Orange Balsamic BBQ Tempeh and Cheesy Chickpea Polenta

BBQ tempeh cheesy polenta (6)

The other night I have a craving for BBQ. Whenever I make BBQ, I want mashed potatoes on the side. But I was out of potatoes. Then I thought polenta would be good but I didn’t have any cornmeal or polenta either. 🙁

I was getting ready to think up something else for dinner when the idea hit me. Why not make polenta out of chickpea flour? Who says it has to be made from corn? I use chickpea flour for just about everything – omelets, baking, and even scrambles when I want a soy-free version.

chickpea omelets (6)

I was thinking about how I make polenta fries – it starts with just making the polenta and then refrigerating it until it sets. Then you fry or bake them.

polenta fries close

When I make chickpea fries, it’s the same procedure so I figured I could skip the refrigerator part and just make the polenta.

Trudy and Chickpea Fries

Trudy and Chickpea Fries

 

It worked. The chickpea flour cooked up nice and thick and then I melted Daiya cheddar cheese into it. It was thick, creamy, cheesy and delicious with all the Italian spices I added. Oh, and the Orange Balsamic BBQ Tempeh was delicious too. The BBQ sauce is a bit sweet and a bit spicy with a lovely orange undertone. I pan-fried the tempeh but you could bake it too as in this recipe.

BBQ tempeh cheesy polenta (19)

Sometimes I discover the best recipes when I have to improvise. My Orange Balsamic BBQ Tempeh with Cheesy Chickpea Polenta was an incredible discovery and it satisfied my cravings for barbecue. Enjoy!

Orange Balsamic BBQ Tempeh with Cheesy Chickpea Polenta

BBQ tempeh cheesy polenta (3)

GF

For the Chickpea Polenta:

4 cups water

2 cups chickpea flour

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

A pinch of cayenne pepper

¼ cup non-dairy milk

½ cup vegan cheddar shreds

For the Spice Rub:

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. chile powder

1 tsp. brown sugar

 

For the BBQ Sauce:­­­­­­­­­

1 ½ cups ketchup

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. agave nectar

Juice of ½ an orange

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. black pepper

 

2 blocks tempeh

Vegetable oil

 

To make the Chickpea Polenta: 

Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the chickpea flour slowly and stir until smooth. Add 1 Tbs. oil and the spices and mix for another minute or two until it is thickened. Stir in the milk and melt in the cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve. If it gets too thick, add more milk. Serve hot.

To make the BBQ Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir and heat over medium heat until it comes to a bubble. Lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Set aside.

To make the tempeh:

Combine all the spices for the rub. Cut two blocks of tempeh in half and then slice each half like you slice a bagel for thinner pieces. Cut each piece into whatever shape you want. I like to end up with 8 pieces per block of tempeh. Rub the spice mix into the tempeh on both sides of each piece. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Cook the tempeh in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. When the tempeh is as browned and crisp as you like it, pour some BBQ sauce into the skillet and toss the tempeh to coat all the pieces in sauce. The sauce will caramelize a bit in the hot pan and glaze the tempeh. Serve over the Chickpea Polenta with extra BBQ sauce.

BBQ tempeh cheesy polenta (10)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. 

Orange Balsamic BBQ Tempeh and Cheesy Chickpea Polenta
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree and Side
Cuisine: Barbecue
 
Ingredients
  • For the chickpea polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 3 Tbs. vegan butter
  • 1 ½ cups vegan cheddar cheese
  • For the Spice Rub:
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chile powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • For the BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • Juice of ½ an orange
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 blocks tempeh
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. To make the Chickpea Polenta:
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the chickpea flour slowly and stir until smooth. Add 1 Tbs. oil and the spices and mix for another minute or two until it is thickened. Stir in the milk and melt in the cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve. If it gets too thick, add more milk. Serve hot.
  3. To make the BBQ Sauce:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir and heat over medium heat until it comes to a bubble. Lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Set aside.
  5. To make the tempeh:
  6. Combine all the spices for the rub. Cut two blocks of tempeh in half and then slice each half like you slice a bagel for thinner pieces. Cut each piece into whatever shape you want. I like to end up with 8 pieces per block of tempeh. Rub the spice mix into the tempeh on both sides of each piece. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Cook the tempeh in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. When the tempeh is as browned and crisp as you like it, pour some BBQ sauce into the skillet and toss the tempeh to coat all the pieces in sauce. The sauce will caramelize a bit in the hot pan and glaze the tempeh. Serve over the Chickpea Polenta with extra BBQ sauce.

 

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5 Responses to Orange Balsamic BBQ Tempeh and Cheesy Chickpea Polenta

  1. Lori Collins April 14, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    Top recipe says 4 cups water and 2 cups chickpea flour and bottom recipe says 6 cups water and 2 cups polenta?

    • Rhea April 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Hi Lori, 6 sounds like a lot. It was probably 4. You can tell by how thick it is. I fixed it. Thank you! xoxo

  2. Lorraine January 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    This looks interesting. Just got into bed and before I did I took some Tempeh out of the freezer for tomorrow. I have my Tempeh made for me by and Indonesian lady who sends it to me and then I freeze it. It is absolutely fantastic. Then I open my email and there you are with a Tempeh recipe. I haven’t eaten Polenta so unsure. I once had difficulty digesting some corn flour chapatis so I tend to stay away from cornmeal. On the other hand I eat sweetcorn so not sure what’s going on, may be the flour needs more cooking for me to digest! I might try Polenta, one thing I have realised is things change, that includes food intolerances. Of course being a celiac I wouldn’t eat wheat and gluten but how bodies can change enough to tolerate other foods that we once couldn’t so might give Polenta a go, make sure I cook it well. I love BBQ flavour, must make my own BBQ sauce, but don’t want to use too much sweetner in it.

    I gave my friend some of the jackfruit curry today and he said it had chicken in it. Well impressed he was, so am I. Now I am thinking of ways to use jackfruit. Wouldn’t mind using it in a sweet and sour dish, I love sweet and sour but not manage to make my own sweet n sour sauce yet, healthy option.

    I love you recipe ideas. You keep me going during this debilitating illness.

    Love and Blessings
    Loz

    • Rhea January 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi Loz, the chickpea polenta has no corn in it. Just chickpea flour. So maybe it’s ok for you.

      I’m glad you and your friend liked the jackfruit curry. I love jackfruit. In fact, I wrote an article on One Green Planet with 5 recipes:

      http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/have-you-tried-cooking-with-jackfruit-yet-get-started-with-these-recipes/

      Maybe you’ll like those. I’m glad I can be of any help. I know how hard it is to have chronic illness especially those with food intolerances. Stay well. xoxo

      • Lorraine January 18, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

        Thanks for the link, recipe ideas with the Jackfruit. It is difficult having a chronic illness, three years housebound and minimum cognitive and physical capcity, that is why it takes me so long to do a recipe. Even emailing is a struggle, but I want give up.

        I guess the illness is part of my spiritual journey, and so has eating vegan. I don’t believe we can see the bigger picture but every so often we get glimpses, I know this illness is preparing me for something and one day I will see it.

        I do appreciate your recipe ideas, and its so kind to share.

        I will let you know how I get on with the Jackfruit recipes and I will try the chickpea polenta.

        Love and Blessings
        Loz


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