It's been a tremendous labor of love, but we are thrilled to say prayers have been answered and the rumors are true: we wrote a cookbook! And it's filled with 100 of the most earth-shatteringly delicious, decadent and ultimately healing recipes. Many are recipes clients have been asking for, for years— while others are brand new and soon to be favorite.

On the Upper East Side, we spent the better part of last winter recipe testing, creating, and playing in the kitchen to curate the collection of recipes that are both eye candy and good for the soul. But, just as deleted scenes are some of the best parts of a movie, we wanted to share a few standout recipes that didn't make the printed book and are just as phenomenal as the 100 that did. We thought we'd tease them to you here, so you can whip up your own nourishing Sakara meals on the weekends when delivery is just a Monday away. 

Garden Pearl Mushroom Wraps

Nutrient-rich, antioxidant-packed, cell-defending mushrooms are the pearls of the garden, popping up in the moonlight and greeting us with their ancient wisdom. And they continue giving us their gifts in the kitchen, with their rich, meaty flavor (assuming they’re an edible variety!). This wrap is one of our favorite ways to showcase mushrooms’ hearty earthiness, and it’s perfect for packing ahead for days when a proper restful lunch may not be in the cards. It’s completely satisfying yet light and energizing thanks to heaps of sautéed mushrooms, a potent ginger-onion spread, and sweet-savory maple-marinated tempeh, which is oh-so-satisfying to sink your teeth into—the reason it’s one of our favorite ingredients to introduce people to when they’re just beginning to embrace plants as a larger part of their plate.

Superfood Spotlight: Tempeh

Tempeh is made from cooked and fermented beans (traditionally soy, but now you can find non-soy options—adzuki bean is our favorite) and comes to us from Indonesia. It has a firm, patty-like consistency, not unlike that of a veggie burger, and can be sliced and diced, seared and steamed—perfect for layering on sandwiches and tossing into stir-fries. We love tempeh because it soaks up marinades to become satisfyingly flavorful, plus it’s incredibly nourishing. It’s high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and is believed to reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, soothe menopausal symptoms, and aid muscle recovery after strenuous activity. But what we love most is that tempeh is a fermented food, which means it possesses probiotic superpowers. These include creating a protective lining in the gut that defends it from pathogenic invaders, increasing antibodies to create a stronger immune system, regulating the appetite and reducing cravings for things like sugar and refined carbohydrates, and stocking the gut with disease-fighting, digestion-aiding beneficial bacteria.

When buying tempeh, choose one that’s not already flavored (it’s easy enough to do at home and helps avoid any unnecessary additives or sweeteners). While we tend to go for a soy-free tempeh made with adzuki beans, there are a number of high-quality soy options, including blends with ingredients like flax, millet, or barley. When buying any soy product, we recommend choosing an organic one because it ensures that your soybeans have not been genetically modified or grown using pesticides and other chemicals. 

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

For the ginger-onion spread:

2 white spring onions or 4 scallions, roughly chopped

2 red spring onions or 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons peeled, roughly chopped fresh ginger

½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

For the maple tempeh and mushrooms:

3 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, smashed

½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt, or more to taste

1 (8-ounce/230 g) package unflavored tempeh, cut into ½-inch (12 mm) strips if not pre-sliced 

1 tablespoon sunflower or extra-virgin olive oil

2½ cups (190 g) sliced mushrooms, such as shiitake or baby bella (about one 8-ounce/230 g package)

 

For serving:

1 small head crisp lettuce, such as baby gem or romaine 

1 small bunch fresh cilantro

4 (10-in/25 cm) rice paper wrappers (plus a couple of extras, in case one tears)

 

Process:

Make the ginger-onion spread:

In a food processor or blender, combine the onions, ginger, and salt. Pulse or blend on low speed until the mixture is well combined but still chunky.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the ginger-onion mixture. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Make the tempeh and mushrooms:

In a medium baking dish, whisk together the Liquid Aminos, maple syrup, vinegar, garlic, and salt. Lay the strips of tempeh in the marinade, flipping a few times to ensure both sides are coated. Marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, flipping occasionally. 

In in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Remove the tempeh from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and carefully lay the strips in the pan. Sear until golden brown and slightly caramelized from the maple, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush the top of the tempeh with the marinade, flip, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Discard the garlic cloves and toss the mushrooms in the marinade left in the baking dish. Pour the marinade and mushrooms into the same large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the marinade has reduced to a glaze. Add the tempeh back to the pan during the final 2 minutes of cooking and spoon the mushrooms and glaze over the strips.

Assemble the spring rolls:

Fill a large, wide bowl with water. Dip a rice paper wrapper in the water for just 2 to 3 seconds. Resist over-soaking—even if the paper is a bit stiff, it will continue to absorb water as you assemble the wrap. Place the paper on a clean work surface.

Spread two spoonfuls of the ginger-onion mixture down the center of the wrapper, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) of the wrapper clean above and below. Add 1 or 2 lettuce leaves, a strip of tempeh, a spoonful of mushrooms, and a few small sprigs of cilantro. Fold over the two clean ends of the wrapper, then roll the wrap like a burrito. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. 

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