Tempeh Ginger Scramble is a meal that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s easy to prepare and is ready in minutes.
What is the difference between tofu and tempeh?
Both tofu and tempeh are made from soybeans and are a good source of protein. Tofu, which originates from China, is sometimes called bean curd. It is made like cheese, by combining soybeans, water and a coagulant, and pressing the condensed soy milk into solid but soft white blocks.
Tempeh originates from Indonesia. It is believed that it was discovered accidentally when discarded soybeans were found to be edible despite having a layer of white mold on them. Tempeh is made by lactic acid fermentation of whole soybeans with a bacterial culture. With the appropriate warmth, it usually takes 48 hours for the soybeans to ferment into a condensed block. Tempeh is less processed than tofu.
Doesn’t soy consumption increase health risks?
As soon as you mention anything with soy the questions and debates begin about the benefits and risks of consuming soy. Most of the soybeans produced for food are highly processed, genetically engineered, and no longer recognizable in the food-like products sold on grocery store shelves. Tempeh on the other hand, is simply fermented soybeans (it is pasteurized for shelf stability). Whereas most soy products contain concentrates and soy isolates instead of whole soybeans, tempeh is a fermented whole food that is a healthy part of a balanced diet. Always look for organic, non-GMO tempeh.
Soy contains isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen activity, so if you have hormone related health concerns or a family history of hormone-related cancers, you may want to avoid soy. It is best to always avoid highly processed soy products made with soy isolates or soy concentrates.
Tempeh is considered one of the most common food allergens, so if you have allergies or food sensitivities tempeh may not be for you.
Benefits of tempeh
- Tempeh is an excellent source of protein, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin B2 (1).
- Soybeans contain prebiotics which support digestive health and may reduce inflammation (2).
- Fermentation is like pre-digesting food, breaking down the phytic acid found in soybeans to improve digestion and make nutrients more readily available for absorption (3).
- Consumption of fermented soy may have bone benefits (4).
- Some studies suggest that tempeh may decrease cholesterol levels (5).
- Soy isoflavones in tempeh have antioxidant properties to help to combat oxidative stress (6).
Tempeh has a firm, dry texture and a subtle, slightly bitter, savory flavour.
Tempeh can be smoked, marinated, grilled, roasted, pan fried, barbecued, sautéed, steamed or baked. It can be sliced, cubed, grated or crumbled. Tempeh can be used for chili, tacos, stir fry. It can be cooked in thin slices and added to a wrap or sandwich. The possibilities are endless to create a well-balanced whole foods plant based meal.
Where can I find tempeh?
Look for tempeh in the refrigerated section of health food stores on in the health food section of your grocery store. If you are grain free check the ingredients label, as tempeh can also be made with barley, rice or other grains. Grab some tempeh and in less than 15 minutes you can have Tempeh Ginger Scramble ready to enjoy.
Tempeh Ginger Scramble
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy
- 1 package tempeh chopped into ¼” cubes
- 2 cups chopped leeks
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ cup nut milk
- 1 tsp miso
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy
- 1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- Heat olive oil and tamari in pan. Add tempeh and toss in oil and tamari. Add leeks, mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat for five minutes.
- Combine milk, miso, tamari and ginger in measuring cup. Stir. Add sauce mixture to pan. Toss and heat for 3-5 minutes.