Monday, September 15, 2014

it's good to try new things / maple balsamic tempeh

happy meatless monday! we finally tried tempeh and i've been so excited to share!

for those unfamiliar, tempeh is a fermented soybean product high in protein and low in fat. it's a little nutty in texture and flavor and absorbs marinades really well. because it's fermented and less-processed, it is said to be a healthier alternative to tofu and other meat substitutes.

tempeh has always turned me off in the past because of the way it looks, but i kept hearing how good it was and coming across tempting recipes. the local health food store was selling packages of non-gmo tempeh half-priced, and lord knows i can't resist a good health food sale!

to be safe, we tried angela liddon's recipe for maple balsamic tempeh (she has never let us down!) and we really enjoyed it. i was surprised because john is generally not a fan of tofu or fake meats, but he ate all his tempeh. though when i asked him about it again today he said it was good but something he'd just like to have once a year haha! we're having it next time it's on sale johnny boy.

when deciding what to serve with our tempeh, i immediately thought kale salad! i had just made roasted red peppers and we had organic baby bella mushrooms in the fridge. topped with chopped basil from the garden, i knew john would be more open to trying tempeh on an italian-style salad, and the flavors went really well with the balsamic vinegar in the tempeh.

simple kale salad

1 bunch of kale
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp maple syrup, agave nectar or honey
1/2 a lemon
salt, to taste

  • remove stems and chop kale into small pieces.
  • add olive oil, garlic, sweetener of choice, juice from half a lemon and salt.
  • with clean hands, massage all ingredients until all kale pieces are saturated.

roasted red peppers

simply place red bell peppers under the broiler and cook until skins are wrinkled and charred, turning every few minutes to make sure all sides are cooked. place peppers in a brown bag, close it tight to hold in heat and wait about 20 minutes. peel the skins, remove the stem and seeds, then cut peppers into strips. store in the fridge as is, or add olive oil and chopped garlic for flavor.

Marinated Balsamic, Maple & Garlic Tempeh
posted at Smith's Vegan Kitchen
from the Oh She Glows cookbook

1            8 oz. package tempeh
1/2         cup balsamic vinegar
2            cloves garlic, minced
4            teaspoons low-sodium tamari
1            tablespoon pure maple syrup
1            tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Rinse the tempeh and pat dry.  Slice the tempeh into 8 thin (1/4”) pieces, then halve them on the diagonal to make a total of 16 triangles.
  • In a large glass baking dish, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, tamari, maple syrup and oil.
  • Add the tempeh to the dish and gently toss to coat with the marinade.  Cover the dish with foil and marinate the tempeh in the refrigerator for a least 2 hours, or overnight, gently tossing the tempeh every now and then.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread the marinated tempeh triangles in a single layer in the baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake the tempeh in the marinade for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and flip the tempeh in the marinade.  Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the tempeh has absorbed most of the marinade. 

so there's that. trying new foods keeps things interesting over here and i like that it helps us get a wide variety of nutrients in. have you tried anything new lately? have you tried tempeh? what did you think? got any good tempeh recipes to pass along? (too many questions for a monday?=)



  1. I've experimented with it in the past for the family. Half of them liked it half not so much. Your recipes look and sound fabulous as always Kelli!!!
    Starlett had her 12th birthday yesterday. Meow to Kelli!!
    Peace & Raw Health,

  2. thanks elizabeth! aww, happy birthday scarlett! meow! xoxoxo


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