Q: What inspired you to create this particular recipe?
Lettuce wraps are always one of my favorite things to order at Asian restaurants that have a vegetarian version on the menu. The crisp, refreshing lettuce is such a great vessel for the savory, spicy fillings – for me they are truly love at first bite.
Q: There are a number of ingredients often found in Chinese meals. Is that a big part of what you were shooting for?
My goal is to create the best flavors possible, and also to introduce new and interesting ingredients to people. In this dish, I included fermented black beans because they’re traditional in Chinese cuisine, and quite delicious. You can definitely leave them out though and the dish will still be great.
Q: Did you choose tempeh because it’s a rich source of protein and fiber or for its nutritional benefits? It’s a great substitute for meat, right?
Yes, and yes. Tempeh is a great source of plant protein, and it has a “meaty” texture to make you feel like you’re having a hearty meal. Also, tempeh is wonderful because it can take on so many different flavor profiles, so you can really get creative with how you prepare it.
Q: What does this particular mix of ingredients do for both taste and nutrition?
Starting with aromatics like garlic, shallot, and ginger is a surefire way to infuse delicious flavors into your dish. These ingredients also have fantastic health benefits, such as having anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Q: If you were trying to convince someone that they absolutely must try this recipe, what would you say?
This cucumber is a perfect accompaniment to the Tempeh Lettuce Wraps, so I definitely recommend making both of them. It’s quick, easy, and delicious.
Q: Describe the various flavors in this accompaniment dish?
Sweet, sour, and sesame.
Q: Where do you buy Ume plum vinegar?
Any major health food store. It’s a really fantastic ingredient, and has sort of a lemony and salty flavor.
Q: Is this the ultimate in delicious nutrition or what?
We all deserve to treat ourselves now and then, and this milkshake is a perfect way to do it without compromising our health and diet.
Q: Why Thai Kitchen Organic Lite Coconut Milk? Is Thai Kitchen better than other brands?
It’s readily available at almost all health food stores, and most major grocers, and it’s organic.
Q: Do you recommend this shake as a meal substitute or drinking it with a meal?
For me personally it’s a dessert or treat to be enjoyed on its own. I don’t recommend drinking a fruit smoothie with a big meal, because it can be tough on digestion and cause gas.
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