I get by with a little help from my friends. John Lennon
This week I’m finally excited to share with you a recipe that’s been on the ‘test roster’ for a while now. These ingredients have been making appearances together for years now in our house, but the past few months have really seen them come together in a tangible way that I can now safely share.
Just four (yes, only FOUR!) ingredients blended together will give you the creamiest, tastiest, spiciest condiment to add to just about anything. Thanks to the cashew once again, this beauty makes a great mayo replacement and works perfectly for drizzling on anything warm – like tacos, fries, or these tasty tempeh + yam stuffed pitas. And the best part? It’s totally oil free, and did I mention you only need four ingredients?! Welcome to your new favourite kitchen sauce staple, one that will keep for up to a week if sealed in a clean jar in the fridge, and is so easy to have on hand when you feel like preparing a quick + tasty meal. These tempeh + sweet potato stuffed pita bread make for a super hearty, protein loaded feast for those hungry winter days when you really just need something substantial.
On the real-life side of things, this week has been just an awesome one so far. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to make more time for the special women in my life, and with that I am writing this from the couch of one of my best girlfriends, after a night of scheming weekend girly getaways and ways to re-charge together in the city (I left the family for Whistler on business and decided to make a night of it. After all, it turns out they CAN fend for themselves!). In fact, this whole lady theme has been rather prominent this week, as Monday was a catch-up date night with another long time best friend over dinner at Vij’s, followed by luxurious foot massages. Tuesday I enjoyed fancy lady lunch with my very best friend and business partner (how lucky am I), and in the evening, attended an intimate industry event held in honour of International Women’s Day. Standing room only. 75 amazing women.
I have to be perfectly honest and share that I don’t always feel I’ve made the right decisions when I choose nights out in place of being with my family. I often feel like I should ‘be at home’ – that somehow I’m either missing something or they’ll be missing me. I’ve always chosen family first, and it’s certainly not every week I’m out three nights in a row like this. But my kids are older now, and it’s nice to take the time for me, and to connect with wonderful friends both old and new, something made even sweeter by watching a community come together around important issues of our day. To keep it warm and fuzzy, it really just feels good in all the right ways! Just like your taste buds might after the first bite of this delicious sauce 😉 You’ve. Been. Warned. Have a wonderful week my friends! XOX
Tempeh + Sweet Potato Stuffed Pita w/ Cashew Chipotle Sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
400 grams tempeh
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup peeled and cubed yam
1 fresh pita per serving, cut in half
sliced ripe avocado
chopped green leaf lettuce
chopped fresh tomato
Cashew Chipotle Sauce:
2 cups whole cashews
1 1/3 cup water
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3-4 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce + some of the sauce
First, chop and prepare the veggies and tempeh. Heat the first tablespoon of oil in a fry pan and add the tempeh and spices. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until crispy on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the second tablespoon of oil and add the onion and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the yam and cook a further 5-7 minutes on medium heat, until the spices are fragrant and the yam is tender. Mix in the cooked tempeh and stir until incorporated. As the yams are cooking, add all of the sauce ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste to adjust lemon juice and salt. I recommend starting with fewer peppers – they have a kick to them and you can always add more!
To serve, warm the pita halves under a broiler for a minute and open. Fill with fresh lettuce, followed by the tempeh mixture. Top with chopped tomatoes, black pepper, and drizzle with sauce (have extra for the table too). Keep leftover tempeh hash mixture in the fridge for a quick weeknight dinner. Just re-heat and serve over grains, steamed veggies, or pasta. And always, with the sauce! Enjoy!