No, it doesn’t have the same ring to it.
But we’re going to get festive today anyway! Because, let’s be honest, you don’t really need a reason to eat Mexican food.
I did plan on sharing these easy tempeh tacos with you on CINCO de Mayo; I love any excuse to make food for special occasions. There was Bara Brith for Saint David’s Day. Green oats for St. Patrick’s Day. Rice Jambalaya…just ‘cuz I went to New Orleans. Matzo Ball Soup for Passover…and I’m not even Jewish.
Yep, any excuse.
life sleep got in the way. The good news is, these are tasty any day of the year.
First, a word about tempeh. For those that aren’t familiar, tempeh is a fermented soy product that is high in protein, making it a great meat replacement. One serving of LightLife organic garden veggie tempeh–four ounces–provides 38% of the Daily Value for protein (19 grams) for only 240 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, and no cholesterol. Not too shabby. It also scores well in the vitamins/minerals department; it’s rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, manganese, and copper.
So how is it different than tofu? It’s made from the fermentation of the soybean (like miso), which benefits digestive health. Elise explains a bit more about what sets tempeh apart in this post, where, incidentally, you will also find a recipe for another delicious Mexican meal involving tempeh.
Are you still awake? I promised a fiesta, and I’ve put you to sleep!
Let’s get cooking, yes?
I know this looks long and complicated, but it’s really not. With a little prep the day before (making the tempeh marinade and the world’s easiest red cabbage slaw), all you have to do is whip up your guac, saute your tempeh, and assemble!
- 8 oz. tempeh
- 4 taco shells (I used Maria and Ricardo’s soft taco size sprouted grain tortillas)
- red cabbage slaw (recipe below)
- guacamole (check out my favorite guac here)
- salsa (optional)
* for extra ease, taco seasoning would work well as an alternative to the spices
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 Tbs water
- 1 Tbs tamari (soy sauce)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
- juice from half a lime
1. Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade together in a container that can fit your tempeh.
2. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil tempeh for about 10 minutes. (As I learned from Elise, this helps remove some bitterness!)
3. Place tempeh in the marinade. Cover and let it work its magic overnight. (If you don’t have time to marinate overnight, try to do so for at least an hour.)
5. Meanwhile, dice up tempeh and saute until it’s golden on both sids, about 10 or so minutes.
6. Assemble! Start with the tempeh, then add the red cabbage slaw, and top with guacamole and salsa.
Simple Red Cabbage Slaw (make ahead)
- About 1/4 head of red cabbage, shopped
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- A drizzle of agave (about 1 tsp)
- salt and pepper to taste
- hint of lime juice
Toss together and let flavors mingle (I put this together the night before; alternatively, let it hang out for at least a half hour).
Mmmm. While I’ve enjoyed many-a-tempeh in my day, this was my first attempt at working with it in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall, I liked it. I think marinading it overnight was key to giving it flavor.
And Tom loved it–I think because, texturally, tempeh’s a bit meatier than tofu. It definitely worked well in tacos, as would the meaty seitan (remember these beauties?).
These tacos were tasty. And had a great combination of flavors and textures happening.
If you had to choose: tofu or tempeh? Or none of the above? I’m a fan of tempeh, but in general I think I’m more of a tofu girl…
I continued the festivities with last night’s dinner: a tex mex veggie burger. Which only sort of counts as Mexican. Just how today is almost Cinco de Mayo. Except not.
Whatever. It was good.
I served with avocado, mixed greens, and salsa on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.
And with that, happy
Seis de Mayo Friday!