In the world of meat alternatives, tofu may soak up most of the limelight, but tempeh (also spelled tempe) gets the glory of being unprocessed. Making tempeh requires very little artificial treatment and is made by fermenting soy beans and then shaping them into patties. The fermentation process cuts the gas and bloating normally associated with eating beans to improve overall digestion. Best of all, a four ounce serving of tempeh has just 225 calories, but will give you 41.3% of your daily recommended protein.
Tempeh can be purchased at almost any health or natural food store, but you can also make it from soybeans in your own kitchen. Originally from Indonesia, tempeh has a nutty flavor that resembles that of the mushroom. Like its cousin tofu, tempeh easily takes on the flavor of sauce its cooked with. This versatility makes it an ideal protein for a plethora of cuisines- from Chinese in our Tempeh Fried Brown Rice to Creole in our Blackened Tempeh with Avocado to Classic Americana in our Coleslaw Tempeh Joes.