The official start of summer is next week. Next week! Can I get a collective "Where the hell is this year going?"
If you're like me and would much rather run through sprinklers with a pitcher of sangria in hand than sweat your face off in front of a boiling pot, I've got a killer summer meal idea for you, courtesy of Vegan Planet. Here on the Internet, it is yet another mysteriously absent recipe, but it's so straightforward that I'm sure you can figure it out. If not, get the cookbook - the premiere of Big Brother is coming up soon, I can't go to jail for plagiarizing right now.
You start with some apples.
And they turn into this sweet salsa that is supposed to have mint in it, but I forgot to buy mint, so I'm fairly certain that I missed the entire point of it, but all the same it was really freshing.
Then you put that aside and get going on the tempeh. Some folks say tempeh has a bitter taste, so they like to boil it for ten minutes or so before carrying on with grilling/pan-frying/etc. When I first went vegan I used to do this all the time and it definitely does get rid of that somethingsomething that people find annoying about tempeh. But, like so many things, after nearly three years of veganism I've come to appreciate the sophistication of tempeh sans the boiling and so we don't ever bother anymore. Do what you must, as long as it gets you eating a superfood like tempeh!
Tempeh rub! Paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, allspice and some others. Go for whatever combo you like (sometimes I like nothing more than a little italian spice and garlic powder!).
Brush each side with just enough oil so that the spice will stick and rub 'er down.
Fire up the backyard grill and toss the tempeh on, along with a halved red pepper (also brushed with a tiny bit of oil).
This was both an exhilirating and terrifying experience, as believe it or not, I had never operated a BBQ all by my lonesome until the night I made this dish. The BBQ is and always has been Husband Territory (how conventional of such an unconventional couple!), but he had to go out unexpectedly (because I forgot to buy tortilla wraps, actually) and so I was in charge. Turns out BBQs are quite hot and I feared for my eyebrows a little bit. However, you'll be happy to know that both me and my eyebrows survived.
When both sides of the tempeh have these nice grill marks, you are good to go.
A little tempeh, a little red pepper, a little salsa and a sprinkling of hot sauce and you've got yourself a fine little wrap there, no sweltering stove or oven required.
People always ask me if we use the BBQ less since we stopped eating meat and the truth is that we use it so much more than we ever did pregan. If you have the space for one, I'd say a BBQ is absolutely essential to the vegan experience, especially in the summer!
P.S. Exciting news for my local readers: Forks Over Knives is premiering at Princess Cinemas this coming Friday, June 17, 2011 (first showing is Friday night at 9:10pm)! The Princess is located at 6 Princess Street West, Waterloo, ON. Click Here for the Princess' page for the film (complete showtimes and an article from the Waterloo Region Record). After months of anticipation, I cannot wait to visit the Princess this weekend and blog about it afterward. I hope you will also take some time out to see this important and essential film while it has its run at the Princess. If you are not in the Waterloo Region, showtimes for across the United States and Canada are found here.