It’s October 7, and the temperature outside is about 75°F. That’s kind of crazy. I thought about heading down to the beach and going surfing, but instead I stayed home and cooked fall recipes. Who knows what next week will be like, but I’m guessing it’ll still be warm enough for me to hit the water. Or, it could be like 40°F by then. Everything is up in the air these days.
I stayed inside today—even though New Jersey Veg Fest was happening right down the street!—to finish up a recipe I’ve been pondering and testing all week. Despite the weather, Starbucks tells me it’s fall and I’ve taken its cue by working with some seasonal ingredients. Last week’s Coffee Scones with Maple Glaze were the start of it, and this week, I’m back at it again like Damn Daniel with the maple syrup. This time, I’m bringing pumpkin, too.
Tacos always remind me of summer. And since it still feels like that outside, I figured I’d keep the vibe alive and while also focusing on fall. Enter these Fall Tacos with Maple Tempeh and Pumpkin Crema. They have all the trappings of a crisp autumn day, and you can still carry them around like you were getting them from a food truck at the beach. The maple tempeh is smoky and sweet, while the pumpkin crema is a little tart. And the roasted vegetables in the middle provide a nice bridge between two extremes.
This recipe is full of flavor and I’m very happy with it. I think you will be, too. So please give it a try if you’re looking for something new and fun, and take some photos! Tag them #nutfreevegan on social media so I can check them out. I’d really love to know what you think after you’ve tried these.
Fall Tacos with Maple Tempeh and Pumpkin Crema
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 8-oz. package tempeh
- 3 large carrots peeled and julienned
- 1 medium red onion sliced
- 3 Tbsp. vegan butter melted
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 3 cups kale stemmed and chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup vegan sour cream
- 2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, garlic powder and liquid smoke. Stir until mixed thoroughly.
- Crumble tempeh into bowl and stir until fully mixed. Spread out into a single layer on baking sheet.
- Mix butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add carrots and onions and toss to coat. Spread out into a single layer on baking sheet.
- Place both baking sheets in oven and bake for 20 minutes, stirring both dishes every 5 minutes. Cook longer if needed.
- While the other ingredients bake, place kale in a large bowl. Top with oil and salt and massage for 2 minutes.
- Stir together sour cream, pumpkin and cinnamon.
- Build tacos and top with pumpkin crema.