Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Try "Turkey" Tempeh for the holidays! This delicious superfood is marinated in all the spices and flavors of the holidays. It's time for a new tradition!
I have a confession.
When I first went plant-based I was going to cave.
I’d cut out meat and had been doing awesome, but for Thanksgiving, I was thinking about turkey. I still had a little hope that I might be able to make something that would be just as delicious.
All the flavor of the holidays
I created a marinade…..this green soupy stuff to marinate the tempeh in. After looking at my concoction I can’t say I had high hopes.
The goal was a marinade made with seasonings I would normally pair with turkey. Why? Because I quickly realized it’s not the meat I missed, it’s the flavor of the sauces and seasonings. So why not try those same sauces and seasonings on a plant-based food like tempeh?!
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is a fermented food made from a delicious and medicinal fungus (mushroom!), called rhizopus oligosporus, that grows on any legume thereby turning it into a superfood!
The FDA calls tempeh a "converted food.” This means that instead of two different foods, it is considered a whole new food with its own benefits and nutritional values once the two are combined.
Tempeh is a firmer and pleasantly textured food high in protein, fiber, and active enzymes to help with digestion than its softer counterpart, tofu. It has more “meat” than tofu and a subtle nutty flavor. Some folks steam it, as sometimes tempeh can have a bitterness to it, but this marinade I created was strong enough to take any bitterness out of the tempeh.
Much to my surprise, when I tried the marinated and pan-seared tempeh, it was delicious! It had a nice hearty texture and I didn’t miss turkey ONE BIT.
Health benefits of tempeh
The nutty-tasting bean cake has been made for centuries in Indonesia.
Tempeh has no cholesterol, and it’s a great way to get protein, B vitamins, fiber, iron, calcium, and other minerals into your diet.
Improve your cholesterol
Promote bone health
Lower your blood pressure
Protect your heart
Improve insulin resistance
Bonus! Tempeh doesn't typically cause bloating or gas. That makes it a wonderful alternative to beans for people who have trouble digesting fiber-filled foods, or a digestive disorder like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Counter to "studies" shared on Facebook, experts believe that early exposure to soy may lower the risk of breast cancer. Even if you don't have a family history or personal health problems, it's still worth giving your children some soy products like tempeh for their natural nutrients and fantastic taste!
Now onto the recipe!
Turkey Tempeh Recipe
Inspired by AllRecipes
Serves 2 to 3
1 package tempeh, I use Lightlife
1/3 cup veggie broth
2 Tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
Juice 1 lemon
1 Tbsp mustard
Handful fresh chives
1 1/2 Tbsp dried sage
Handful fresh oregano
Handful fresh parsley
2 Tbsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 fresh sprig rosemary
1. Blend all ingredients but tempeh; marinate tempeh overnight in the mixture. Store in the refrigerator.
2. Scrape as much of the marinade off the tempeh as possible. Brown in air-fryer on 400F for 10 minutes or until desired browning occurs. Alternatively, place on parchment paper and roast in 400F oven for 10-15 minutes until browned. Slice and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts for Tempeh only:
(From Lightlife Site)
Per Single Serving
Serving Size 4oz. (113g)
Servings per package: about 2
Nutrition: Amount per Serving Percentage Daily Value
Calories from Fat 100
Fat, g 11 17%
Saturated Fat, g 2 10%
Trans Fatty Acids, g* 0
Cholesterol, mg 0 0%
Sodium, mg 10
Potassium, mg* 360 10%
Carbohydrate, g 16 5%
Fiber, g 9 36%
Protein, g 20 40%
Vitamin A, % 0%
Vitamin C, % 0%
Calcium, % 8%
Iron, % 15%
Cultured organic soybeans, water, organic brown rice, organic barley, organic millet, lactic acid (from plant sources).
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Dawn Hutchins is a plant-based lifestyle educator, author, and self-taught chef. She holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and is a certified Nutritional Therapist with a focus in epigenetics. Discover the benefits that over 35,000 people have experienced through her recipes, cookbooks, and revolutionary programs, learning how to eat more whole, plant foods – and loving it!