It’s Tempeh Time: Trendy Fall Plant Forward Recipe Ideas
Ankeny, Iowa, September 4, 2019 —If you’re not already enjoying meals made with tempeh, The Soyfoods Council wants to remind you of the many reasons why fall is the right time to start. As busy back-to-school schedules converge with cooler weather and tailgate party season, many consumers are looking for simple plant protein recipes to fit their active lifestyles. Tempeh, or fermented soybean cake, is a high-quality protein that adds firm texture and nutty flavor to everything from sandwiches to main courses. It’s a complete protein, which means it offers adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids in amounts needed by the body. One half-cup of tempeh provides 15 grams of protein, and can easily be incorporated into fajitas, pizza toppings, rice bowls and stir-fry dishes.
While tempeh is an emerging ingredient in the U.S., it has long been a protein staple in Indonesian cuisine. Tempeh is not only packed with nutrients, it contains familiar ingredients. Some commercially available tempeh brands have just three ingredients: organic soybeans, water and organic rice. With its winning combination of rich flavor, high quality protein and fiber, tempeh is a nutrition powerhouse. Dietary fiber recommendations for adults 50 years and younger are 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. However, the average U.S. intake is approximately 15 grams, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. One serving of tempeh adds at least 5 grams of fiber to your diet.
Tempeh also is a fermented food, made from naturally fermented soybeans. Serve it with other fall specialties like cider, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables. Fermented foods are considered functional foods — they have potentially beneficial health effects when consumed on a regular basis at certain levels. Fermented foods such as tempeh contain probiotics (live organisms) that are intended to provide health benefits, including improving or restoring the intestinal flora to promote a healthy digestive tract. For the past two years, fermented foods have remained the number one hot superfood trend, according to the Pollock Communications Survey 2019.
For a trendy fall sandwich, create grilled Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches made with sauerkraut, packaged tempeh bacon slices from your grocery store, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. Serve the sandwich on rye or pumpernickel bread with dill pickles, accompanied by your favorite craft beer, fresh cider or hard cider
Other hearty sandwich ideas include Tempeh Grinders served on hoagie buns. To make the sandwich filling, sauté small pieces of tempeh with onion, garlic, paprika, ground fennel seed, soy sauce, vegetable oil, red pepper and ground black pepper. Pour tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese over the tempeh mixture, topped with shredded mozzarella and hot peppers.
For casual get-togethers, The Soyfoods Council suggests globally inspired recipes like Classic Tempeh Fajitas or Tempeh Bites with Curried Peanut Sauce. For fajitas, start by simmering a mixture of pineapple juice, low-sodium soy sauce, cumin, soybean oil, and fresh lime juice. Remove marinade from heat and pour over tempeh strips. Allow the tempeh to marinate for 30 minutes to two hours. Grill onions, peppers and garlic, and then grill the tempeh strips for two minutes on each side. Serve in warm tortillas, drizzled with a bit of chipotle salsa.
For Tempeh Bites with Curried Peanut Sauce, simmer tempeh cubes for 15 minutes with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sherry, minced fresh ginger, vegetable oil and crushed garlic. To make the dipping sauce, bring a mixture of water, chopped onion, minced fresh ginger and garlic, curry powder and turmeric to a boil and cook for one minute. Cool the mixture and add it to a food processor along with peanuts and fresh lemon juice. Process until the sauce is smooth. Serve dipping sauce along with tempeh cubes on skewers.
It’s also simple to add marinated tempeh slices to your favorite pastas or casseroles. Marinate the tempeh before sautéing or grilling it. Tempeh complements a variety of pasta sauces, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce, or Buffalo wing sauce.
If you’re looking for one more reason to enjoy tempeh as a meat alternative, remember that soyfoods are a healthful, cholesterol-free addition to the diet. When soyfoods replace common protein sources—which tend to be high in saturated fat—estimates are that the direct effect of the protein in soyfoods, along with the favorable change in the fatty acid content of the diet, can reduce cholesterol levels by 7 to 8%.
For complete versions of the tempeh recipes mentioned, as well as other ideas like Tempeh and Edamame Pizza and Tempeh Rice Bowls, visit www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com. You’ll also find tempeh cooking tips and the most recent research about soyfoods and your health.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.
- 1-8 ounce package tempeh, sliced
- 1-8 ounce package mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 4 tablespoons soybean oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Maggi® seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 8 slices rye bread
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 4 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
- ½ cup sauerkraut, warmed
- In a medium bowl, add tempeh, mushrooms, garlic and onion, toss together.
- Add 2 tablespoons soybean oil, soy sauce, Maggie seasoning, salt and pepper, blend.
- In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, heat.
- Add tempeh mixture.
- Sauté until tempeh and vegetables are slightly browned.
- Adjust seasoning as desired. Keep warm.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread.
- Place butter side down on a grill pan or skillet.
- Top 4 slices with 2 slices cheese each, cook until browned on bottom.
- Set aside 4 toasted slices without cheese.
- Add 1 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing to bread that has cheese on it.
- Divide tempeh mixture and sauerkraut evenly over each slice of bread with cheese and dressing.
- Top with remaining slices of bread with toasted side up.
- Slice sandwiches in half. Serve immediately.
- 1 ¾ cups whole wheat or white flour
- ¼ cup soy flour
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon soybean oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1-8 ounce package Tempeh, cut into small cubes
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 3 Bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons soybean oil
- Pizza Sauce
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- ½ green pepper, seeded, sliced into strips
- ½ cup green olives
- 1 cup each, shredded Mozzarella and Provolone cheese
- In a large mixing bowl, add flours, yeast, and salt, mix well.
- Add water, oil and honey, mix until combined.
- Cover bowl with moist cloth, place in warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.
- In a small mixing bowl add soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and bay leaves, stir to blend.
- Add tempeh, mix.
- Let marinate for 1 hour.
- In a small fry pan, over medium heat, add oil, heat.
- Add tempeh, stir fry until crispy.
- Place on paper town to absorb any excess oil; set aside.
- Press dough out onto a 14 inch pizza pan or cookie sheet.
- Spoon favorite pizza sauce onto dough.
- Sprinkle fried tempeh cubes, edamame. mushrooms, green pepper and olives onto pizza.
- Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella and provolone cheese over the pizza.
- Bake in preheated 425 F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is browned.
- Cut into 6-8 pieces.
- Serve immediately.
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1 8-ounce package tempeh
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 2 cups tightly packed leafy greens, such as baby spinach, Swiss chard and/or arugula
- Crushed peanuts, for garnish
- Splash of tamari or soy sauce, for serving (optional)
- Set the Instant Pot on the sauté function, using the adjust button to increase to more heat.
- Add the sesame oil, onion, and carrot and sauté for about three minutes.
- Add the miso and continue sautéing until the miso becomes creamy and mixed well with the vegetables.
- Add the tempeh, crumbling with your fingers as you remove it from the package.
- Using a spoon crumble the tempeh while sautéing. Do this for about 8 minutes.
- The tempeh should begin to resemble small beans (or meat crumbles).
- Add the brown rice and water. Turn the sauté function off.
- Cover the Instant Pot, move the steam valve to sealing, press manual (high pressure) and adjust the time to 22 minutes.
- Allow for a natural release.
- Remove the lid. Stir in two cups of leafy greens.
- Prop the lid on the top of the pot, without sealing, for just a few minutes to allow the greens to slightly wilt.
- Serve in a bowl with crushed peanuts and a splash of tamari or soy sauce (if using).