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Guest contributor: Teresa Mitchell-Paterson, Bowel Care Nutritionist at Bowel Cancer Australia

Tempeh can be a little bland on its own, and some people say it has a distinct flavor which you may or may not like. I find a tasty marinade helps to make it yummy even for people who would not generally eat it. Seasonings help to make the Tempeh tasty. A bonus is that tempeh is gluten free (check the label) and you can buy non GMO brands. Make sure your marinades are also gluten free (check the label), some soy sauce contains gluten.

To enhance flavour tempeh can be soaked.   Cut the piece into 2-3 cm blocks and soak for 15-20 minutes before cooking. *Some tempeh brands crumble easily which is fine if you are using it as a stir fry but doesn’t work if you are pan frying, - you may need to experiment.

+ Benefits of tempeh

High protein

Low carbohydrate

Source of iron, calcium, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium phosphorus and manganese

Source of probiotics AND prebiotics

Can increase your metabolism

Lowers cholesterol

Dairy free

Gluten free (check label)

Reasonably priced

+ Marinating Ideas

Put the tempeh in a saucepan and cover with ¼ to ½ a cup of vegetable stock liquid, then bring the liquid to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

Add 1 – 2 dessert spoons of tamari, soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to ¼ cup of warm water. Soak the tempeh in the liquid for 15-20 minutes before cooking, turning regularly to soak up the marinade.

Roll tempeh in two tablespoons of sesame oil, or olive oil with mixed herbs, or minced garlic, or coconut and grated ginger (I like to add a little sprinkle of stevia to that one). Soak the tempeh for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Roll the tempeh in 1 – 2 dessert spoons of tomato pesto, then soak for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Coat the tempeh with a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter mixed with a little honey. Soak for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Roll the tempeh in one of your favourite curry sauces, I find korma works well or vindaloo if you like hot dishes. Soak for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

If you like hot Cajun style flavourings, mix two teaspoons of blackening spice mix and two tablespoons of olive oil, roll the tempeh in the marinade and soak for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

+ How to cook tempeh

Pan-fry over medium heat until golden brown and crispy in a good extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil.

Grill it or bake it (this is my favourite way) and the tempeh will come out crunchy on the outside which adds to the flavour.

Steam it in a dumpling steam basket after marinating it.

BBQ it on the flat plate with plenty of good oil to stop it sticking to the plate. Flip once as it can be quite delicate.

Crumbled into a stir fry, curry, spaghetti sauce, salad, soup and stew after marinating it. The tempeh will take on the flavour of the sauce or the salad dressing.

Head to our Get Your Veg Out and Recipes web-pages for more great meat-free tips and recipes to try this Meat Free Week.