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The Hearty Vegan | The Hearty Vegan http://www.heartyvegan.com Handmade vegan tempeh, Gluten-free, soy and soy-free options. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 05:48:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Basil Cream Linguine with Pan-Seared Tempeh http://www.heartyvegan.com/basil-cream-linguine-pan-seared-tempeh?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=basil-cream-linguine-pan-seared-tempeh http://www.heartyvegan.com/basil-cream-linguine-pan-seared-tempeh#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 04:01:44 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=1273 This is a perfect vegan cream sauce tossed with al dente linguine alongside crispy pan-seared tempeh (and a few vegetables so I don’t feel too guilty). Fyi, this also belongs on the top of #whatthefatveganseat. My resident pescatarian used to talk a lot about pan-searing fish, but recently he has …

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Pan Seared Tempeh with basil cream linguine

This is a perfect vegan cream sauce tossed with al dente linguine alongside crispy pan-seared tempeh (and a few vegetables so I don’t feel too guilty).

Fyi, this also belongs on the top of #whatthefatveganseat.

My resident pescatarian used to talk a lot about pan-searing fish, but recently he has switched to pan-searing Tempeh and he is quite good at it.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

Pan-Seared Tempeh:

1 pack Hearty Vegan Tempeh – thawed (I’m too lazy to thaw mine, so I just toss my frozen Tempeh into a steamer basket for 10 minutes)

2 cups water + 2 tsp salt – mixed until completely dissolved

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup earth balance or vegan butter

pepper

Basil Cream Sauce:

2 tbsp earth balance or vegan butter

1/8 cup fresh basil – finely chopped (For variation, you can use almost any fresh herb.. rosemary also works really well)

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/4-1/3 cup no-chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup Tofutti cream cheese

1 tbsp corn starch

1/2 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp sage

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Serve with pasta of choice, and something green!

Preparation:

First get your pasta water on the stove, and preheat your oven to 350°. While the water is heating slice your Tempeh into 4 equal pieces, then cut those in half lengthwise so you end up with 8 flat squares. Soak the Tempeh in the salt water for 10 minutes.

While the Tempeh is soaking, let’s start on our cream sauce. In a small sauce pan on low heat Basil Cream saucecombine 2 tbsp earth balance, basil, garlic, marjoram, oregano, thyme sage, salt & pepper. Allow the earthbalance to melt and slowly simmer the spices for 2-3 minutes, depending on your stove you might need to turn the heat up or down just a bit. Do not allow this mixture to boil or scorch.

At this point your water is most likely boiling, so toss in your pasta and cook until Al dente.

Vegan Basil Cream Sauce

Once the garlic becomes fragrant toss in the corn starch and mix well. The mixture will quickly turn into a paste, at which point add your vegetable broth and cream cheese. Turn to medium heat and stir constantly. The cream cheese should melt into your thickening sauce and meld together into a perfect cream sauce. Set aside.

Remove the tempeh from it’s salt bath and spread out on a plate, sprinkle with pepper.

If you have never pan-seared anything before it is pretty fun. You want to start by warming your olive oil in an all-metal (including the handle*) frying pan on medium-high heat. Place the Tempeh pepper side down on the pan. Add about a tbsp of earth balance dotted on either side, as well as the rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle pepper on the top of the tempeh. As the earth balance melts, tilt your pan so that it puddles around the rosemary. Use a large spoon to scoop up the now herb-infused butter and spoon over the cooking tempeh. Continue to add dollops of butter when all has melted away. Once the bottom is golden brown about 4-5 minutes, flip the tempeh over and cook another 1-2 minutes. Place the whole pan in the oven and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.

Once your pasta is drained, return it to medium heat and stir in 1/4 of your cream sauce to infuse it with the flavor. Add additional sauce when plating.

Carefully remove your pan from the oven and serve with your pasta, cream sauce and vegetable of choice!

