Sweet and spicy Jamaican flavors combine with tempeh (fermented soybeans) in this delicious grilled entree. Serve over brown rice or salad greens – and don’t forget dessert! I’m including a recipe for simple Mango Banana Nice Cream – the perfect summery sweet treat!
There’s something about hot weather that calls for sweetness combined with hot-chili-pepper-goodness.
With the sun shining and the temperature quickly escalating, I couldn’t think of a better dish than this Jamaican Jerk Tempeh.
Never had tempeh? Get ready for a life-affirming experience. Tempeh is chewier than tofu and has a stronger, nuttier flavor that I adore. Because its fermented, tempeh also serves as a source of healthy probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in the gut that and aid in digestion and immunity. (Cook tempeh until it is just warmed through in order to preserve more beneficial bacteria.)
The jerk style of cooking originated in Jamaica and usually refers to marinating and slow-cooking meat, fish, or even fruits and vegetables in a blend of spices. The mixture usually includes allspice and habanero peppers. Many jerk recipes also call for sugar but I opted for pure maple syrup to sweeten the deal.
Jamaican Jerk Tempeh
To prepare, first combine spices to create a jerk seasoning blend. Marinate tempeh with jerk seasoning, oil, and maple syrup before grilling for about 5-6 minutes. (You can use an outdoor grill or grill pan indoors.) Slice into strips and serve with brown rice or salad greens.
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 habanero pepper, minced
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil, plus additional for oiling pan
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1-8 oz block tempeh
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together allspice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black pepper, and habanero. Add oil and maple syrup and mix until well combined.
- Place tempeh in a bowl or baking dish. Pour seasoning mixture over tempeh and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oiled grill pan or frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add tempeh to pan and pour remaining marinade on top. Cook until warm, flipping halfway through, approximately 3 minutes on each side.
- Remove tempeh from pan and slice into inch-wide strips. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.
- Serve with salad greens or brown rice.
Mango Banana Nice Cream
After setting your mouth on fire with habanero, there’s nothing more refreshing than this tropical 2-ingredient sweet treat. Warning – my recent discovery of nice cream has been nearly as life affirming as my introduction to tempeh – so be prepared.
All you need is frozen banana and mango – combine them in a food processor until an ice cream-like texture forms. Enjoy immediately!
Mango-Nana Ice Cream
2 frozen bananas
½ cup frozen mango chunks
2 strawberries, sliced (for garnish, optional)
- Add banana and mango to food processor and pulse until creamy, approximately 1-2 minutes. (Less time if you wish to keep some small mango chunks.) Garnish with strawberries if desired and serve immediately.
Have you tried tempeh? How about nice cream? Tag your creations @gratefulgrazer on Instagram so I can see!
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