Tempeh bacon may sound like an oxymoron but for many who enjoy the smoky taste of bacon, but don’t like the fact that eating it causes cancer, a plant-based tempeh version can be a staple at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tempeh bacon is quick and easy to make. We love it on top of salads or stuffed into sandwiches or lettuce wraps.
Plant-Based Tempeh Bacon
Tempeh is made from fermented, cooked soybeans and has a nutty and earthy taste. Its texture is "meatier" than tofu and there are even more reasons to choose tempeh over tofu. Although tofu contains fewer calories than tempeh, it is a processed food with potential negative side effects such as enlarged breast tissue (in men and women). Tempeh is ideal because it comes from fermented cooked soybeans for better overall nutrition.
In case you are wondering, fermented soy is allowed on the 21-Day Clean Program in small amounts. We recommend always buying organic tempeh because soy is a large GMO crop. Tempeh has a thick, nutty texture and when it gets cooked, it becomes crispy on the outside. Its full of protein as well, 31 grams in 1 cup!
Tempeh has a thick, nutty texture and when it gets cooked, it becomes crispy on the outside. It contains 31 grams of protein in one cup. Tempeh is also rich in magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, and calcium. When eating a plant-based diet, or any diet for that matter, we need to be conscious about eating enough iron and magnesium-rich foods which is why tempeh bacon (along with plenty of greens) is a great addition to your meals.
How Can Tempeh Get that Bacon Flavor?
The BBQ sauce mixture in this recipe gives our tempeh a smoky, slightly sweet taste.We don't recommend consuming process foods or condiments on a daily basis, but when transitioning towards plant-based foods and eliminating more meat products, we tend to crave our favorite foods we used to eat which is why this is a great transitional recipe to help anyone wean off of animal products.
We enjoy this tempeh bacon atop a salad with different veggies -- this time we chose mesclun greens, corn, red cabbage, and homemade guacamole. Note that corn is not allowed on the cleanse but can be enjoyed, especially in its organic and raw form, post-cleanse. We squeeze some fresh alkalizing lime over the entire salad for a quick, Southwestern-style, protein-rich meal!
Southwestern Chopped Salad with Tempeh Bacon
Makes: 2 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
1 (8 oz. package) organic tempeh
1 cup organic BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
1 Tbsp hot sauce (sriracha)
1 tsp cumin
4 cups mesclun greens
1/2 cup cooked sweet corn
½ cup red cabbage (thinly sliced)
2/3 cup guacamole
In a large bowl mix together the BBQ sauce, 1 Tbsp olive oil, sriracha, and cumin. Thinly slice the tempeh width-wise.
Coat the tempeh with the BBQ sauce mixture and marinate for about one minute.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in skillet on medium heat and place the tempeh in the pan. Cook until browned and crispy on both sides, for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Divide the mesclun salad in small bowls and the toppings. Place the cabbage, corn, tempeh bacon, and guacamole in clean lines on top of the salad. Squeeze fresh lime on top before eating. Enjoy!
Recipe and photos by Dorit Jaffe