On a woodland walk, nascent blooms appeared encircled by gentle light. Branches dotted with sunny yellow blossoms harkened spring’s arrival, while daydreams of cottage gardens and warmer days floated adrift in my mind. Alongside thoughts of verdant hues, a longing for warm weather cooking grew.
Soft corn tortillas, crumbles of spicy, meaty tempeh, creamy black beans and avocados, shaved cabbage, fresh cilantro and splashes of lime—ingredients which lend perfectly to tacos, held steadfastly. Although there’s a place for tacos at any table, these Tempeh Tacos with Chipotle Crema fundamentally satisfy hearty winter cravings with nourishing comfort food and a hint of warmer days yet to come. Plus plant-based chipotle crema. It’s creamy, spicy with a touch of citrus. Perfect drizzling atop.
Peeking between puffs of cotton, a brilliant sun fades to twilight. I take my first bite of these fresh, spicy tempeh tacos with chipotle crema and it’s pure taco bliss!
Looking for more taco-inspired recipes?Print
- 8 oz. organic tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp maple syrup
- 16 oz. can low-fat refried black beans (organic if possible)
- 8 organic, non-GMO corn tortillas (6-inch)
- 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder, plus more as desired
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- 4 cloves roasted garlic
- 4-6 tbsp water to thin
- Shredded green and red cabbage
- Lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro
- Avocado slices
- Add chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt to a food processor along with the cut tempeh. Pulse 10-12 times to combine the seasoning and create tempeh crumbles.
- In a small bowl, whisk tamari, tomato paste, water and maple syrup. Set aside.
- Gently warm the olive oil over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet. Add the seasoned tempeh crumbles and pour the tamari-tomato paste mixture over the top. Use a spatula to evenly coat the tempeh crumbles and cook the tempeh for about 10-12 minutes (stirring frequently). Or until the tempeh begins brown and is crispy. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside for taco assembly.
- While the tempeh is cooking heat the black beans in a small saucepan over low heat, gently stir ever so often. In a separate skillet, heat the corn tortillas, gently warming them (about 2-3 minutes on each side).
- To make the chipotle crema, place all ingredients except for water in a food processor and whirl away. Stream in the water, 1-2 tbsp at a time, until the crema reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Taste and add more chipotle powder as desired.
- Spoon warm black beans into the bottom of a tortilla and top with tempeh crumbles. Garnish with avocado slices, cabbage, cilantro, lime wedges and chipotle crema as desired.
Need to get dinner on the table quick? Consider swapping out the chipotle crema in this recipe for spicy sauce. You can also swap out roasted garlic for fresh garlic in the crema recipe, making your crema have a bit more garlicky flavor.