Health & Food

Tempeh Tacos with Lime Aioli (Meatless Monday!)

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I’ve only been eating tempeh for a few years now.  I think the first time I had it was when I was convinced to try it in a “Tempeh Sloppy Joe” recipe by a favorite blogger of mine, Mari.  I couldn’t believe how different the texture was from tofu.  I mean, tofu doesn’t really have much of texture at all, other than…slimy (but to be fair, tofu isn’t slimy once it’s cooked. Not convinced? Try it in one of these applications).  Tempeh, on the other hand, it more like meat (which, I sort of like, to be honest).

Tempeh is basically cultured soybean.  Sounds gross, I know, but it’s not.  Did you know that tempeh has about 5 grams of protein in an ounce? That’s almost comparable to actual meat!  Plus, those 5 grams of protein come with about 5-15 mg isoflavones, which are plant nutrients that have many health-promoting effects.  Don’t believe me? Read the research (and take note of the research about soy and it’s “feminizing effects” for males.  It’s just not true!).  Did you know they may also help alleviate hot flashes?!

Yes, these were as amazing, maybe even better than they look!

Tempeh Tacos with Lime Aioli (Meatless Monday!)

Ingredients

  • Aioli:
  • ⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise (or regular mayo, if you’d like)
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced **
  • Tacos:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 ounces tempeh
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup) **
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic **
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce **
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas**
  • 1 vine-ripe tomato, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced **
  • ¼th cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for aioli; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tempeh, onion and garlic for about 8 minutes until lightly browned; add cumin, chili powder and tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Place warm tortillas on a large platter and divide tempeh mixture among them. Garnish each taco with tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Drizzle lime aioli over top of each before serving. Makes 6 servings based on 2 tacos per serving.

Notes

** NOTE:  If you follow a low-FODMAPs diet, omit or reduce the onion and garlic (and use a garlic-infused olive oil for more garlic flavor).  I used less of both when I made this, and the tacos were still delicious.  Also watch out for onion and garlic in the tomato sauce. If you’re really sensitive keep in mind that tempeh does contain some FODMAPs (specifically the “O” in FODMAPs) so only stick to one serving of these tacos per day. I rarely eat tempeh because it can cause me stomach upset, but I seem to be able to handle a little at a time (~3 ounces, or a little under ½ cup).  Another issue might be the flour tortillas.  Use gluten (wheat) free if you can.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1 serving; 2 soft tacos, using lower-calorie (100 each) tortillas

Nutrition Highlights: Less than 400 calories,  ~20-30 mg soy isoflavones (plant nutrients that may have powerful health benefits), lower in saturated fat compared to most animal proteins, almost cholesterol free, good sources of fiber, calcium, and iron.

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