bbq · cole slaw · grilling · tailgate · tempeh · vegan

BBQ Tempeh Sammies with Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

As the product on the field gets worse and worse, our tailgates seem to step it up a notch.  Everyone starts to hit stride as evidenced by our newest addition to the tailgate, the fire pit.  The food also is more elaborate as the year goes on the and the creative juices get flowing.  This week was no exception with this killer recipe from Byrant Terry’s “Vegan Soul Kitchen.”

Tempeh is a soy product similar to tofu in that it absorbs flavor wonderfully.  It is minimally processed using fermented soy beans and an ancient method from Indonesia.  It lends itself well to southern cooking because it has a grittier, more meat like texture, perfect for marinating and grilling.

This recipe starts with a delicious homemade marinade that I’d use for any BBQ grilling.  There aren’t too many funky ingredients and it beats store bought BBQ everytime.  This meal has a special feel, perfect for a crowd.  We had the sammies along side some creamy hummus-based potato salad for a complete tailgate feast.  Enjoy!

My tailgate basket

Carrot-Cayenne Slaw

  • ½ green cabbage head, cored and sliced thinly (you must have a good knife.  I’d recommend this Victorinox 8-inch chef’s knife for less than $30)
  • 2 large carrots, julienned matchstick length
  • Small squeeze Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar (Red Wine or Rice vinegar work too)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar 
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne (or however much you want!)
  • Glug of olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in an airtight container.  Let chill for at least an hour, preferably overnight.  Feel free to toss with a few toasted sesame seeds before serving. 

You can see the spiciness! 

BBQ Tempeh Sammies

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from one lime 
  • ¾ cup tamari or soy sauce 
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound tempeh, cut into 1/2 –inch-wide fingers (I like LightLife Brand better than WestSoy)
  • 6 soft kaiser rolls (you could use foccacia and make open faced sammies too!)

In a blender, combine everything but the tempeh and rolls. Puree until well combined. Set aside.
Flavor explosion
In a large foil baking dish, place tempeh fingers in one snug layer. 
The tailgate prep table
Nice and snug
Pour marinade on top and tightly cover dish with foil (I added some leftover chipotle sausage and mushroom stems from our appetizer). Transfer to a 350-degree oven or to a grill.
Looks like a party
Grill for 50 minutes, covered, turning tempeh once halfway through. 
During the turn
Remove baking dish from grill. Transfer tempeh fingers to the grill and cook until sizzling and slightly charred, about one minute per side.

Finished off on the grill
Toast the buns and assemble the sammies with a few pieces of tempeh and a generous scoop of slaw on top.  
Final product

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