Finally! I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since that mistress tempeh won me over with her meatlike texture. Her soy sister tofu made a crispy deep-fried appeal to win back the love of my taste buds at a Thai restaurant today, but this day belongs to tempeh. Buffalo tempeh.
I am an admitted lover of all things buffalo. The sauce, not the animal. So I guess some things buffalo. Back in my meat-eating days, even when I was a generally healthy eater, a fried buffalo chicken sandwich pretty much trumped everything else on any menu for me. Delicious and impossible to screw up. So when I first tried tempeh, in Szechuan Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce, the tangy, somehow blue-cheesy flavor left me with no doubts that tempeh would be a natural with buffalo sauce.
And by no means did it disappoint. I went on Twitter and asked for some tempeh-cooking suggestions, the response came back “grill it,” and I did just that. Grilling in the middle of the day on a weekday (thank you, grad student-hood) is one of those Zen experiences that just makes you happy to be alive. And I achieved gustatory nirvana when I ate two of these buffalo tempeh wraps within the span of ten minutes. The satori didn’t last too long though, because when you eat so fast and so much that you end up skipping dinner six hours later, you feel sort of terrible for a little while after the binge. But all in all, it was worth it.
There’s not too much to say about them, because wraps are a pretty simple food. I did make a Bobby Flay-esque blue cheese yogurt sauce to spread on the them, so that was kind of fun, but the rest is straightforward. Whole-wheat wraps, lettuce (spinach would have been nice but I didn’t have any), tempeh, buffalo sauce, the yogurt sauce, and some blue cheese crumbles. Simple, delicious, impossible to screw up, and each wrap has over 30 grams of protein!
I could go on for a long time about buffalo wraps in terms of stupid Zen metaphors (today was my once-weekly coffee day so I’m a little amped up), but there’s just no need. The pictures provide all the evidence necessary. And if that’s not enough, the surely my first 5 cows out of 5 rating should do the trick. In the name of fairness and transparency I must tell you that this was a one-man totalitarian decision, since Erin didn’t have any (I didn’t find out she doesn’t really like buffalo sauce until after we were married). So the small sample size makes it likely that the rating is an outlier, but if you’re a buffalo fan like me, make this; you can’t possibly not like this one.
Buffalo Tempeh Wrap Recipe
Ingredients (for 2 big wraps):
- 2 large whole-wheat wraps
- 1 8-oz package tempeh
- 1/2-3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (make sure it’s Buffalo Wing, not regular Frank’s)
- lettuce or spinach
- a few handfuls of crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup yogurt (I used soy, but Greek or regular would taste best)
- 1 celery rib
- 2 Tbsp minced red onion
- small handful chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- salt and pepper
Heat your grill to high (the oven would work if you don’t have a grill) Rub the tempeh block with oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and about 2 Tbsp of the buffalo sauce. Let sit for 5-10 minutes while the grill gets hot. In the meantime chop the onion, celery and cilantro and mix in bowl with the yogurt and some of the blue cheese to taste. Add salt if desired. Grill the tempeh block for 2 minutes or so on each side, until heated and just marked by the grill.
Slice the tempeh into 1/2 inch slices and toss in a bowl with remaining buffalo sauce. Spread the yogurt sauce on the wraps, top with lettuce or spinach. Add half the tempeh to each and sprinkle with remaining blue cheese, if desired (mine was a little too blue cheesy , so go easy on the cheesy). Fold in the sides, wrap up, and enter buffalo nirvana.
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