Tempeh- Tem-PAY not Tem-PE

Tempeh – Tem-PAY not Tem-PE

Have you tried it?  It’s okay if you’ve been saying it wrong. Most people do. Kinda like my name, which gets mispronounced a lot. Almost no one gets it right on the first try.  BTW, it’s like Shawna, not Shayna, which has made it seriously confusing. Anyway, back to tempeh.  

This plant based protein source is a little misunderstood (also like me…tempeh and I have a lot in common….).  Tempeh is nutrient dense, high in protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals. It’s made by fermenting cooked soybeans, then the mixture is formed into a firm, dense cake.  How anyone figured this out is beyond me. There are many versions which contain beans, grains, and flavorings. If you are lucky enough to procure fresh tempeh, it’s out of this world.  The packaged varieties are a good substitute, they just require a bit more finesse when cooking. This means you may want to boil it in a mixture of tamari, ginger and water to reduce some of the bitterness.  But I’ll let you do you.

Tempeh has a strong, nutty taste and grainy texture and is extremely versatile as it absorbs flavors easily.  For example, I’ve seen it many times dressed up as bacon. And it’s amazing. They do sell tempeh bacon, however, if you are GF, there is wheat…so you can DIY.  

In this dish, I’ve crumbled tempeh, added it to wild rice and added some kale, dried cranberries and toasted pecans.  I’ve also baked a delicata squash, which I consider the single person’s squash. They’re a small, single serving sized squash, easy to cut and cook for one, which I do often.   This would be an awesome dish to grace the presence of any Thanksgiving table for vegans, vegetarians or carnivores. It’s flavorful and filling. But beware, I did use a pot, two pans and a baking sheet.  

Have you tried tempeh?


1package tempeh, crumbled

1 cup water or veggie stock

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp for squash

1″ piece of ginger, minced

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp tamari


1 delicata squash, cut into 1/2 moon shapes

1 tsp dried thyme


1/2 cup wild rice, cooked according to package directions

1/3 cup pecans, roasted and rough chopped

1 bunch kale, cut into 1″ pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 green onion, sliced thinly on the bias


Preheat oven to 350, line baking sheet with parchment paper

Coat delicata squash with olive oil, salt and thyme.  Place on baking sheet in one layer, roast for 10 minutes. Flip once and roast for another 10 minutes.  You can put the pecans in at this time for 10 min.

Cook the rice according to package directions.  When finished, turn off heat and let sit.

While rice is cooking, cook tempeh.  In a high sided pan, put tempeh crumbles, water, olive oil, tamari, ginger, maple syrup.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let liquid reduce.  About 15 minutes

Saute kale – heat medium sauce pan, add oil.  Add garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add cranberries, when plump, add kale.  Sautés until greens have reduced in size and have wilted.

In a large bowl, combine rice and tempeh.  Then add the kale and pecans, reserving some for garnish.  Top with delicate squash.  Garnish with reserved pecans and green onions.



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