Easy Vegan Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”

Vegetarian Tempeh "Meatballs" with Almonds

Not even a week has past since my return from Indonesia and I can confidently tell you that the thing I miss most is not the warmth nor the beaches, its the food. The flavours and the variety put this cuisine at the top of my list. If you haven’t tried tempeh yet, and your a lover of healthy and tasty cuisine, boy have I got a treat for you. Indonesians like it fried and spicy, and often will add it to dishes such as Gado Gado (see my simplified recipe for Gado Gado Peanut Satay Sauce Recipe) or have it plain with rice. It is as versatile as tofu, but many prefer the firmer texture of tempeh over its soybean cousin. Here is my play on tempeh, and a good one to get you started on your tempeh journey – Simple Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”.

Indonesian Sunsets, Sumbawa Lakey Peak

Indonesian Sunsets, Sumbawa Lakey Peak

My first introduction to tempeh was back in 2009 was in the birthplace of tempeh – Indonesia. It was at a ma n’ pa warang or restaurant on the beach in Kuta, Lombok. It was fried and smothered in the tastiest garlic chili sauce – traditional Sasak flavours – and served with rice. On my most recent trip back to Indonesia the warang was sadly torn down to make room for new development and because I have never been able to find a comparable reproduction, I decided to get creative with tempeh.

“Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. The fermentation process increases the digestibility of the soybean as well as increases some nutrient absorption including phytonutrient isoflavones genistein and daidzein.”

Unfortunately soy has gotten some bad press lately. The demonising (and glorifying) of foods has been trending in recent years, and soybeans have caught the brunt of it. While highly processed soy isolates may be problematic, even naysayers of soy products can agree that fermented soybeans may offer some health benefits, and that is exactly what tempeh is. Soybeans are known for being exceptionally high in well studied phytonutrients, and because tempeh contains the whole soybean, it is higher in protein, fibre and vitamins as well.

Vegetarian Tempeh "Meatballs" with Almonds

I choose to have this dish with a seasonal salad (see recipe for Summer Tofu Salad Bowl with Brown Rice and a Savoury Dressing), but it also tastes great with Gado Gado Indonesian Peanut Sauce or in a vegetarian spaghetti bolognaise style dish. Any nuts can be used in place of almonds; I tried it with pecans which was just as delicious. This dish is meant to be simple but if you would like to add more depth of flavour, fry the onions and garlic beforehand. Lastly, play around with the ingredients and if you love them, tell your friends! Let’s spread the word about tempeh!

Fresh Coconut Water to Complete a Delicious Indonesian Meal

Fresh Coconut Water to Complete a Delicious Indonesian Meal, Sumbawa

Recipe for Easy Vegan Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”

Recipe by: Rachel
Time to prepare: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 20 minutes
Servings: Makes 8 balls, or 4 servings

Ingredients for Easy Vegan Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”

1 package plain tempeh (225g from Green Cuisine)
2-3 green onions, greens and whites sliced
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp organic soy sauce or tamari
1-2 tbsp water
1/4 cup almonds (or any other nut)
1 tsp fresh herbs of your choice (I used sage)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
optional: 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Method for Easy Vegan Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth.

Next take small amounts of mixture and roll it in your palms to create about 8 golf ball sized tempeh balls.

Line a baking try with baking paper, or with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Space the “meatballs” out evenly on the try.

Cook for 20 minutes total, rolling them once halfway through to ensure even browning.

Serve in place of tofu in Summer Tofu Salad Bowl with Brown Rice and a Savoury Dressing, or with my Simple Gado Gado Peanut Satay Sauce, or any other dish of your choice.

