Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tempeh - Vegan

Do you think it's ironic that I'm writing about Tempeh under "Must-have items" after telling you how I try to avoid soy products? Well, there's a fine line between "trying to avoid" and "avoiding", right? Actually my voodoo doctor told me that Edamame (fresh soybeans) and Tempeh are good options since they are not processed when it comes to eating soy. I would argue that Natto should be considered a good soy option as well, but I doubt any American would eat it. Natto is a slimy, sticky and stinky food made with fermented soybeans. It's a part of everyday breakfast for many Japanese people. I'm not a big fan of Natto, but I don't mind it.

Since my Tempeh Tostadas recipe got some of you interested in cooking with Tempeh, I thought it would be appropriate to talk more about it. Tempeh is an Indonesian food. It is also made with fermented soybeans and its retention of the whole bean gives it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. Actually, the soy protein in tempeh becomes more digestible as a result of the fermentation process. It comes in cake like shape and has a firm texture. You can find it in the health food section of grocery stores, health food stores and Oriental food stores. Be sure to read the package since some that you see in regular grocery stores are precooked and flavored, you want a plain one if you are planning on seasoning it. It freezes well if you don't use a whole package.

I'm going to explore cooking with tempeh myself in the future since I only have a small repertoire. There are cookbooks out there dedicated to recipes with tempeh such as "The Tempeh Cookbook". I hope tempeh will become a part of your healthy food choice.

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