tempeh final.jpg

ingredients

1 package organic tempeh

Juice from 1/2 orange (~2 tbsp)

2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp tamari

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp chopped red onion

2 cloves of minced garlic

 

make it

-slice tempeh into long strips (you can make them as thin or as thick as you'd like). Place in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish

-whisk other ingredients together and pour over top of the tempeh. Make sure to fully coat and cover each slice of tempeh with the marinade

-let tempeh marinate for at least 4 hours- but it's even better marinated over night. You can marinate it for up to 12 hours in the fridge.

-Bake at 350 for 20 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered. You could even take this same recipe and pan fry it for a crispy version

balsamic-marinated tempeh

Tempeh is definitely an underrated food. It's a strange looking block of fermented soy beans that many people have either never heard of before or simply don't know what to do with. Tofu is usually the star when it comes to meat alternatives, as it is far more common in restaurants and grocery stores. However, I think it is time for tempeh to have its moment in the spotlight! I have to say that tempeh is one of my favourite proteins and I Iove its versatility. It has a mild flavour and a meaty texture that acts like a sponge to any flavour you choose to dress it up with. Tempeh is an easy, inexpensive protein to make and it's a great alternative to meat and tofu. 

Now you're starting to see how much I love tempeh, but what is this stuff? As I said earlier, tempeh is a fermented soybean product. Before you get freaked out thinking about eating a fermented soybean, first you need to know just how important fermented foods are for our digestive health. Fermented foods are our friends. Fermentation is a fancy chemical process where carbohydrates in food get converted into carbon dioxide and alcohol. This same fermentation process produces helpful bacteria that help crowd out bad bacteria, produce vitamins, and keep your digestion moving smoothly. Fermented foods like tempeh are also easier to digest than their non-fermented counterparts and your body is able to use minerals like calcium more efficiently. Other fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and kefir. Did you know that over 70% of your immune system lives in your gut? Your gut is the first line of defense against invaders and pathogens, it is a major player in your overall health and it is important to give it the support it needs. Enjoying fermented foods regularly is one of the best ways to make sure your gut is getting the support it needs to keep you healthy. 

As with all soy products, it is important to purchase organic to ensure you're only consuming non-genetically modified organisms (to give you an idea, 90% of soy used for grocery store products are GMO soy beans- yuck). If you only purchase a few items organically, make sure your soy products are on that list!