Next in our alphabet series… tempeh! One of what I think of as the 3 basic vegan meats (tofu, tempeh, and seitan, which I wrote about last time), there’s no question it’s my favorite of the 3. That being said, I have a friend who absolutely can’t stand it. It’s another food that can certainly be an acquired taste – give them all a try and see what works for you. :)
Tempeh is a traditional fermented soy product from Indonesia, where the culturing and fermentation process binds the soy beans together into a solid block. It produces an easy meat substitute that has a slightly nutty flavor, but easily takes on any other flavors and textures, depending on preparation. The possibilities are endless.
Tempeh is a wonderful source of protein, providing 20 grams of protein in just 4 oz (1/2 of the typical block size in stores), for only 240 calories, 11 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, and with 4.5 grams of fiber. Like all other plant-based foods we’ve discussed, it also offers necessary vitamins and minerals, being particularly high in manganese, copper, phosphorous, B2, and magnesium.
I love tempeh in pretty much any form, and seem to never eat it the same way twice. One easy thing to do is crumble the block up, saute it, and mix into a spaghetti sauce to create spaghetti bolognese. You can also easily crumble or cut it up into small pieces and mix into any stir-fry for additional protein and great flavor. More recipes below, and let me know your favorite preparation methods so I can give them a try!
1. One of the very first recipes I made after going vegan: Vegan Dad’s Tempeh Meatballs. I still very much remembered the taste of meat at that time, and I swear you can’t tell the difference. Amazing.
2. I’ve posted about it before, interrupting this series because I just had to write about it immediately… the best tempeh bacon recipe ever.
3. Speaking of breakfast… tempeh bacon goes really well with JL’s scrambled tempeh. I don’t understand how tempeh can possibly end up tasting like eggs… but somehow it does!
4. Haven’t tried this one yet but I think it is going to be dinner, because I have mushrooms in the fridge and yum! Tempeh Mushroom Stroganoff.