This is a hack of the first truly heavenly vegan meal prepared for me at an all plant-based, sustainable restaurant. It's a lovely way to dress up some zucchini, carrots, and greens.
Also, this makes great leftovers, just store cheez and avocado separately and add after reheating the noodles and rice. This would also make a good luke-warm salad to serve at picnics because it even tastes amazing cooled down. When I ordered this from the restaurant I didn't have time to eat it all since I was traveling, so I tucked it in my bag and snacked on it all day long for 3 separate meals!
Smokey Tempeh with Zucchini Noodles and Carrot-Mayo Cheez
1 block tempeh, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 to 1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbs maple or agave syrup
6-9 drops liquid smoke
2-4 zucchini, spiralized
handful arugula, spinach, or kale - chopped (optional)
vegetable oil for cooking
1 cup black beans, cooked
sunnies and avocado for serving (optional)
cooked brown rice, lentils, or quinoa
5-6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3-4 TBS almond (or other) milk
1/2 cup vegan mayo (I prefer the grapeseed version)
2-3 TBS nutritional yeast
dash hot sauce (optional)
- Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke in a bowl and add cubed tempeh to marinade while you prep other ingredients.
- Add carrots to a small pan with enough water to steam and cook, covered, until soft.
- Drain cooking liquid and add carrots to food processor to puree. Add almond milk to help the carrots "move." Once the carrots are pureed, add mayo, nutritional yeast, and optional hotsauce and process until well combined with the consistency of melted cheese. Add a few TBS of olive or grapeseed oil to thicken if needed.
- Heat a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet to medium-high. (If using non-stick use medium-low) and let the pan get some heat on it before adding a few TBS grapeseed or canola oil and the marinated tempeh (reserve marinade for next step).
- Brown tempeh on all sides. Add spiralized zucchini and optional greens to the pad along with reserved marinade and sweat to reduce. After about 5 minutes, the noodles should be soft and pliant, but still have some tooth.
- While the noodles are sweating, warm your black beans, adding salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve zucchini and tempeh on top of bowls of warm rice with warm black beans, optional sunnies and avocado, with a dallop of carrot-mayo cheez