Saturday, January 10, 2015

Plant Food Profile - Tempeh

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is fermented soy beans. You can probably find tempeh at your local grocery store, in the refrigerated section. It is formed into a thin, rectangular block that can be sliced or crumbled according to your preference or a recipe's instructions.

Tempeh is low in calories, and high in protein, fiber and magnesium. It's a simple and healthful way to add bulk and protein to many dishes. Chili, bowls, pasta dishes, burritos and sandwiches, to name a few, can be enhanced by the addition of deliciously prepared tempeh.

In most cases, it is advised that you steam your tempeh for 5-10 minutes before eating so as to eliminate any potential bitterness.

Why tempeh over tofu?

Tempeh is slightly less processed than tofu, so the soy beans are closer to their whole form, preserving nutrients. The fact that it's fermented also boosts it's nutritional value above that of unfermented soy products.

My favorite way to make tempeh are my smoky maple tempeh bits. If you make this recipe, you can skip the steaming process as the tempeh is absorbing some strong flavors; bitterness won't be a problem with these sweet and smoky yummy little bite-sized nuggets!

Smoky Maple Tempeh Bits

1 8oz Package of organic tempeh

2 T. Apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. Maple syrup
1 T. Tamari (soy sauce)
1-2 t. Liquid smoke (this is what gives the tempeh its smoky flavor, you can omit, if you can't find it, but look for it near the barbecue and hot sauces at your grocer.)
Black pepper - just a dash

Cut the tempeh into 1/2" cubes. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a wide-bottomed dish and toss in tempeh cubes. To get the best flavor, allow to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.

You can prepare your bits one of two ways, on the stove top or in the oven. The stove will give you some nice charring and a more smoky flavor, but the oven is easier if you're busy with other things and don't want to have to babysit a pan.

Stove top prep - on a grill pan or cast iron skillet, place bits in a single later. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and stir the bits around, cooking just long enough to get a nice char on the outside.

Oven prep - Preheat oven to 400. Place bits in a shallow baking dish in a single layer and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Flip all the bits and cook an additional 10 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment