Protein is so important for your body. You can think of it as the building block for essentially all hormones, metabolic processing, neurological functioning and tissues. With the ongoing battle between carbs and fats it’s safe to say that everyone agrees on that protein is a good option. But of course there is an ongoing battle with protein as well; should we focus on animal protein or plant protein? Full disclosure I am a meat eater for those that don’t regularly follow my posts here or on Instagram. I believe that animal protein fills the gap on nutrients we aren’t able to receive from other foods so I choose to include it in my diet. That being said I am also all for plant protein and there are many times I will take breaks from animal protein and using more plant based options.
I choose to do so for two main reasons:
- My wallet needs the break
- My digestion needs the break
When I eat meat I consciously make the choice to eat high quality meats such as grass fed, wild, organic, and sustainable cuts of meat. This can get expensive!I value the quality of the meat and the quality of live for the animal, so I would rather pay a little more but eat less of it. To fill in the gap I use plant proteins, as they are great inexpensive sources of protein.
Digestion of meat can be a taxing process on your body. Protein begins to breakdown in the stomach, and stomach acid is required to activate the enzyme needed for the job. Unfortunately, low stomach acid is a common symptom experienced by our society due to our lifestyles. Due to this our digestion can have a hard time taking in all the nutritional goodness that is available.
Plant protein can be a buffer to this as it can be prepared in ways to aid the digestion process, making it easier for your gut to absorb the nutrients.
In today’s recipe that I am sharing with you, I use a protein source that is plant based, protein packed, nutrient packed and easy on your digestion.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean. Tempeh has become a popular vegetarian protein for good reasons.
By fermentation more protein and minerals are available to you versus eating soybeans. The fermentation process will also add probiotics to the food making it more easily digestible. The probiotics will line your intestine lining and fight against any immune system attackers, ensuring you stay healthy. Tempeh will also provide fibre which is great for moving through the gut and scrubbing and pulling any waste that needs to be removed. Tempeh has also been noticed for its bone health role. Vitamin D has been in the spot little for bone health recently but Vitamin K is required to transport Vitmain D into the bones. In the tempeh fermentation process, the bacteria present have been shown to create Vitamin K2 which is necessary for bone health.
Since we are using tempeh as a protein alternative we need to look at how it compares to meat. A 100 gram piece of tempeh contains 20g of protein, which is quite similar to fish (22g), and slight lower than chicken and beef (27g and 26g, respectively). Taking the nutritional values into consideration, tempeh scores pretty similar to animal protein, with a few extra health benefits.
Now that you know all the great things about tempeh let’s dig into the goodness.
ASIAN INFUSION BOWL
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1/3 cup edamame beans
- 1/2 cup buckwheat noodles
- 2 cups pea shoots
- 100g tempeh
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp coconut aminoes
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Sesame seeds
- To cook the tempeh, preheat the oven to 350F. In the meantime, mice the marinate for the tempeh by adding 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp coconut aminoes, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin. Whisk to combine. If it’s too thick fell free to add a few drops of water until you get a good consistency.
- Add the cubes tempeh to marinate and allow them to sit for 10 minutes (up to 24 hours; longer the better).
- In the meantime, make your dressing by mixing 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp coconut aminoes, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp lime juice.
- Place the tempeh in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping the tempeh piece half way through.
- After flipping your tempeh, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil to cook your buckwheat noodles. Follow the instructions on you package; this should take 5-6 minutes.
- In another pot, steam your edamame beans for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
- When everything is done cooking, add all your delicious toppings to you pea shoots, and drizzle with dressing.
I find tempeh to be bitter so I like to prepare it beforehand so it removes the bitter taste. Add tempeh to a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, flipping once at the half way point. Then rinse, pay dry, and cut into thing, bite size pieces.