I put together a double batch so we'd have lots to use throughout the week, particularly because I wanted to test out my "how many sauces will work on this" hypothesis.
The marinade is a combination of tahini, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic and lime juice (use lemon if you prefer; lime was what I had handy). Thanks to the oil in the EVOO and the tahini, the tempeh cooks through (oil helps saturate the beans and retains heat; it also helps with crisping). The coating also bakes into a lovely thick layer around each cube, forming something that resembles the batter on a chicken nugget. (So many gross references to eating chicken today, sorry all. I suppose the upside is that these little bites are the perfect substitute for chicken! Yes? Yay.)
Tahini - FYI - is sesame paste: like almond or peanut butter, it's what you get when you relentlessly blend sesame seeds. It's crazy high in calcium and nourishing fats AND can be a perfect addition to a Seed Cycling regimen (a great way to balance your hormones and promote full-body health).
When left plain, these have a slightly garlicky taste; the coating, however, will take on whatever flavor you toss it in. Barbecue sauce? Sweet and sour sauce? Soy sauce? Whatever you need to integrate it into another dish, these are a true chameleon toss-in. If you'd like to make your own sauce, check out this Basil Ponzu
, the barbecue sauce on these Cauliflower Wings
or Vegan Yogurt Sauce
Check out Soom Foods and whip up a batch of these. Vegan meatballs! Salad toppers! Chicken substitutes! Bon, non? ;)