Tempeh Tacos and Fajitas
“What exactly is tempeh?”. This is the first question I usually get asked when discussing “tempeh tacos” or a “tempeh stir fry” with those who are not familiar with plant-based eating.
Tempeh is a product made of whole soy beans that are soaked, cooked, then fermented. It can be purchased in a block in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, usually near the produce. It has a nutty, firm, chewy texture.
Tofu, on the other hand, is made from condensed soy milk. It too is sold in blocks, and can be found in various levels of firmness ranging from silken to extra-firm. It is essentially flavorless, but soaks up the flavor of marinades well, and takes on the flavor of whatever dish it is added to. It is a great substitute for scrambled eggs (tofu scramble), can be used to make a vegan ricotta, to thicken smoothies, or even to replace meat in the flavorful Vietnamese bah mi sandwich.
A 3-ounce serving of tempeh contains 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of protein. Comparatively, the same amount of tofu contains 70 calories, 4 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein. Read more about the benefits of plant-based versus animal protein here.
The fiber and protein in soy have been found to effectively lower cholesterol as part of a portfolio diet. Read more here.