Edit ModuleShow Tags
Published:

Tempting Tempeh: An Alternative Protein Source



Article author photo. Maria Tadic This featured post is by Maria Tadic, RD. You can follow this blogger on Twitter @mewinebrenner.

As plant-based eating patterns have become increasingly popular, interest in alternative, vegetarian protein sources has also increased. Tofu and other soy products are now commonplace in most supermarkets and are great for a quick meatless meal. However, many people might not be aware of an increasingly popular soy protein called tempeh. 

Tempeh is made from fermented soy beans that are pressed together into a solid block or cake. The process begins with whole soy beans, which are softened by a long soaking in water (tempeh can also be made from other beans, grains or a combination) and then de-hulled and partially cooked. Those are mixed with a fermentation culture, pressed into a block and steamed for the finished product. 

At your local grocery store, you’ll usually find tempeh in the produce department or with other fresh soy products such as tofu. 

However, unlike other soy products you’ll see in this area of the store, tempeh is minimally processed and doesn’t contain many other ingredients besides the soy beans themselves. 

Nutritionally speaking, tempeh is high up on the list of healthy lean protein choices. Depending on which brand you buy, tempeh has around 200 calories per 4 ounces and about 21g of protein. In addition, per serving, tempeh has about 20 percent of riboflavin, 70 percent of manganese, 25 percent of phosphorus, 13 percent of potassium, 11 percent of calcium and 14 percent of iron!

Tempeh Cooking Tips

  • Tempeh doesn’t pack a lot of flavor by itself, but fortunately can absorb a good amount of flavor, so try lots of marinades and sauces.
  • It’s great served just pan-seared with a little salt and pepper. Perfect for a lunch meat substitute.
  • Tempeh can be grated and crumbled as well, making it an ideal ground meat substitute. 
  • Try it in sandwiches (check out the reuben recipe below), on top of salads or in soups, stir fries and tacos!  

Tempeh Reubens With Pimento Cheese

Recipe developed by Maria Tadic, RD

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 package plain tempeh, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 cup pimento cheese
1-lb. package of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
¾ cup low-fat Thousand Island dressing
8 slices rye bread

Directions

  1. Preheat skillet over high heat and add tempeh, searing both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Brush the soy sauce on each side of the tempeh while hot — it’ll absorb quickly and give the tempeh great flavor!
  2. In a medium bowl add the drained and rinsed sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. Mix well and set aside.
  3. To assemble the sandwiches: start with one piece of rye bread. Smear on about 1/4 cup of pimento cheese spread.
  4. Layer on 4-5 slices of the seared tempeh. Top with a few heaping tablespoons of the sauerkraut mixture and top with another piece of rye bread. Assemble four sandwiches.
  5. I used a panini press to toast up these yummy sandwiches. But if you don’t have a panini press, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, spray with nonstick spray and add sandwiches two at a time. Press down with another pan topped with heavy cans to make a “pressed” sandwich.
  6. Cook until golden brown on the bottom and then flip over to brown the topside of the sandwich. When finished, slice in half and serve warm!

Maria Tadic, RD, is a bariatric dietitian in Virginia. Read her blog, BeanAFoodie.com, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Edit Module

More Stone Soup

5 Reasons You Should Be Eating Frozen Foods

5 Reasons You Should Be Eating Frozen Foods

As much as we’d all love to serve our families from-scratch meals seven days a week, life happens and that isn’t always possible. So what can you do? By utilizing frozen foods, you can make quick, convenient and easy dinners at home.
Love Avocado? Thank Los Aztecas

Love Avocado? Thank Los Aztecas

If you have ever had fresh-made guacamole or chicken tostadas with avocado, you will agree with me: The avocado is unique! This fruit's origin in central Mexico goes back thousands of years, when los Aztecas thought it had aphrodisiac properties.
What if it's Not Just Picky Eating? Selective Eating Disorder in Children

What if it's Not Just Picky Eating? Selective Eating Disorder in Children

SED is a condition present since earliest childhood where a child, whose linear growth is normal, eats only a very narrow range of foods and refuses all others.
Increasing Enjoyment of Modified Texture Diets

Increasing Enjoyment of Modified Texture Diets

Modified texture diets don’t have to be boring! Health care practitioners and foodservice companies are putting more effort into improving the pureed experience with molds, creative recipes and a focus on flavor.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Advertise with Food & Nutrition
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags


Stone Soup

Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.

About This Blog

Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Content — including information, recipes and views expressed — is that of the authors and does not reflect the positions or policies of Food & Nutrition Magazine or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bloggers are required to pledge they will not write for Stone Soup on topics, companies or trade organization they currently represent or have represented at any time.

Learn about our guest blogs!

Comments Policy

Food & Nutrition Magazine provides this forum to exchange ideas, opinions and contributions within a positive community. Diverse viewpoints and constructive, respectful dialogue are welcome. Rudeness, misinformation, self-promotion and abuse are not. We reserve the right, without warning or notification, to remove comments and block users we determine violate this policy or our Terms & Conditions. You must include your name or be logged into a personal account on Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to comment.

Archives

Edit Module

Get Stone Soup in Your RSS

Use your RSS reader's instructions to add Stone Soup to your list:

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Our Blogs in Your Email

Stone Soup
Student Scoop