*If you don’t have an oven-proof all metal pan, you can transfer the tempeh to a pyrex that has been preheated for the over portion

 

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Tempeh Stir-fry with Brown Sauce http://www.heartyvegan.com/tempeh-stir-fry?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tempeh-stir-fry http://www.heartyvegan.com/tempeh-stir-fry#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:20:10 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=1230   Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time : 15 min Serves 2 Vegetables & Protein: 1 Block Hearty Vegan Tempeh – Defrosted 2 tsp salt dissolved in 2 cups water (this will be your salt water bath for the Tempeh) 1 1/2 cups broccoli* 15 oz Straw Mushrooms* (*We used …

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Stirfry2

 

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time : 15 min
Serves 2

Vegetables & Protein:

1 Block Hearty Vegan Tempeh – Defrosted
2 tsp salt dissolved in 2 cups water (this will be your salt water bath for the Tempeh)
1 1/2 cups broccoli*
15 oz Straw Mushrooms*
(*We used Broccoli and straw mushrooms, but you can use any vegetable you have on hand. )
1 tbsp cooking oil

Brown Sauce:

1/4 cup Tamari
1/4 Cup No-chicken (vegan) or vegetable broth
1/4 cup Mirin
1 3/4 Tbs sugar
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 cup water
1 tbsp cooking oil

Starch:

We used Korean Rice Cake, so we tossed it in the stir-fry. But you could also serve over rice or noodles.
If using rice cake medallions ~ 1.5 cups boiled for 3 minutes and set aside.
If using rice – 1 cup cooked

 

Tempeh cubedCut your Tempeh into small cubes.

 

 

 

 

Tempeh in Salt Bath

Place Tempeh in the salt water bath and set aside to soak for 10 minutes. This will bring out the subtle nutty/sweet flavors of the Tempeh.

 

 

 

 

 

Bowl of sauce

Sauce:

In a small bowl, combine tamari, broth, mirin, sugar, sesame oil and pepper.

in a separate container dissolve the cornstarch in 1/8 cup water.

Heat a small pan over high heat, add the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant (about 15 seconds). Add the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens to the consistency of maple syrup. Set aside.

Tempeh Stir-Fry:

Drain the Tempeh, then fry until golden brown in a large skillet, and set aside on a plate.

In the same large skillet saute your broccoli and mushrooms until both are tender, add the Tempeh along with 1/3 of your sauce (and rice cake if you are using). When the sauce has been mostly absorbed and the vegetables and Tempeh look sticky, add another 1/3, repeat until you have used all the sauce.

Serve with rice, rice cake or noodles.

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How Tempeh is made in Indonesia http://www.heartyvegan.com/how-tempeh-is-made-indonesia?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-tempeh-is-made-indonesia http://www.heartyvegan.com/how-tempeh-is-made-indonesia#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:25:40 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=1192 As a Tempeh maker, I have often wondered about how tempeh is made in Indonesia, and how much it differs from the way we make it in the states. I stumbled upon a CBS News slideshow of images from inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory,and I was instantly hit with the vast similarities and …

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As a Tempeh maker, I have often wondered about how tempeh is made in Indonesia, and how much it differs from the way we make it in the states. I stumbled upon a CBS News slideshow of images from inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory,and I was instantly hit with the vast similarities and the few differences in our own Tempeh making here in Austin, TX. 

I have added a few of our photos as a side-by-side comparison. The Health Department here does seem to be a little stricter on us, than departments in Indonesia are on them. ;)

How Tempeh is Made; A look into authentic tempeh production.

Cleaning & Cooking:

Traditional Indonesian methods of Tempeh making involve cracking, dehulling and washing soybeans. This can take place in large wash bins, deep sinks, or in the river. We like to use a sink, although a river might be a bit more environmentally friendly.

Jakarta Post soybean washing

 image is from the Jakarta Post

After washing, we soak the beans then boil them until just soft.

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factoy 3 CBS

All Ed Wray/Getty Images photos are from CBS Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory

CBS Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory Photo 4 CBS

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory 9 CBS

Drying & Inoculating:

The beans are laid out to dry, then inoculated with the Rhizopus spore. In Indonesia they often grow this spore on cassava or cassava starch. Here in the states, it is common to grow it on rice.

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory 7 CBSGarbanzostarter

Bagging, Sealing & Fermenting:

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh factory 8 CBS

Some Tempeh is still fermented in banana leaves, however many Tempeh makers even in Indonesia have switched to using plastic bags.

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factoy 6 CBS

Inside an Indonesian Tempeh Factory 5 CBS20131230_180034

The picture on the left blows my mind, a worker is manually heat-sealing bags of soybeans over a candle. On the right, Paul is using a foot pedaled heat sealer in our commercial kitchen.

