By Megan Kian
A few months ago I decided to become a vegetarian. My recent reading of Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, which offered both moral and environmental reasons to go veg, inspired my foray into a meat-free diet. Since becoming a vegetarian I’ve discovered a whole new world of food! There are so many meat substitutes (and so many great vegetarian restaurants in NYC) that I don’t find myself really missing meat. One of my greatest discoveries since becoming a vegetarian has been tempeh.
For those of you who haven’t heard of the soy-based product before, tempeh is cooked and slightly fermented soybeans. Unlike some other soy based products, such as tofu, tempeh is more flavorful and can stand on it’s own. Tempeh can be described as having a nutty flavor and is usually formed into a patty that has a firm texture — think of a firm veggie burger. Tempeh is a great meat substitute because it is high in protein and low in fat. Another great thing about tempeh is that it contains an abundant amount of isoflavones. Isoflavones have been shown to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of some coronary diseases!
Tempeh can be found at most health food stores — I like to get mine at either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. There are plenty of ways to use tempeh to create nutritioulicious dishes, such as in stir frys or added to salads.
Have you ever tried tempeh? Stay tuned for a delicious tempeh recipe!