Spicy Curry Tempeh Patties

By Laura Wright

Serve up a plant-based menu courtesy of Laura Wright’s The First Mess Cookbook, a collection of healthy recipes brimming with the freshest of ingredients.

Serves 6


  • • 1 block (8 oz) tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • • 3 shallots, chopped
  • • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • • 2 small red chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • • 3 green onions, chopped
  • • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • • 2 tsp curry powder
  • • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • • 1 tsp raw agave nectar
  • • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • • 3 tbsp chickpea flour
  • • salt and pepper, to taste
  • • beds of greens, for serving
  • • 1 cup creamy garlic dressing (recipe follows)
  • • hot sauce of your choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a food processor, blitz the shallots, garlic, chili peppers, ginger, onions, cilantro and curry powder on high until you have a rough paste. Add the tempeh, lime juice, agave nectar and tomato paste. Blitz on high again until the tempeh is chopped finely and well integrated into the spice paste. Sprinkle the chickpea flour into the processor and season the mixture. Pulse until the paste is sticky with no dry flour.
  3. Lightly flour your hands with some extra flour and form the mixture into 6 patties. Place the patties on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes (flipping half way through), or until they appear slightly dried around the edges and firm.
  4. Serve the patties hot on greens with the dressing and some hot sauce.

Creamy garlic dressing

  • • ¼ cup raw cashew butter
  • • ¼ cup filtered water
  • • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the cashew butter and water. Stir until the butter is broken up and slightly incorporated. Press the chunks of butter up against the sides of the jar to get it as integrated as possible.
  2. Add the garlic, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Secure the lid and shake vigorously until the dressing is creamy. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Laura Wright grew up in Ontario’s Niagara region, eating farm-to-table – and sometimes farm-to-hand (she picked produce for her father to sell at the local farmer’s market). Now Laura is helping others put seasonal, plant-based dishes on their plates. The First Mess Cookbook -- her debut collection, named after the blog she started after finishing culinary school -- boasts 125-plus recipes, which make veggie-based eating hearty and accessible. – CHRIS DANIELS

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