CBS Inside an Indonesian Tempeh FactoryTempeh on Trays

This man is carrying a tray of fermenting Tempeh, it looks like an amazing balancing act to me. I thought our trays were a bit precarious, but it is nothing by comparison!

indonesiatempehTempeh Incubating

Left photo is from NPRs ‘Journey to Java’

Indonesia is the perfect temperature for tempeh making, and as you can see on the left, it allows them to ferment almost out in the open.

Here in the states we recreate the temperature and humidity using commercial incubators, like the one you see on the right.

Some shops in the states choose to pasteurize their Tempeh after it is done incubating, this process allows Tempeh to be shelf stable in the refrigerator for long periods of time. However, it also tends to remove a large portion of the mycelium which can lead to a bitter flavor.

A lot of ‘local’ Tempeh shops around the U.S. like to sell Tempeh frozen as a means to preserve shelf life, without harming the live cultures.

In Indonesia Tempeh is made from soybeans, but it is possible to make Tempeh out of almost any bean. Here in the U.S., depending on what part of the country you are in, you could find Tempeh made with fava beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas or lupins. It is also common to see other grains or seeds added in, like flax or chia seeds.

For awesome ways to prepare Tempeh, check out our recipe page!

 

 

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Sambal Goreng Tempe (Indonesian Spicy Fried Tempeh) http://www.heartyvegan.com/sambal-goreng-tempe-indonesian-spicy-fried-tempeh?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sambal-goreng-tempe-indonesian-spicy-fried-tempeh http://www.heartyvegan.com/sambal-goreng-tempe-indonesian-spicy-fried-tempeh#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 06:43:37 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=1150 Authentic Indonesian recipes might require a trip to your local Asian Market. For more information about, or common substitutions for ingredients listed click here This Indonesian spice/sauce blend really complements Tempeh and ends up being crisp, sticky, sweet, and tangy, with a nice kick. Some of the ingredients might look a …

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Spicy Fried Tempeh

Authentic Indonesian recipes might require a trip to your local Asian Market. For more information about, or common substitutions for ingredients listed click here

This Indonesian spice/sauce blend really complements Tempeh and ends up being crisp, sticky, sweet, and tangy, with a nice kick. Some of the ingredients might look a little daunting, but they are quite cheap to buy at an asian market, and they last a long time.

Sambal Goreng Tempe, which translates to Spicy Fried Tempeh is quite easy to put together.. and oh so delicious. The last time I made it I didn’t have any curry leaves, went light on the Chilies and served it over rice. Next time I am looking forward to tossing in some flat rice noodles at the end, to kind of recreate ‘drunken noodles’.

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min

1 8oz package Hearty Vegan Tempeh – Thawed, diced.
2 cups water + 2 tsp salt (For soaking)
6 tbs oil
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp yellow bean paste
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet dark soy sauce)
2 inch piece galangal pounded into paste (or 2 tbsp galangal paste)
2 shallots – Minced
2 large red chillies – Minced*
3 cloves garlic – Minced
2 Curry leaves (Optional – if available)
3 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix the 2 cups of water with 2 tsp of salt until the salt is completely dissolved. Soak the tempeh in this brine for 5-10 minutes.
Drain and fry in 3 tbsp oil until golden brown

Mix the tamarind paste with 3 tbsp water and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the shallots, garlic, galangal and  curry leaves for 3 minutes. Add the yellow bean paste and red chillies and fry for 1 minute.

Add the kecap manis, palm sugar, tamarind water, salt and simmer slowly for 2 minutes. Add the tempeh and mix well.

Serve with rice or noodles!

*If you prefer more or less spicy Sambal you can adjust the amount of red chilies.

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Best Vegan Wins of 2013 http://www.heartyvegan.com/vegan-wins-of-2013?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vegan-wins-of-2013 http://www.heartyvegan.com/vegan-wins-of-2013#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 21:19:23 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=1100 With the holidays here, what better time to reflect on all the things you are thankful for? I would like to thank everyone that has made the choice to help end animal cruelty.  Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a hardcore animal rights advocate – it is because of your …

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With the holidays here, what better time to reflect on all the things you are thankful for?

I would like to thank everyone that has made the choice to help end animal cruelty.  Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a hardcore animal rights advocate – it is because of your effort and choices that we are seeing a real change in mainstream opinion.

Here is a list of my favorite vegan wins of 2013:

 January

15WELL-tmagArticle

As proof of overwhelming popularity, NY Times publishes an article on “How to go Vegan”. The Author, TARA PARKER-POPE helps make transitioning to Veganism accessible to a curious but skeptical crowd.

