Monday, January 9, 2012

Meatless Monday--Tempeh Tacos

I'm often nervous serving my family, my husband in particular, healthful food.  Not that he doesn't want to eat well; he absolutely does.  He's not one, however, to give up anything in taste to save a few calories, be better to the planet, etc.  So, I was really nervous serving something I'd never heard of before (Tempeh), but since the source is a very trusted one (Cook's Illustrated), I figured it was a good place to start.

As soon as he put it in his mouth, he gave a kinda grunt of it being good.  After he told me he really liked it, I told him that it was "pretty good for meat free, huh?"  I then told him what tempeh is--and the five grain tempeh I bought includes soybeans, brown rice, millet, barley, and rye--and after talking about the nutrition information, we concluded that not only was this a tasty dish that took only about 20 minutes to put together, but that it's a reasonably healthful one as well.  I told him the worst stuff on our plates were the cheese and sour cream.

I went to the "fancy" grocery store because I thought I wouldn't find tempeh, but when I was at our regular grocery store, I discovered they carry it as well, right next to their soy products in the produce section.  I assume it's not nearly as hard to find as I anticipated.

Try this.  You'll like it.  You won't miss the meat at all.

I didn't have any tomato sauce, so used 8oz of regular old jarred marinara sauce.

Tempeh Tacos Source:  America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy 2011 via

Serves 6 (2 tacos each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (8-ounce) packages low-fat, five-grain tempeh crumbled into 1/4-inch pieces
1 (8-ounce) can plain tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
12 store-bought taco shells, warmed
1. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, garlic and oregano until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add tempeh to skillet; cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth and brown sugar. Bring to simmer; cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
3. Off the heat, stir in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide filling evenly among the taco shells and serve.

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