Monday, April 11, 2011

Curried Tempeh Wrap with Mango-Cucumber Raita

My husband and I are watching the TV show America's Next Great Restaurant hosted by Bobby Flay.  I don't think that creating another "unhealthy" fast food restaurant chain is what America needs right now with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer on the rise, but who am I to say.  At least there are two contestants who are trying to serve somewhat healthy food with their concepts, HarvestSol and Spice Coast and I'm rooting for Spice Coast. I like the idea of serving flavorful and healthy Indian fast food. 

However, I was disappointed when the investors, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone, Lorena Garcia and the founder of Chipotle, Steve Ells recommended that the owner of Spice Coast add meat to his vegetarian menu saying vegetarian food was too limiting for a restaurant chain.  And I disagree with that as well.  I truly believe that there is a market for vegan and vegetarian restaurants, especially in major metropolitan areas.  And I believe that all restaurants that serve meat should offer at least one or two vegan options on their menu.  So if you're listening...Bobby, Curtis, Lorena and Steve I'd love the opportunity to talk to you about my vegan concept "Leafy Greens"...:-) 

Anyway, watching the show last night made me want to make Indian wraps--my version of Indian fast street food.  And it was really good!  One day, if I ever have my own vegan restaurant, this will probably be on my menu.  Along with a Greek Gyro of course...but that's another post!

Curried Tempeh Balls:

1 8oz package of Organic 3-Grain Tempeh
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (found in health food stores)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (found in health food stores)
1/2 medium onion, small diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, small diced
2 tsp yellow curry powder 
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp filtered water
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp canola oil

  • Heat saute pan on medium, add canola oil and saute onions and red pepper until soft.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.  
  • Grate tempeh with a box grater in a large bowl.
  • Add onions and red pepper.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and spices and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, mix tomato paste and water and pour into dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Using a small ice cream scooper, form mixture into 16 balls, pressing to make sure that they are firm. 
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium and add 1 tbsp canola oil and brown tempeh balls turning frequently until brown and crisp on all sides.
Mango-Cucumber Raita:

1/2 cup vegan organic soy plain yogurt
1/2 cup vegan Follow Your Heart sour cream
1 cup English Cucumber, small diced with skin on
1/2 cup fresh Mango, small diced
1/2 tsp whole cumin seed, toasted
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili pepper
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


  • Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill for at least an hour for flavors to develop.
Carrot-Cabbage Salad:

2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 tsp black mustard seeds, toasted
Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp canola oil

  • Heat canola oil in saute pan on medium heat, add mustard seeds and toast for about 1 minute until seeds start popping.  
  • Remove from heat and immediately pour over carrot salad.
  • Toss with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature. 

Serve with multi-grain rotis or whole wheat tortillas, lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled until lightly charred.  Enjoy!

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