Both my husband and I turned vegetarians last August. The last four months have been a learning curve for me. Becoming a vegetarian was not hard for me since I always ate in that direction. But my husband complains that he is never full. Adding Tofu is not the answer. I don’t like it its spongy texture and the hubbs still isn’t full. What’s a green girl to do?
One day , the trees talked to me and whispered, “Grasshopper, Tempeh is the answer you are seeking.” (Trees talking? Seriously, Anna. Have you’ve gone off the dead end? Nah, just pulling your leg. How else am I going to make Tempeh sound interesting?) I have been dying to try Tempeh for some time since I heard it was chewier than tofu. Plus, I like that it is fermented. I have my issues with tofu as a non-fermented soy product. I worry that a diet with too much non-fermented soy will increase my estrogen in my body. Hence, cancer. You can call me paranoid. It won’t hurt.
Why is Tempeh okay in your book, Anna?
I knew you would ask me this question. A couple different reasons. Tempeh has a chewy taste. (Yes, I am repeating myself.) Maybe in a past life I was a cow. I love to chew gum and pen caps. (You are thinking that I was kidding about the cow bit?) Tofu is like eating slippery rubber. If you like it, power to you. Just not my cup of tea.
Secondly, Tempeh is a fermented soy which is easier to digest. (You all know that I have my “gas” issues with beans.) Fermented soy also has other attributes. A LiveStrong’s blog article states,
“[a]ccording to Alive.com, a website devoted to providing accurate health information, the fermentation of soy products can convert minerals like iron, calcium magnesium, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc into more soluble forms so that the body gets more of the provided nutrients. Soy fermentation can also increase the total amount of vitamin and mineral content in the final product, and some of the yeasts commonly used during the fermentation process are able to add large quantities of thiamin, nicotinic acid and biotin, making an even healthier overall product.
So, I have been on the outlook for cool Tempeh recipes and ones that can be adapted for the carnivore part of my family. I found a great recipe on MeatlessMonday called Tempeh Fried Rice and it was delish. I will note in parathesis how I changed the recipe.
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring*
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup white wine ( I used my own leftover white wine instead of store bought white wine. Whenever we have company I keep the leftover white or red wine for cooking.)
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 ounces Tempeh, cut into bite sized cubes (I used the entire package. I have a hungry hubby.)
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon peanut oil (I didn’t have so I used more sesame oil.)
- 4 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1/2 cup carrots, coarsely shredded
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used organic coconut palm sugar which is lower on the glycemic index than sugar. Absolutely love this sugar.)
- 1/2 cup pineapple pieces, well drained. ( Get the no sugar added pineapple. Better yet, cut up your own pineapple. As for me, I used the canned one. I threw in the liquid and more pineapple and nibbled on the rest…)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- low–sodium soy sauce, to taste (I use wheat free Tamari.)
- 2 tablespoons almonds, toasted
*liquid smoke is smoke flavor that has been condensed to a liquid and stripped of the tar and carcinogens found in smoke. It can be found near hot sauces in most grocery stores.
Prepare a large skillet with a little cooking spray or oil. Mix maple syrup, liquid smoke, cider vinegar and wine or water in the prepared skillet over medium heat. (Watch this pan since the liquid vanquish quite quickly and you need it for the rest of the recipe. I ended up adding more maple syrup to the recipe at the end which I think made it taste too sweet.)
Place tempeh pieces into the maple sauce and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce becomes thick and sticky.
Heat the peanut and sesame oils in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Place the cooked brown rice in the wok and stir to coat the rice.
Add carrots, peas, onions, pineapple, brown sugar and thawed peas to the rice. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan regularly, for 5-7 minutes, or until the rice starts to become crispy and caramelized.
Place the tempeh pieces to the wok. Add about half of the maple sauce so that the rice and tempeh are coated and sticky. Add more of the maple sauce if necessary to coat the rice and set the rest aside. Cook over medium heat, stirring to combine, for 3-5 minutes or until tempeh is thoroughly heated.
Season fried rice to taste with low-sodium soy sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and enjoy! (I added 2 tablespoons of Tamari. I think it needs more, so add the amount of Tamari to your liking. I put in the refrigerator and then reheated it the next day.)
For the carnivore part of your family, they could try the Tempeh or substitute ground turkey, meat, or leftover chicken. My kids hate everything so I didn’t suggest eating the Tempeh. You may have more adventurous kids.
Did the meal fill up the Husband?
My husband found that he was still hungry after eating this dish and prefers a quiona or millet instead of rice. For some reason, he finds that rice in a dish is not that satisfying. Next time I try the recipe, I will use a different grain.
Consider Taking the Meatless Monday Challenge
Consider taking the pledge to eat meatless every Monday. (The Meatless Monday organization has a ton of recipes on the website.) As I indicated in my vegetarian post, eating meat lessen your carbon footprint on the Earth and make your heart happier.
As part of my Monday postings, I am going to include one of my meatless dishes. I would love for all of you to join in and add your Meatless Monday contribution or your favorite vegetarian dish.
What’s cooking in your Kitchen?
What meatless recipe are using this week? Share your recipes and links in the comments below. Has anyone tried this Tempeh recipes? Let me know your thoughts.