Omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and meat-lovers alike... no one can resist drooling when they look at this picture. In fact, I challenge you to not drool!! Impossible. Looking at it makes me SO HUNGRY.
What is it, you ask? Why, it's Meghan Telpner's brilliant recipe for Balsamic Maple Glazed Tempeh, which she rightfully dubs "the best tempeh there ever was." No joke.
Tempeh. Let's talk about that part. Maybe you're a seasoned tempeh lover; maybe you're a little scared to even know what it is. Don't worry, you're gonna love it! Tempeh is a meat substitute that has a great, chewy texture (just like your favorite source of animal protein), but it's made from soybeans! Originally from Indonesia, it's made by fermenting soybeans into a firm, slice-able loaf. Like tofu, it may not sound like much on its own, but when you dress it up, I personally think it's wayyy better than tofu and OUT OF THIS WORLD good.
So you haven't tried it yet? Maybe you're still not convinced. Well, here are...
1. Tempeh is a probiotic food, so it a) increases biodiversity in the gut b) promotes digestive health and c) research shows that regularly consuming probiotics can contribute to a happier overall mood! :D
2. Antibiotic properties keep you healthier – and that's important, with flu season rapidly approaching!
3. It's a complete protein, which means it contains all the amino acids your body needs to function.
4. Soy isoflavones, compounds found in tempeh, may help strengthen bones, decrease symptoms of menopause, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. It's got all the fiber of beans, but is easier to digest, thanks to the fermentation process!
Prep Time: 10 mins. Chill Time: 2 hours. Cook Time: 40 mins. Difficulty: Easy
Makes ~4 servings, depending on the size package tempeh you use.
Recipe adapted from Meghan Telpner's lovely blog!
1 package tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp arrowroot starch
1. First, make the marinade. You'll need to prepare this at least two hours in advance (you can even make it the night before to save time). Combine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, garlic, olive oil, and thyme. Mix well. Add tempeh and stir to coat all the cubes. Cover, then let sit in the fridge for 2-24 hours.
2. Now, on to the actual cooking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour tempeh, sauce and all, into a glass dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
3. Remove from oven. Use tongs to remove all tempeh cubes from the sauce. Then, add the remaining sauce in a pan over medium heat. Add arrowroot starch and stir constantly as it heats to thicken it up. Heat to desired thickness, then remove from heat.
4. Serve tempeh warm with marinade sauce on top! Place it over/alongside greens or a whole grain to round out the meal. Enjoy!