Mexican-Spiced Orzo Bowls with Chili Lime Tempeh

Orzo 1

(Mexican-Spiced Orzo with Chili Lime Tempeh and Cilantro Lime Dressing)

I was watching Cory Kennedy’s Pump on This part the other day and marveling at his ability to shred literally everything; his ledge game is immaculate, he dabbles in vert, and he even manages to noseblunt nollie inward heel on a freaking log.  Ladd, Hawk and Daewon rolled all into one, he is.

It seems like Cory is a member of a very special class of skaters: those who can shred both street and bowls.  Now I imagine some people will argue that skating is skating and there’s no rule that being able to switch shove b/s 5050 f/s 180 out means you can’t carve a bowl; while no rule exists, let’s be honest—Cory Kennedy, Ishod Wair and Wes Kremer are members of an incredibly rare breed. Their technical proficiency is unmatched, but the unforgiving angles of a bowl don’t appear to phase them all.

While we can’t all shred bowls like the above-mentioned all-terrain vehicles, we can certainly make awesome bowls for dinner.  This week’s recipe elevates the concept of bowl recipes and combines al dente orzo with onions, bell peppers, carrots and black beans cooked in savory Mexican spices, tossed in a cilantro lime dressing and topped with chili lime baked tempeh.  It’s a savory, spicy, protein- and veggie-packed bowl to keep you shredding any terrain.

Orzo 2

This bowl will work with any grain, but if you have orzo on hand, it really makes the bowl stand out.  If you’ve never tried orzo, don’t let it fool you: it may look like rice, but it actually tastes more (and cooks more) like pasta.  It gives the bowl and entirely different mouthfeel and is well worth the extra 30 seconds of searching in the grocery store.

Time to drop in.

Orzo 5

BOWL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 block (8 oz) tempeh
  • 3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. chipotle powder
  • Squeeze of 1 lime
  • 1 cup orzo (dry)
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ½ jalapeno (diced)
  • ½ cup cilantro (packed)
  • ½ tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by prepping your tempeh; bring a small pot of water to a boil and then toss the block of tempeh in; bring it to a simmer and leave it for 10 minutes or so. This will loosen the tempeh up some and allow it to absorb the marinade.  Mix the soy sauce, lime juice, chili powder and chipotle powder; remove the tempeh from the water, cut it into cubes and then mix it into the marinade and set it aside for 30 minutes.  Once absorbed, set the oven to 400°F and bake the tempeh for 25 minutes.
  2. While the tempeh is baking, prep your orzo and veggies; bring a pot of water to a boil on stovetop; once boiling, toss in the orzo and cook just like pasta for 7-9 minutes. I usually cook for only 7 minutes because I like this part of the dish to be al dente, but you do you.  Once cooked, drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. Once the veggies are diced, bring the olive oil to medium heat in a large skillet on stovetop and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown.  Add the carrots and bell pepper next and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Finally, add in the black beans and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Add the orzo to the skillet and keep it warm while you prep the dressing. For the dressing, simply add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and let ‘er rip.  Blend until no visible chunks of anything remain.  Once the tempeh is done baking, toss the bowl ingredients in with the dressing and top it all with some tempeh.  Eat up!

Happy shredding,

Johnny

Orzo 6

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