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Macro Mondays: Tempeh

Most people who get their protein from plant sources look to beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu. These are great choices, don't get me wrong, but you are surely missing out if you haven't tried tempeh. 

MM: Tasty Tempeh

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What is it? 

Tempeh originates from Indonesia and is a traditional fermented soy product. While tofu is also a soy product, due to the fermenting process, tempeh has a completely different taste and nutritional profile.  It is much denser and firmer than tofu, which I like, as it is easier to slice and cook with. I also find it easier to digest (probably because of the fermentation). It comes in a cake or block, usually in the same section as you would find tofu.

According to whfoods.com, tempeh is extremely high in manganese, as well as copper, phosophorus, B2 & magnesium. These trace minerals are often hard to find in forms that we can metabolize well, so being able to eat it in a plant based fermented form is truly amazing.

Some Ideas for How to Eat & Cook it: 

1. Tempeh Stir Fry

One of the quickest ways to add some protein to your stir fry is to toss in some tempeh. I would recommend cutting it into cubes or slices, and frying it in a bit of sesame or toasted sesame oil.I made this for lunch the other day and we served it with some leftover brown rice, and everyone was very pleased.

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**Please see this recipe at the end of the post.

2. Sandwiches

One of my absolute favourite sandiwiches is a Tempeh Reuben. Simply slice and lightly fry the tempeh. Spread some mustard on some high quality bread. Add the tempeh, and top it off with all natural sauerkraut. Prepare to die of happiness.  For more details check out my previous Macro Monday post where we looked at the Art of Macro Sandwiches.

3. Use it in place of meat such as bacon or sausages. 

One of the popular uses of tempeh is to create "tempeh bacon." Truthfully, I was never much of a bacon eater, so I don't personally have an overwhelmingly large need to recreate it, but I bet tempeh bacon would be delicious. Here's one of many recipes you could try. You can slice and marinate the tempeh in a wide variety of sauces, then either bake or fry it to make a very appealing meat replacement. You could serve it alongside some roasted sweet potato fries or hashbrowns for a delicious meat-free brunch. Perhaps serve it with some mushroom leek gravy and millet mashed potatoes for a celebratory dinner.

Kale, Leek & Tempeh Stir Fry

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Ingredients:
  • 1 TSBP sesame oil or toasted sesame oil.
  • 1 package of tempeh
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cups baby kale
  • 1-3 tsp shoyu (soy sauce). 

Directions:
  1. Saute the leeks first in a bit of toasted sesame oil with a pinch of sea salt until slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the tempeh, and stir for a few moments, then place a lid on. Let the tempeh heat all the way through. If it's sticking, add a tiny bit of water.
  3. Add in the baby kale along with shoyu to taste, and put the lid on.
  4. Stir a few times, waiting until kale has softened. 
  5. Serve with some form of grain for a complete meal! 

 

What's your favourite way to eat Tempeh?