2018 has been the year I fell in love with Tempeh. Truly, madly, deeply. On my journey to veganism, I travelled through a ‘raw diet’ stage, a ‘superfood healthy’ stage and a focus on consuming next to no ‘processed foods’. Now, while I still incorporate all factors into my day to day eating, I have a much more relaxed approach to ‘processed’ and ‘unnatural’ foods, because we do have to live a little! That said, I am mindful of brands I am buying, looking for minimal additives and preservatives. So, while tempeh may be a little processed, it is a great source of plant-based protein and works towards the perfect macronutrient balance in my bowl.
It also tastes bloomin’ delicious!
It is so versatile, and I am discovering the number of ways it can become part of my diet. From breakfast crumbles through to lunch and dinner options, I love the texture, firmness and the great way it absorbs flavours. So here is one way I have learnt to use tempeh and I think it really makes the best vegan version of ‘bacon bits’.
How do I achieve that bacon flavour? A good old mix of smoky paprika, vinegar for tang and the stickiness from the coconut nectar honey.
And then there’s the Creamy Turmeric Dressing… The perfect balance of tanginess from the vinegar, sweetness from the honey with a touch of heat from the mustard. Not to mention it is bright yellow!
Bacon Bits Tempeh Kale & Lentil Salad w/ a Creamy Turmeric dressing
½ block of tempeh (100g)
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp coconut vinegar
½ tbsp coconut nectar
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp coconut oil
4 large handfuls kale, torn
2 tbsp coconut vinegar
2 spring onions, thinly slices
1 orange pepper, small dice
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
80g dried green lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soya yoghurt
2 tbsp coconut vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2tsp coconut nectar honey
½ tsp ground turmeric
Cook lentils according to packet instructions, drain and allow to cool.
Prepare the Bacon Bits: combine the tamari, vinegar, nectar, paprika and cumin in a small bowl. Thinly slice the tempeh and place in the marinade. Flip the strips over to coat evenly and leave for a few minutes.
Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan, remove the tempeh strips from the marinade (keep the marinade) and place in frying pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side and flip over. When cooked, add the marinade and cook for a minute or so until sticky and crispy. Add more oil if starting to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the kale in a large bowl and the 2 tbsp coconut vinegar and massage for a couple of minutes until it has reduced in size.
Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients together well.
Add the vegetables and lentils to the kale, then season to taste. Toss well and divide between 2 bowls. Crumble over the tempeh strips into “Bacon Bits” and drizzle over the dressing.
I would love to hear your thoughts and views on tempeh, what are your favourite ways to use it? If you give the recipe ago, please let me know! I’d love to see your creations – hashtag #nourishingamy and tag me @nourishing.amy on Instagram.