February -

NPR PIGS

Well, I couldn’t remember anything specific in February, so I thought I would toss in an awesome fun fact. In 2013, 15 bills were proposed to criminalize animal cruelty videos. However unlike in previous years, this year not a single one passed. Thanks to grassroots activism and a growing culture that is unwilling to settle for “out of sight, out of mind”.

NPR- 2013 was the year every new ag-gag bill failed

March - 

(This one is Austin specific.. but it made me happy, so I had to include it)

Top Vegan Cities of 2013

P.E.T.A names Austin, TX the #1 vegan friendly city in the nation. We beat Portland, Los Angeles and New York City! And I can see why with all of our awesome vegan restaurants, food trucks & Bakeries!

Here is what they had to say about us:

“Austin, Texas, may be in the heart of cattle country, but it’s also the vegan food truck capital of the world. With mobile joints, including The Vegan Yacht, The Vegan Nom, and Guac N Roll, offering up cruelty-free eats, the vegan movement in Austin really has wheels. For those with more stationary tastes, Mother’s Café & Garden dishes out a tantalizing variety of vegan delights, including tofu lasagne and banana walnut pancakes. Get your Tex-Mex on at Mr. Natural and Güero’s Taco Bar, serving up vegan queso, soy taquitos al pastor, chalupa plates, and veggie albondigas. For Texans with a sweet tooth, Thai Fresh has vegan pastries and ice creams with unique flavors such as lemongrass, tamarind, and sweet potato pie, and Sweet Ritual is a vegan ice cream parlor featuring soft-serve and hard-packed ice cream, dozens of toppings (even vegan gummy worms!), and fresh-made waffle cones dipped in house-made chocolate and smothered in toppings such as Chick-O-Stick and toasted coconut. Yee-haw!” Woot! 

April - 

The TMAO connection

News of the enzyme L-Carnitine goes viral when studies show the link between red meat and heart disease.

“Here’s how it works: After you ingest L-carnitine, it travels to your gut, and intestinal bacteria converts the L-carnitine into a substance called TMA, which then gets processed by the liver. The liver converts TMA into a compound that has been linked to plaque build-up in the arteries and heart disease. This conversion was most apparent in those who regularly ate red meat. Remarkably, vegans and vegetarians, even after consuming a large amount of carnitine, did not produce significant levels of TMA. It may be because they have different gut bacteria.” -Dr. Oz

NY Times – Culprit in Heart Disease Goes Beyond Meat’s Fat

Dr. Gregor - The TMAO connection

May - 

India names dolphins "non-human persons"

India names dolphins “non-human persons” and outlaws the captivity and exploitation of cetaceans species.

Environment News Service Reports – “Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,” the ministry said.

Also in May, Paul Mccartney awarded the Austin, TX mayor with Vegan City Honour :D  

June -

Rich-Landau-via-cityeats.com

Vegan Chef Rich Landau wins food networks Chopped competition, creatively using plant-based ingredients such as chia seeds, dandelion greens, and tempeh(!!).

My boyfriend is an avid Chopped fan, so of course I was glued to the screen for this episode.

In reference to his appetizer, Iron Chef and Judge Alex Guarnaschelli is quoted as saying “As someone who does believe that eggs, cream and butter do make the world spin – I am astounded by this stock and the flavor and the richness you have achieved. I learned something from this dish.”

July - 

Movie Poster Black Fish

July was the official release date of Blackfish, which started a fierce movement across America, bringing Seaworld to its knees.  It has been included on the Oscars documentary shortlist, and has gotten a slew of news coverage.

More importantly it shined front and center, bringing a little animal rights to the mainstream family living room.  

August -

Vegan Wins of 2013

Who said all vegans are weak and scrawny? Tell that to these amazing vegans who stole the show at The Texas Naturally Fit Body Building Competition. These plant-powered guys and gals took home first place medals in 5 out of the 7 divisions.

September - 

Beyond Eggs

‘Beyond Eggs’ hits the shelves at Whole Foods. 

Whether you are looking forward to buying ‘Beyond eggs’ for your next round of baking, or would rather stick with traditional flax meal and bananas, it is hard to deny that Bill Gates has some influence. I have heard his goals are ambitious, like ridding the world of polio and malaria, as well as transitioning modern society to a plant-based diet. He has financially backed vegan companies such as ‘Beyond-meat’ and ‘Beyond eggs’. He has also been leading talks across the nation on the benefits of a meatless diet. Despite some misgivings about lab-engineered food and its merits, the advocacy and support given by someone as powerful and influential as Bill Gates seems, in my opinion, to be well worth it.

