Evidence shows that consuming a more plant-based diet reduces disease risk of many chronic conditions. A common misconception is that plant-based foods are low in protein, however it is quite easy to get your daily protein from plant-based products. One plant-product that is high in protein is tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soybean product. Soybeans are lightly cooked and then fermented. Then they are compacted into a brick. Some brands will mix in whole grains, such as rice or millet, to help maintain shape. A 3 oz piece of tempeh can provide around 16 grams of protein! Soybeans are a great source of iron - which makes it a great meat alternative! See below for a recipe that uses tempeh instead of ground beef in tacos!
Yields 3 servings.
8 oz brick of tempeh (such as Lightlife)
1 chopped yellow onion
1 diced jalapeno
½ sliced red pepper
½ sliced green pepper
2 tbsp olive oil (separated)
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp garlic powder
½ tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Dash of pepper
Three 6’’ whole grain tortilla wraps
OPTIONAL: ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
OPTIONAL: 1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
In a food processor, add tempeh and pulse until crumbly (be sure not to over-pulse).
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Once hot, add sliced onions and diced jalapeno. Simmer for 5 minutes or until onion is lightly browned.
In a separate small pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add in sliced red and green peppers. Saute until soft. Remove from heat.
Add ground tempeh to pan with the onions and jalapeno. Saute for 3 minutes or until tempeh is browned.
Add soy sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and pepper to the tempeh. Saute for 3 more minutes.
Take one 6’’ whole grain tortilla wrap and place on a plate. Spoon ¾ cup of tempeh into the wrap. Add ¼ cup of peppers and onions to wrap. OPTIONAL: Top with ½ tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 tsp hot sauce.
Fold and enjoy!
By Emily Rykaczewski, MS, RDN, LDN
This information is intended for general advice and may not be applicable to everyone. Please speak to your on-site Registered Dietitian if you have specific questions or to find out what is best for your individual needs.
Kahleova H, Pelikanova T. 2015. Vegetarian Diets in the Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. J Am Coll Nutr. 34(5):448-58. Accessed online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25915002
Kerley C. 2018. A Review of Plant-based Diets to Prevent and Treat Heart Failure. Card Fail Rev. 4(1): 54-61. Accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5971679/