Tag Archives: tempeh

Blackened tempeh skewers with zesty green salsa

This is perhaps the most “on-the-fly” blog post I’ve written since I got my butt back in gear earlier this month on Urban Garlic. Oh, I have tons of other blog posts lined up — muffins, breakfast bites, shepherd’s pie — but for some reason I just had to do tempeh skewers on March 26.

Now, if you’re not a tempeh fan, or if you’re one of those people who has to have it prepared just so, fear not: I was once like you. In fact, I still am, very much, like you. While there’s not much in the world that makes me happier than a Bloomer’s tempeh reuben, and my favourite “just passing by the fridge” snack is my tempeh mushroom mince, I’d still much rather top a bowl or salad with some lightly fried or baked tofu rather than tempeh.


Loaded breakfast burrito with tempeh

Processed with VSCOcam

I am probably the last vegan in the world to come around to tempeh. I have always been a huge tofu fan and have never really seen much of a need for tempeh, I guess. Couple that in with a few bad experiences with poorly-prepared tempeh, not to mention the hard-to-take smell when you pull it out of the package (hey, does anyone actually enjoy the smell of something that’s been fermented?) and I’d all but sworn off tempeh.

Then, like pretty much any food, all I had to do was taste it prepared the right way, and I was hooked. My partner and I travelled to Hamilton for lunch a few weekends ago and were recommended a little place called Democracy*. And I had just a bite (I’d have had more if it didn’t have apples on it) of my partner’s tempeh, apple, maple and Daiya sandwich and suddenly all I could think about for days was tempeh. It was sliced so thin and done up so crispy and savoury in a way that completely complimented the sandwich.


So lately, I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate tempeh into my life. And actually, in a weird way, it’s quite the phenomenal feeling. I was worried a few weeks ago that I’d “run out” of ideas to keep up with my current posting schedule. All it takes is one little moment of inspiration and suddenly you’re full of new ideas. So I say, bring it on, life. I’ve got recipes galore.

I love a good breakfast burrito. And this is one that switched it up from the usual. Because, you know, tempeh! Of course, you don’t have to eat it for breakfast. Remember how Andy Dwyer said “Anything is a toy if you play with it?” Anything is breakfast if it’s your first meal of the day.

This burrito is also a big step for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever voluntarily made and eaten red peppers. Okay, there weren’t a lot in there,  but it was still a major step for me. My least favourite vegetable is slowly growing on me.

Loaded breakfast burrito with tempeh, makes three burritos


  • Half of a package of tempeh
  • One medium Yukon gold potato
  • One large tomato, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 of a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped red or white onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh packed cilantro
  • A handfull of kale or spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper or cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Three large tortilla wraps, use gluten-free if necessary
  • For garnish: salsa, avocado, Herbamare or anything else you may enjoy


  1. In a medium to large-sized pot, bring some water to a boil and boil your potato for about 20 minutes
  2. While that’s goin’ on, crumble your tempeh (just use hands, but wash them, because who knows where they’ve been?!) into a bowl. Add your paprika, chipotle, cumin, parsley, cilantro, red pepper flakes, sea salt, black pepper, and shake around.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat some canola oil over medium-high heat. Add your garlic, tomato, bell pepper and onions. Sautee until the pepper softens and the onions become clear (about 5-10 minutes)
  4. Remove the potato from the boiling water and, wearing a glove (preferably silicone), dice it into small chunks. Add to the skillet, along with the fresh cilantro.
  5. Keep everything moving until you feel the potatoes start to become tender. When you can almost mash them with your flipper, add in the tempeh and the kale/spinach, squeeze in your lemon juice for some nice steam/aroma, reduce heat to medium low, and cover for about 5-10 minutes (until the leaves start to wilt).
  6. Prep your burritos with whatever you like. Personally, I find the meaty texture of tempeh contrasts well with ripe avocado, and some salsa to add a nice kick.

Enjoy your new favourite breakfast!