October - September again-

serena-williams

Vegan tennis superstar, Serena Williams, won her fifth U.S. Open Championship on Sunday. She beat out Victoria Azarenka in three sets – her first three-setter in the tournament – though it didn’t come easy.

This is Williams’ 17th Grand Slam singles title, making her one title shy of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (another vegan) on the all-time leaders list.

November - 

Al Gore goes Vegan

Former Vice president Al Gore goes Vegan, just like the president with whom he once served.

December -

vegan food #1 trend of 2013

Forbes lists ‘High-end Vegan food’ as #1 trend of 2013

beyonce & Jay-z

Beyonce & Jay-Z take a 22-day vegan challenge

 

*Be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Ghandi*

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2014!

If you know of any awesome vegan wins of 2013 from February and/or October, let me know and I will add them.

 

 

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Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie – Gluten-Free http://www.heartyvegan.com/tempeh-shepherds-pie-gluten-free?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tempeh-shepherds-pie-gluten-free http://www.heartyvegan.com/tempeh-shepherds-pie-gluten-free#comments Sat, 21 Dec 2013 20:06:02 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=1027 Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie is a perfect winter warmer. During the colder months I like to make up a big casserole dish and eat it all day long. There is a perfect balance between the three scrumptious layers – savory mushrooms, creamy mashed potatoes and rugged tempeh with pecans.   Ingredients: Tempeh …

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Gluten-Free Tempeh Shepherd's PieTempeh Shepherd’s Pie is a perfect winter warmer. During the colder months I like to make up a big casserole dish and eat it all day long. There is a perfect balance between the three scrumptious layers – savory mushrooms, creamy mashed potatoes and rugged tempeh with pecans.

 

Ingredients:

Tempeh Layer

2 8-ounce packages Hearty Vegan Tempeh
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pinch black pepper
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

 Creamy Potato Layer

3 large potatoes, cubed
3 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

 Savory Mushroom Gravy Layer

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups hot potato water
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Shepherd's Pie layers

Directions:

Tempeh layer: 

Cut frozen or thawed tempeh into large cubes. In a sauté pan bring water and tamari to a boil. Place the tempeh in the pan, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.  If the liquid evaporates, add a little more water to the pan.

While the tempeh is simmering, sauté the onions in the oil with the thyme, coriander, and black pepper until the onions are translucent. Stir in the chopped pecans. Add the tempeh and lemon juice. Remove from heat. Crumble or mash the tempeh into the pan (a wire whisk works well for mashing).

Mashed potato layer:

Place the cubed potatoes in a saucepan and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer the potatoes until soft. Drain, saving the hot potato water to use in the gravy. Mash the potatoes with the butter substitute and milk. Salt & Pepper to taste.

 

Savory Mushroom Gravy Layer:

Sauté the mushrooms, soy sauce, and black pepper in oil, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender. Add 1 1/2 cups of the potato water and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook at a low boil, continuing to stir, until the gravy is clear and thick.

Now you are ready to assemble your tempeh shepherd’s pie!

Oil a 9 inch square casserole dish. Layer the tempeh mixture, then the mushroom gravy, and then the mashed potatoes. Dot the top with butter substitute and sprinkle with a touch of salt & pepper.

Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes until the top becomes golden.

Makes 8 servings

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Tempeh vs. Tofu – Battle of healthy vegan proteins http://www.heartyvegan.com/tempeh-vs-tofu-battle-healthy-meat-alternatives?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tempeh-vs-tofu-battle-healthy-meat-alternatives http://www.heartyvegan.com/tempeh-vs-tofu-battle-healthy-meat-alternatives#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 00:49:54 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=954 Tempeh vs. Tofu In a tempeh vs. tofu showdown, tempeh is for sure the underdog. After years of neglect and vast under appreciation, tempeh is finally on its way to becoming a household staple. Tofu, on the other hand, has been our go-to for everything. From scrambled eggs to vegan …

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Blackened Tempeh burger for Tempeh vs. Tofu

Tempeh vs. Tofu

In a tempeh vs. tofu showdown, tempeh is for sure the underdog. After years of neglect and vast under appreciation, tempeh is finally on its way to becoming a household staple. Tofu, on the other hand, has been our go-to for everything. From scrambled eggs to vegan ricotta, tofu has been our staple vegan protein for as long as I can remember.

