Grilled Chipotle Tempeh Kebabs

In San Jose, California, "orange sauce" is king.  There's an ongoing battle about which taqueria makes the best orange sauce.  In my opinion, it's La Vic's, but trust me when I tell you, everyone has an opinion on the subject.  Even more controversial is the discuss of what's in the secret sauce.  No one knows for sure, but everyone has a theory.  But when it comes down to it, orange sauce is delicious and advertised as being vegan (at least by La Vic's).  When I moved away from San Jose, I had no idea how much I would miss it!

Today's recipe is an ode to orange sauce.  It is not meant to replicate orange sauce, but to pay tribute to it.  If you want the real stuff, you'll have to make your way to San Jose!  In the meantime, the smokey spice of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sweet Vidalia onions, copious amounts of garlic, a little almond butter and a bit of vinegar make this marinade sing.  I would urge you to let it marinade overnight, if possible.  If not possible, let it marinade for at least 3 hours.  Keep a bit of the marinade back and mix it with some vegan mayo and serve as a drizzling sauce with finished product.

These kebabs taste great on their own, but would work well in a taco or burrito.  A splash of lime juice is nice, as well.  They are on the spicy side, so if you prefer a milder marinade, use 1 chipotle instead of 2.

Grilled Chipotle Tempeh Kebabs.jpg

Grilled Chipotle Tempeh Kebabs

1 12 ounce package of tempeh, steamed and cut into bite size cubes

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 1 Tbsp of the adobo sauce (see note above)

5 large garlic cloves

1 Tbsp almond butter

2-3 tsp white wine vinegar

½ cup sweet onion, like a Vidalia onion

1 medium tomato, cubed

½ fake chicken bouillon cube

¼ cup canola oil

2-3 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise, optional (see note above)

Salt, to taste

1. In a blender, add everything listed above, except the tempeh.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust.  It should taste very strong, because it's a marinade.  On the grill, it will mellow a bit, so keep that in mind.  

2. Layer the marinade and tempeh in a sealable container.  Refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours.  To make an optional drizzling sauce, reserve ¼ cup of the marinade sauce in the blender, and add vegan mayonnaise.  Blend until smooth, and put the drizzling sauce in a sealable container. 

3. When the tempeh is done marinading, skewer it, and put it on the grill over non-stick foil for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the grill, and serve with optional drizzling sauce or lime wedges.

Grilled Chipotle Tempeh Kebabs