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Vegan Food of the Week: Tempeh

Updated: May 30, 2022

(Guest blog post by Georgia State dietetic intern, Margaret Peterson)

This week, I tried my hand at preparing a popular plant-based protein: tempeh. Tempeh is made from dried soybeans and has been a popular part of Asian cuisine for centuries. It's packed with protein and is a great choice for vegans or those who are interested in a more plant-forward diet. Tempeh has a distinct flavor and texture. It's taste is a little similar to tofu with a slightly nutty flavor and the texture reminds me of a mushroom.

I chose Lightlife organic tempeh, and decided to bake it in BBQ sauce. Tempeh can be dry, so I was advised to cook it in a flavorful sauce. I kept it very simple because I wanted to create something that is easy for anyone else to try as well! Trying new and unique foods can be intimidating, but, if you're like me, it's less intimating when there's familiarity with other ingredients in the dish. I baked it at 375 for 15 minutes, taking it out when the BBQ sauce had a sticky coating on the tempeh.

I paired the BBQ tempeh with avocado and some spring mix and made a wrap! Again, super simple, but it had such a delicious flavor and paired well with the avocado.

Why Tempeh is a Super Food

Tempeh is packed with beneficial nutrients including fiber, iron, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. It has more protein than tofu (15 grams per 3 ounces for tempeh compared to 6 grams per 3 ounces in tofu), and contains two-thirds of the amount of calcium as a glass of milk! Not to mention the calcium in tempeh is highly absorbable. Tempeh is also a good source of fiber. There have been studies that show a reduction in cholesterol levels from consuming tempeh.

Overall, I highly recommend trying tempeh! It can be prepared in may different ways and paired with various dishes. From salads to rice bowls, tempeh is a great plant-based protein!

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My name is Margaret Peterson, and I am in the nutrition coordinated program at Georgia State University. I am earning a Master’s degree in Health Science, and completing supervised practice hours to become a Registered Dietitian. In my free time, I enjoy working out, going to concerts, and trying new spots around Atlanta. My goal is to start private practice when I finish my program, but I also have an interest in working in a clinical setting. I chose to pursue a career in nutrition because I believe the foundation of a healthy life starts with the diet. My goal is to help people find the best diet for them individually, in order to feel comfortable and confident with the nutrition aspect of overall wellness.


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