As a vegan, I am always looking for new and delicious sources of protein. One of my top choices is tempeh. But how does it compare to tofu? What exactly IS tempeh? Where does it come from? How do you cook it? Let’s compare tofu and tempeh to see how these two healthy meat alternatives stand up against one another.

On TofuRaw Firm Tofu

Tofu originated in China, and is made from coagulating soymilk into curds and pressing them into soft spongy blocks. The density is determined by how long the curds are pressed; the shorter the time, the softer the tofu. The process is very similar to making cheese. Tofu has almost no flavor on its own and relies on the preparer to achieve a palatable flavor and texture. This lack of flavor only adds to tofu’s extreme popularity and versatility, allowing it to be used as the perfect centerpiece for dinners or desserts.

About Tempeh

Tempeh vs. TofuTempeh originated in Indonesia and is made by fermenting whole soybeans into dense chewy blocks. Tempeh has a much meatier texture, and a slightly nutty flavor. In Indonesia tempeh is used as an affordable, everyday protein in family recipes; it’s only on special occasions when tempeh is substituted by actual meat, which only exemplifies tempeh’s comparable texture. Although tempeh is usually made from soybeans, soy-free varieties can be made from black-eyed peas, garbanzo, or black beans.

How do the two compare?

Tofu is extremely porous and soaks up flavors very easily, whereas tempeh needs to Vegan Tofu Cheesecakebe marinated longer and/or in smaller pieces. Tempeh also lends itself well to being slow braised, or simmered in a flavored broth before being added to the main dish.
Both tofu and tempeh are very versatile, and have a wide array of textures and uses. Tofu can be crumbled and used as a ricotta, blended to make thick custard, cubed, fried or frozen, thawed, and shredded for a meatier texture. Tempeh in the same right can be crumbled to make a ground taco filling, shredded for a “tuna” salad, cubed and fried, or sliced into strips for faux bacon. With both, the limitations are only one’s own imagination.

Let’s Talk Protein

Bouldin Creeks Tofu Renedict

Tofu is made from soymilk and has a protein content of about 12 grams per 4 ounce serving. Tempeh is made from whole soybeans, and consequently its protein content is almost double that of tofu’s at 22 grams per 4 ounce serving. Both proteins have B vitamins, iron, potassium, dietary fiber, and no cholesterol.

An added benefit to tempeh is, because it’s fermented, it’s easier for the body to digest and diminishes flatulence.

Beans have oligosaccharides that are hard for the body to break down in the intestines. They are also the primary culprits in the flatulence experienced after consuming beans. Several kinds of fungus have enzymes that naturally break down the oligosaccharides, one of which is the Tempeh Spore. The fermenting process in Tempeh makes the sugars and proteins available for the body to use as fuel, thereby eliminating the excess methane in the lower intestines, and reducing flatulence.

For a fun run down on why beans make you fart check out Mental Floss – http://mentalfloss.com/article/30748/why-do-beans-make-you-fart

Vegan Asian Meatballs made from TempehBoth Tofu and Tempeh are packed with isoflavones. These help strengthen bones, help to ease menopause symptoms in women, and reduce risk of heart disease and cancer.

Tofu will always be my go-to for desserts and cheeses. It is the base for my favorite vegan cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and makes an excellent whipped cream.
In the end, while I have a spot in my heart for both, in savory dishes, battle tempeh vs. tofu goes to tempeh purely based on texture. I couldn’t make my Italian meatballs without it, or my new favorite: Dill tuna salad.

Tempeh has proved to be a fantastic addition to my plant-based protein repertoire, and I hope you give it a chance to spark your culinary curiosity.

For simple and easy tempeh recipes, check out our recipe page 

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E2 Tempeh and Quinoa Paella – Gluten Free http://www.heartyvegan.com/e2-tempeh-quinoa-paella?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=e2-tempeh-quinoa-paella http://www.heartyvegan.com/e2-tempeh-quinoa-paella#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 06:03:00 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=870 Tempeh and Quinoa Paella ( E2 /  McDougal ) 1 small red onion, minced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 cup of Quinoa, rinsed, drained 1 tbs. smoked paprika 1 salt & pepper to taste 2 cups of vegetable stock 1 red bell pepper, roasted, sliced into strips 1/2 cup of broccoli …

