In The Kitchen: Tempeh

I’ve been trying to eat healthier. What I’ve realized in the process is that almost every website that offers advice on this is like, “Lean protein and veggies.” And that’s cool with me. I can handle veggies. There’s not too many of them I don’t like. But the lean protein, that’s where you get me. I don’t really like meat. I like a nice cut of steak and I’ll eat bacon, but that’s pretty much it. I’ve always kinda struggled with meat. I don’t like the way beef tastes the way cows smell (which makes me sound crazy to almost anyone who hears it), but that’s how I feel about it. So, in order to move to a leaner diet, I had to start looking for alternatives.

I started with chickpeas. And I really like roasted chickpea, but they just aren’t enough to work as a full substitute for me. So I asked the Google machine and found tofu and tempeh. I don’t particularly like tofu. It’s too spongey for me. So, I thought I’d try tempeh.

So, what exactly is tempeh? Well, thanks to Wikipedia, we can all know that it is “a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form.” Apparently, this process makes the soy more digestible which is better for your body cause you get more minerals out of it.

I decided it was for a try. I purchased Lightlife Organic Original Tempeh. I found it in the organic/health food refrigerated section of my Kroger.


The nutritional facts (which are what really matters) are for 3oz, and it comes in 8oz packaging.

  3oz (serving size) 8oz (whole package)
Calories 140 350
Fat 4.5g 11.25g
Carbs 10g 25g
Sugar 0g 0g
Protein 16g 40g
Fibers 7g 17.5g


I ate about half so for me 21g of protein sounds pretty dang good for having no meat! It’s not bad in any other category either. The whole package has less carbs than a single banana and more fiber than a cup of oatmeal in just the serving size.

Alright, so cooking:

I’ll tell you this it was a little scary at first sight. It’s definitely weird looking. EB thought it was rice crispy treat. But I was determined to be brave and try it. I read online to boil it first to take away from of its natural bitterness. So, I boiled it for 10 minutes flipping it once. I then dried it off and cut it in half so I could put it in a baggie to marinade it. Since this was the first time I was making it, I went a really safe route and used oil and chopped garlic to marinade it. I let it sit for about 2 days before I actually used it.


Josh and I fell in love with tikka masala when we lived in Columbus and would go to North Market. I’ve tried to make it from scratch the past, but it just didn’t work out well. So, I buy it in a jar and, usually, brown up some chicken and shred it to toss in. (Don’t forget the naan!)


This time, I made a chicken breast and browned my tempeh (in two separate pans). I used oil and crumbled it because I thought it would work best with the sauce. Once it was nice and crisp and brown, I put half the sauce in and let it all marry together. The remainder of the sauce went with the chicken.

I served it over rice, and it was really good! I actually almost couldn’t even tell it was in there because it was similar in shape and texture to the rice since I crumbled i. It also really filled me up. It reheated really well for lunch the next day as well.


I’m looking forward to being more adventurous with the marinade and trying different forms for the tempeh. I think this may be the start of a beautiful new food friendship.


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