What Is Tempeh?

What is tempeh?

The definition (taken straight from goodhealthinfo.net):

“A food made from split soybeans, water, and a special bacteria, which is allowed to ferment for several hours. Eaten in Indonesia and Ceylon as a staple food. Available prepacked, ready to prepare, in some natural food stores.”

I’d like to think of it as a high stakes protein substitute for the non meat-eaters.  No, it doesn’t taste like chicken.  Fermentation is important to a person like me with stomach problems.  Tempeh can have require some getting used to but, as far as I am concerned, buying a larger size pants for me required some getting used to as well so this was no big deal.  🙂  Depending on the brand, one serving of tempeh has about 200 calories, a little over 18 grams of protein about 10% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium and iron.  (And, just a little side note….ALL vegan foods are cholesterol free.  I am not trying to convert you.  I just give the information.  :))

Got this recipe from the Whole Foods website.  (Oh my, how I love that store.  I would have to in order to get up on a Saturday morning and drive 2 hours just to go there.  Being in there just makes me feel healthy but I digress.)  I am having this for dinner tonight.  🙂

Southwest Tempeh Stew

Serves 4 to 6

Serve this rich stew over rice or your favorite cooked grain or pasta. You can also use it as a filling for vegetarian enchiladas.


8 ounces tempeh
1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
1 tablespoon tamari
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild or medium green chiles (optional)


Steam tempeh until cooked through, about 20 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Mix together adobo, tamari and 3/4 teaspoon of the cumin until it makes a soft paste. Rub paste into warm tempeh and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add peppers, onions, and mushrooms and cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Cut tempeh into cubes and add to onion mixture along remaining 3/4 teaspoon cumin, tomatoes, chili powder, corn, and chiles. Cook for another 10 to 12 minutes, then ladle into bowls and serve.


Per serving (about 9oz/245g-wt.): 210 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1190mg sodium, 22g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 11g protein

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