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Tempeh and Quinoa Paella ( E2 /  McDougal )

Gluten Free Tempeh recipes

1 small red onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of Quinoa, rinsed, drained
1 tbs. smoked paprika
1 salt & pepper to taste
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 red bell pepper, roasted, sliced into strips
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
3 artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (optional)
8oz.  Tempeh, cubed (Use black eyed pea Tempeh to make this recipe soy-free)
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
2 tbs. almonds or pine nuts

1. In a large saute pan (or paella pan if you have one) over medium-low heat, add a splash of vegetable stock and sweat the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the rinsed quinoa, and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper, stir to combine, and add 1 1/2 cups of stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the quinoa is just about cooked (about 10-12 minutes).

3.While the Quinoa is cooking, in a separate pan lightly saute the Tempeh in vegetable stock with sesame seeds and garlic until tender and fragrant.

4. Add the red bell pepper strips, green beans, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and tempeh on top of the quinoa and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are heated through.

5. Garnish with the almonds and parsley, and serve either traditionally at the table in the paella pan, or separately on a plate.

I have to say I was shocked by how good this recipe turned out. With no oil and no sugar, tempeh and quinoa paella is a very healthy dish that really packs in the flavor.

 

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E2 Tempeh Adobo http://www.heartyvegan.com/e2-tempeh-adobo?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=e2-tempeh-adobo http://www.heartyvegan.com/e2-tempeh-adobo#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 05:59:02 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=868 Tempeh Adobo ( E2 / McDougal friendly ) 2 (8 ounce) packages soy or Black Eyed Pea tempeh 1/2 cup cider vinegar 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 bay leaf 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems chopped and leaves thinly …

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Tempeh Adobo ( E2 / McDougal friendly )

Gluten Free Tempeh recipes

2 (8 ounce) packages soy or Black Eyed Pea tempeh
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems chopped and leaves thinly sliced
2 cups cooked whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa
Steam Tempeh in a steamer basket for 30 min, then set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut Tempeh into 1-inch chunks.

In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, tamari, garlic and jalapeño to make the marinade. Add bay leaf and cooled Tempeh. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove bay leaf from marinade and discard. Add
Tempeh and remaining marinade to skillet and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in chard, cover and cook about 5 minutes more or until chard is wilted, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Nutritional Info:
PER SERVING:340 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 560mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 25g protein

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Italian Tempeh Meatballs http://www.heartyvegan.com/italian-tempeh-meatballs?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=italian-tempeh-meatballs http://www.heartyvegan.com/italian-tempeh-meatballs#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 05:53:19 +0000 http://www.heartyvegan.com/?p=865 Italian Tempeh Meatballs 2 slices stale white bread 1/3 cup cold soymilk 1 1/2 lbs Tempeh (3 blocks) 1/2 cup softened earthbalance or vegan butter 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 medium onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried rosemary …

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Italian Tempeh Meatballs

2 slices stale white bread

1/3 cup cold soymilk

1 1/2 lbs Tempeh (3 blocks)

1/2 cup softened earthbalance or vegan butter

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp majoram

1 tsp thyme

1 Tbsp Flax meal + 3 Tbps Warm water

-For excellent tricks on how to make Flax Eggs click here

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil, divided

Serves 4.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15-20 min

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together flax meal and warm water, Refrigerate for 15 min.

Steam Tempeh for 10 min, set aside and let cool.

While your Tempeh is steaming, soak your bread in the soymilk and also set aside.

Saute your onion and garlic in a small pan with a little bit of olive oil until fully translucent, approx 10 min.

Add all ingredients to Flax meal mixture and knead together until a soft dough forms.

Roll into 1/2 inch balls and lay on your baking sheet. Brush with olive oil* and bake for 7-10 min, flip and bake another 7-8 minutes or until golden brown.

*If you are serving with pasta sauce you can brush Tempeh balls with marinara before baking instead of olive oil.

These tempeh meatballs are great served on top of your favorite pasta as a main course, or in a meatball sub with melted (vegan) cheese and marinara.

I also love these as an appetizer with basil pesto and sundried tomatoes on crostini.

You could also try adding a little bit of daiya or mozzarella cheese in the dough before forming into meatballs for additional creaminess.

Be careful not to form tempeh balls that are extra large or you risk uneven cooking and the potential for your meatballs to fall apart.

Love meatballs? Check out our recipe for asian style sesame meatballs. 

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