Tempeh, pumpkin chili wrap with roasted kale and artichoke, sesame spread

Sweet, spicy and smokey chili wrapped in a warm, fresh whole wheat tortilla. The pumpkin makes a nice, filling alternative to tomato-centered chili.


For the chili
1T smoked paprika
1/2T cumin
1t coriander
1T cooking oil
2 scallions, minced
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t crushed chili flakes (or similar and/or to taste — I use 1/2t)
125g tempeh, finely chopped (use pasteurized)
1T lemon juice
2T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (dehydrated, not jarred)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped
2 cups pumpkin puree
1T cashew butter
1T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: replace the tempeh with about 3/4 cups cooked black lentils

For the artichoke, sesame spread
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2T sweet white miso (use a low sodium version)
1/2T unpasteurized sauerkraut vinegar
1T sesame seed butter (as opposed to tahini — I used a fairly traded brand)
1/2T dried green herbs, rubbed (I use herbes de Provence)
1/4t freshly ground black pepper
1T nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: for a more fermented flavor without the nutritional yeast, make the spread. Let it stand a few hours loosely covered, add the nutritional yeast, and then use as directed.

For the kale
1/2T cooking oil
1/4 coarse sea salt
1 cup kale, chopped
Sea salt to taste

For the wrap
2/3 cup heaping whole wheat flour
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/3 cup warm water


Start the chili, then the tortilla, then the rest. In a medium pan with a lid, roast the paprika, cumin, coriander and chili flakes on medium heat for 1-2 minutes (until they are nice and fragrant).

Add the cooking oil and stir to combine. Add the scallion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir to combine and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the tempeh and saute another 3-5 minutes until the pan is browning. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan.

Add the stock and the sun-dried tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 1 hour. The stock should reduce quite a lot during this time. If the pan dries, add water. At the one hour mark, add the pumpkin, dates, and cashew butter. Stir to combine.

Return the pan to a light simmer, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover loosely and simmer for another hour or so, stirring periodically. Reduce the chili to about 1 1/2 cups. The chili should be quite thick. If it’s too thin, when you go to wrap, you may end up with a hot mess on your hands (literally). When reduced, remove from heat, add the nutritional yeast. Let stand 15 minutes to cool.

While the chili reduces, start the wrap. Add the salt to the water. Add the water to the flour. Mix the wet and the dry, then knead until a smooth, pliable dough forms and then for another two minutes. Cover with a warm, wet tea towel and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

While the dough rests, make the kale and artichokes. Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the kale in the cooking oil and sea salt. Roast on a baking sheet or roasting pan on the middle rack for about 8-10 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and a rich green, but not browning. Stir periodically.

When the kale is done, remove from heat and set aside. Ovens vary; use the texture and colour of the kale as a guide. Dry roast the artichoke hearts with the kale for about 5 minutes. Remove, and blend the artichokes with their remaining ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

While the chili cools, roll the tortilla. On a floured board, roll the tortilla out to a 13″ – 14″ circle about 1/8″ thick. Be careful not to roll too thinly (the dough will have transparencies, start to split, etc.). If you don’t have a large enough frying pan, you can try a pizza stone. Otherwise, you can break the dough up and roll out to two tortillas about 6 1/2″ – 7″.

Let the dough rest while you bring a large frying pan (or griddle if you have one) to heat on medium high. Fry lightly on both sides until the tortilla is lightly browned (it will also bubble a little), turning once.This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes, both sides. Be careful not to overcook. This will make the tortilla more difficult to roll and it will be more likely to split. Remove from heat and let the tortilla rest a couple of minutes under a clean tea towel to soften.

To assemble, add the chili in an oblong, but spread out layer in the middle of the tortilla, just off-center toward you. Add the kale in a thin layer over the chili. Add the artichokes last.

Wrap like a burrito. Carefully fold in the sides. Using both thumbs, carefully roll up the tortilla away from you over the top of the filling, tuck the filling gently, and then roll over.

Be careful as you wrap. If you overfill, wrap too quickly, don’t keep the sides tucked, the tortilla may split, your corners may come undone, etc. Let the wrap rest and setup for a few seconds, and then either wrap in foil for a couple of minutes, or I return mine to the frying pan, seam down, to seal.

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