Trying New Foods is Adventurous!
This week I tried tempeh for the first time and really enjoyed it. I did slather it in BBQ sauce, but hey, I’m a Texan, and it seemed like the right way to prepare it.. I’d compare it to little kids needing ketchup in order to eat foods, so I figured it was a good way to introduce it to myself. When I found the package in the refrigerated vegan foods section at my local Whole Foods, it’s appearance is a little off putting. I was not excited to cook with it or eat it despite several friends telling me how good it is. I will admit its appearance does not look that appetizing.
Now, I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but I try to remain openminded about trying new foods. Especially as I dive deeper into exploring more fermented foods and eating a plant heavy diet.
In the past, I’ve avoided many soy products because I knew soy was used as basically a filler in processed foods. I’ve done several different diets throughout the years - vegetarian, vegan, and switched to paleo after my husband was diagnosed with celiacs. On paleo, soy, legumes, and beans are completely eliminated and not part of the diet. Now we don't really gravitate toward any one diet, I just like to eat foods I know are healthy, gluten and dairy free and enjoyable. We eat very few processed foods, and I don’t usually have to worry about soy being an ingredient. I try to stick to the 5 ingredient rule when I do buy packaged foods.
The unique thing about tempeh is minimally processed and it is fermented which creates good bacteria and makes the soy easier to digest and helps the body absorb more nutrients. Soy has a bad rep because the majority of it is highly processed into soy isolate or manufacture oils. 94% of the soy grown in the US is GMO, so I do recommend buying organic tempeh so you can ensure that it is GMO free.
Because tempeh is fermented soy it has excellent nutritional properties. Its high in protein, folate, magnesium, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and fiber. It’s also naturally gluten and dairy free. Tempeh has a very dense and dry texture unlike tofu which is wet a soft, so I recommend steaming it before marinating it to soften the texture up a bit.
I cooked my tempeh in a skillet on medium heat until it was lightly browned then added a bit more bbq sauce to moisten it up a bit.
Give tempeh a try, even if you’re not vegan. It tastes waaaay better than it looks. Explore a little, you may enjoy it!
Below is my Texas BBQ Sauce recipe I used to marinate and top my tempeh with, but don't stop there, this sauce would be good on anything.
BBQ Sauce (Refined Sugar Free)
6 oz Package Tomato Paste
5T Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
2 tsp Stone Ground Mustard
2 ½ T Maple Syrup
1 T Molasses
1 T Coconut Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Pepper
2 cups Water
Add all ingredients to a 2 qt sauce pan on medium heat. Stir until mixed in. Let simmer for 30 minutes until reduced. You’ll know it's done when it’s still thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, but still pourable.
Please let me know if you like it! I love to hear questions or comments.
Much Salad Love
Carrie ~ LettuceBeDifferent