My adventures with tempeh started back in mid-February, when I started working with the Better Nature team. I was so curious about tempeh and what it tasted like, and after only a few bites I was in love.
As a meat-eater, my transition to eating more vegetarian foods at first seemed impossible. Growing up in a Filipino household, it was adobo and kare-kare for days - all of which contained some form of meat. And I was worried plant-based alternatives wouldn’t satisfy my cravings.
I’ve tried many different types of plant-based alternatives: sausages, tofu, jackfruit...You name it, I’ve tried it! But there was one meat alternative, undeservingly not as well-known, that stole my heart: TEMPEH!
I’ve managed to eat my way through Better Nature’s whole tempeh selection, from the tempeh rashers to the tender roast tempeh bites!
When cooking, I decided to try out recipes I love, mixing them up by swapping the meat for delicious tempeh! I was blown away by how tasty and nutritious the tempeh was, not to mention easy to cook! Without further ado, I’d like to share my three favourite tempeh dishes - I hope you have as much fun cooking and eating them as I did!
B.L.T is one of my favourite go-to lunches, and I wanted to check out how it would fare with the tempeh rashers. I compiled the sourdough bread with lettuce, tomato and the tempeh rashers. I’ve also added in some vegan spicy mayo to give it a tang, as well as some avocado slices.
The end result: Delicious! The smokiness of the rashers worked so well in the sandwich and, let me tell you, no crumb was left behind! My biggest worry when it came to meat alternatives was that they wouldn’t fill me up. However, the tempeh rashers are not only easy to cook but I’d say they’re as filling and more delicious than bacon!
MASALA NOURISHING BOWL
I usually go out for lunch on my birthday. However, this year (like most people!) I was stuck indoors. I still wanted to have a lovely birthday lunch, so I decided to try and make my lunch more exciting by using our Tempeh bites. This was especially fun as I did it with my flatmates, who had never tried tempeh before! So, it was interesting to see their reactions when we tucked into our nourishing bowls.
The bowls had some rice, a very generous serving of chickpeas (seasoned with salt, coriander, turmeric and cumin), a selection of veg such as broccoli, peppers and carrots and, last but not least, the tempeh bites!
I made my friends try their bowls first. And to my pleasure, their faces spoke a thousand words: shocked, amazed, inspired! They kept digging into their bowls and ended up wanting seconds!
The Better Bites were PERFECT with rice, going hand in hand. This nourishing bowl with tempeh bites is definitely a dish I will be making again in the future.
Now, if you know me, you know I love me some Bolognese! So, I was super intrigued to find out how it would turn out with the tempeh mince, especially as I’m so used to using beef mince. I looked up the Tempeh Bolognese recipe from Better Nature’s website, and got cooking! The Tempeh Mince comes diced into small pieces (who’s surprised? :D) and adds great texture to the sauce.
Once the dish was ready, I was eager to tuck in! The tempeh bolognese was extremely delicious, filling and comforting! My partner gave this dish a try too, and really enjoyed the new flavours and texture from the mince. We saved some of the bolognese for the following day, and it tasted even better then!
Overall, I am so happy that I embarked on this journey with tempeh. After all, it’s both super delicious and nutritious, as well as versatile and easy to cook. When someone hears the words ‘plant-based alternatives’, there’s usually an underlying assumption that they won’t be as delicious as meat, or that you won’t get as much nutrition than from animal products. However, I beg to differ! And this is coming from someone who used to think like that. It just took some exploring, experimenting and a few trials and errors to discover amazing plant-based proteins such as tempeh!
Tempeh is something that I have completely fallen in love with, and I cannot wait to try out some more recipes with it!