Tag Archives: tempeh

ASK GRETTIE – Stumped By Tempeh

My latest Ask Grettie column on Chic Vegan.

I just tried tempeh for the first time at a restaurant today and really liked it, but I am not sure how to prepare it on my own.  Do you have any tips, or recipe suggestions for preparing tempeh?


Hi Monica!

I am glad to hear that you like tempeh.  Tempeh is a wonderful source of protein and is further beneficial due to the fact that it is fermented.  In addition, cooking with tempeh is a great way to add protein to your meals without buying processed meat substitutes.  As with anything in life, moderation is key since tempeh can be high in fat.

I understand that tempeh can be a bit intimidating to prepare, but once you cook with it a few times you will realize that it is actually very easy to work with.¬† Tempeh can be prepared using the same methods that are used to cook meat (barbecuing, baking, broiling, stir-frying)¬†.¬† One of my favorite ways to use tempeh is as a ground beef substitute.¬† Sarah Matheny of ‚ÄúPeas and Thank You‚ÄĚ likes to make ground meat substitutes with tempeh by grating it. ¬†You simply take the block of tempeh and grate it on your cheese grater then add it to your recipe.¬† Alternatively you can crumble a block of tofu with your fingers or pulse it in your food processor and garner the same results.

TIP РSome people find tempeh to be slightly bitter.  If you steam the tempeh for 20 minutes, the bitterness disappears.

Recipe Ideas

  • Peas and Thank You is a blog with a lot of¬†recipes that include tempeh¬†and it is a great place to start.¬† Sarah just came out with her first book, Peas and Thank You ‚Äď Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love and it is a worthwhile purchase (For my review of the book click¬†here).
  • Vegetarian Times¬†is also a great resource for tempeh recipes and they have a great recipe search function on their site that I am sure you will find helpful.¬† Their¬†recipe for tempeh bacon¬†has a four star rating.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Cooking is an art form and can be a lot of fun to play around with.  Once you make a few recipes containing tempeh you will have the confidence to whip-up meals containing tempeh without even following a recipe.  Let me know if you come across some winning recipes along the way since I am always looking for recommendations as well.

Here’s to health!


**Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her at askgrettie@chicvegan.com .**

Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoosvanrobin/with/5455578241/


Filed under Chic Vegan Column, Education, Food Substitutions, General Vegan, Protein, Vegan, Vegetarian

SECRET RECIPE CLUB – Stuffed Bell Peppers (Vegan and GFree)

I was excited when I was assigned Allie’s Clean Plate Club¬†for September’s Secret Recipe Club. ¬†Allison describes herself as an Illinois farm girl stuck in the craziness of the West Coast…I am a wannabe farm girl also in the craziness of the West Coast, so we are a good match.

Allie’s Clean Plate Club has a nice variety of recipes, but her¬†Stuffed Green Peppers¬†called to me. ¬†I have been wanting to make a vegan version of stuffed peppers for a while now and this month’s assignment gave me the last push that I needed. ¬†Allie mentioned in the post that this was the first recipe she made for her husband when she met him at the ripe old age of 23. ¬†I love the nostalgia! ¬†It brought me right back to the same time in my life when I was trying new recipes on my husband and all of the nervous energy that went into planning and preparing those first home cooked meals together.

Since I veganized the recipe I did change more than a few of the ingredients, but for the most part, the recipe is very true to it’s roots. ¬†Click here for Allie’s original recipe.

I want to quickly highlight the changes I made… I replaced the beef with Portobellos and tempeh, upped the amount of onion, used vegan Worchestershire (and doubled the amount), used veggie broth in lieu of water (for added flavor), used vegan cheese, and I used pasta sauce instead of tomato soup since that is all I had in the house at the time.

Overall I was happy with the result. ¬†The next time I make these (I plan on adding them to the dinner rotation), I think I will double the rice since my vegan meat wasn’t as dense as beef would have been. ¬†I may also add in some oatmeal or almond flour to bind the filling together more. ¬†As it was, the flavor of the filling was great…I really enjoyed spooning it onto my gluten-free bread. ¬†I even had enough filling left over that I froze some to use as vegan “meat” sauce the next time I make pasta.

INGREDIENTS ‚Äď serves 4
4-6 Bell Peppers (I used red, yellow, and orange)
FOR THE ‚ÄúMEAT,‚Ä̬† 2 Portobello mushrooms & 8oz. tempeh
¬Ĺ onion, diced
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. Wizards Worchestershire sauce (vegan & GF) 
2/3 c. uncooked rice (I used 1/3 cup & plan to double it next time)
1/2 c. vegetable broth
2/3 c. shredded Daiya cheese
Pasta Sauce
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds. Cook the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Note: Once you add the peppers to the boiling water, the water will cool down and stop boiling.  You will need to wait for the water to boil again and then set the timer for 5 minutes.

Remove peppers and drain in a colander over the sink.  Drain the peppers upside down in the colander; otherwise the water will just sit in the bottom of the pepper and not drain out.

Place the drained peppers in your baking dish and sprinkle salt inside of each pepper and set aside.

Loosely chop the Portobello mushrooms and place them in the food processor.  Process until they resemble the texture of ground beef.  Do the same with the tempeh (I crumbled the tempeh as I put it into the processor and then processed it further).

In a large skillet, sauté the Portobellos, tempeh, and onions for 5 minutes until the liquid cooks off.

Stir in the tomatoes, rice, water and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fill the prepared bell peppers with the mixture and top each off with the pasta sauce.

Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes.
Allie likes to serve these Stuffed Peppers over mashed potatoes…I served mine with a nice slice of Millet and Flax Italian bread from Sami’s Bakery.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.  



Filed under Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian