Hi friends! I’m coming down from the high of the long weekend. It was the absolute best – from amazing food to the gorgeous weather… ahhh. Joe and I went to the beach, drank delicious iced coffee, tried a couple new restaurants, had good friends over for a cookout, watched fireworks, enjoyed a couple drinks on the porch while listening to the new blink album (which is to die for, by the way). We got a little crazy (well, maybe just me… blink excites me! Anddddd I couldn’t stop dancing and bopping around) and it was just so so much fun. It’s weekends like this that really make me stop and think about how incredible my life is. I’m so blessed, so grateful, and just so happy.
So now, back to work and back to some plant-based blogging ;)
Tempeh tempeh tempeh. Of all the meat/protein replacements out there, tempeh is always going to be my favorite. It’s a vegetarian or vegan’s best friend! Not just because of its yummy nutty flavor, but because it is so *so* good for your health.
Tempeh (pronounced tem-pay), is fermented soy beans. When I put it like that, it doesn’t sound too appetizing. But I promise that it’s not as weird as it sounds. It’s firm and chewy in consistency, and has a sweet nutty/earthy taste. When toasted with spices (like the recipe below), it is crunchy, flavorful, and an amazing source of protein. Just 1/2 cup of tempeh is only 160 calories and packs 15 grams of protein (more so than tofu!)
Personally, I also prefer tempeh to tofu because since it is fermented soy, it is seen as a healthy soy product. The fermentation process increases both its digestibility and absorbability. The debate over soy continues (and I do like to mind my soy intake), so I think it is important to point this out. If you are nervous about soy intake, please speak with a medical professional or nutritionist about it. I am by no means qualified to say what is or isn’t healthy! Just a personal preference.
Tempeh is a great addition to any diet – vegans, vegetarians, and hey, even meat eaters! I say this because there are a wide variety of reported health benefits. Just a few that caught my eye while I was researching tempeh 2 years ago:
- The fermentation process means they are full of probiotics, which are great for your gut health and build a stronger immune system
- May help reduce cholesterol
- Can help reduce menopausal symptoms
- Rich in protein (15 grams in 1/2 cup)
- Great source of healthy fats
- May lower the risk of some cancers
- Great for bone health
You can read more about these benefits in depth HERE.
You will need:
- Coconut spray or oil
- 1 block tempeh (I love Trader Joe’s organic 3 grain tempeh)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Dash of garlic salt
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Spray sauté pan with coconut cooking spray (or a bit of oil) over high heat.
- Crumble tempeh as you add to the pan, as small as you can.
- Add all spices, salt, and pepper – begin to move tempeh around the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Use spoon to chop up the tempeh as best as you can, while it is toasting. Stir frequently with spoon to make sure all sides of tempeh are cooking and getting crispy. Remember to keep the heat up! Do this for about 10 minutes, or until tempeh is crunchy.
TIP: The trick to making tempeh super crispy is to avoid any wet ingredients. I use coconut oil spray because this seems toast the tempeh easier than if I coat the tempeh in regular coconut oil, but either way works fine.
You can eat the tempeh with a spoon (yum), or you can:
- Add to salad for a crunchy boost of protein
- Add to a burrito or taco
- Mix with rice and beans
- Add to a tofu scramble
- Top a pizza
Really, there are endless ways to eat this stuff. I loooove how crunchy it is!
If you have never tried tempeh or are afraid to even go there, seriously… don’t be. This is a great way to prepare it and really enjoy its nutty flavor. I hope that you’ll give it a shot – it is totally worth it! Have a gorgeous day. xx bianca