Vegan Almond Tempeh Meatballs

Nutrition Information for Easy Vegan Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”

Calories 140 calories
Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Sodium 150mg
Carbohydrate 6g
Fibre 0.7g
Sugar 0.3g
Protein 12g
Calcium 80mg
Iron 2mg
Vitamin B12 0.5mcg

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If I have learned one thing from having a weekly vegetable box delivered to my door it is this – beets are always in season. Well they are on Vancouver Island anyway. From June, straight through to October, they haven’t missed a beet, and I have heard down the grapevine that the winter edition is set to include even more of this tasty vegetable. I have only just begun the experience the versatility of beets, from Beet Apple and Kale Salad with Walnuts and Dill to Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Green Beans and even Gluten Free Beet Chocolate Muffins with Chickpea Flour. And now another beet inspired dish to add to the repertoire – a super Simple Beet Dip with Balsamic Vinegar and Cream Cheese.
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Its summer! And the hen’s are a’layin and the zucchini is a’growin. Creative uses for zucchini have taken over my Pinterest news feed – ranging from stuffed, to zucchini chips, to zucchini noodles. People are mad about this summer veg. But no need to get too fancy, zucchini can produce some quick and easy dishes as well. This Simple Vegetable Packed Crustless with Feta recipe is exactly that. No stove stop required (less dishes, yes!), and with 2.5 servings of vegetables per serve and a whole lot of protein, it’s super healthy as well!
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Hands down, the Middle East is one of my favourite regions in the world to visit. Sleeping on rooftops, shopping the magical bazaars, and the sampling the most amazing cuisine. Just as you are served a bread basket here at home, some creamy hummus and fresh pita is the Middle Eastern way of welcoming you to their restaurants. No other hummus compares to their timeless staple food, which may have something to do with their top quality olive oils. Here is my oil-less take on hummus (or chickpea spread), with a few little additions.
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Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Healthy alternative to pancakes! Good source of protein! Now that I have your attention, let me elaborate on my bold statements. Nutrition Science is an interesting field in that it is ever evolving and recommendations are continuously being improved upon. One area that is under review is our current daily protein recommendations. We won’t know for awhile, but there is some speculation that they are about due for an update. Nevertheless, following a plant-based diet can leave some of us a bit short on our protein needs – so no better place to start improving on this than with breakfast!

“Steel-cut oats have double the amount of fibre and protein as traditional rolled oats, with 4g of fibre and 5g of protein per serve”

What makes steel-cut oats so special. Firstly, you can make a big batch of them on a Sunday night and have breakfast ready for the rest of the week. They taste great cold or re-heated; simply double the below recipe and add more milk in the morning to thin it out. Secondly, they are the least processed type of oats. The grouts are hulled, toasted and then chopped into 3-4 little sections. Thirdly, oats are packed full of beta-glucans which are known for lowering cholesterol levels. Oats are also useful in helping to manage blood-sugar levels. Lastly, steel-cut oats can help us meet our daily protein needs. This is important for muscle synthesis, immune function and overall good health. The addition of peanut butter and soy milk make this a great high protein breakfast.

Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

And so how are they a healthy alternative to pancakes? To me, anything with peanut butter, banana and honey and some sort of starch is as good as pancakes. You will just have to give’em a try and see for yourself!

Recipe for Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Recipe by: Rachel
Makes: 2 servings
Time to finish: 30 minutes

Ingredients for Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

1 cup water
1 cup organic soy milk or almond milk
1/2 cup uncooked, steel-cut oats
pinch of salt
1 frozen banana *
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
1 tbsp. raw honey **
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. whole flaxseed

*I prefer frozen banana because they are always on hand, and much sweeter. A very ripe, non-frozen banana would do just fine as well.
**For a vegan alternative, use maple syrup

Method for Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Bring water and soy milk or almond milk to a boil in a medium-sized sauce pan. Once boiling, add the steel-cut oats and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana and add it to the oats. Reduce the heat and simmer on low and uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, making sure to stir often.

You know the oats are finished when the are nice and creamy. Remove them from the heat and add in the peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and flax. Give it a good stir to ensure everything is well blended.

This dish is great as leftovers for the following morning. Simply store in an air tight container in the fridge, and in the morning add a splash of milk and eat cold or heated.

Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Nutrition Information for Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Calories 295 calories
Protein 15g
Carbohydrate 40g
Fibre 7.8g
Sugar 17g
Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 1.9g
Sodium 120mg
Calcium 200mg
Iron 2.6mmg

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