menopause diet blog

Time for a Change

Day 7: Trying Tempeh

on June 13, 2013

In my Day 5 post I blogged about The Soya Debate and as a result of that research I decided to try and incorporate some fermented soya products into my diet, so to that end I will tell you about my Tempeh experiment! To recap quickly… I am trying to eat some fermented soya foods as soya is the best source of phytoestrogens (believed to alleviate menopausal symptoms). Fermented soya foods are a staple of the traditional Japanese diet, whose people are revered for their longevity (amongst other things). In the Western world much of the soya we consume is made from unfermented soya, about which there is much controversy concerning whether it is good or harmful for you.

Tempeh is one of the few fermented soy products that is not from Japan. It originated in Indonesia where it has been a favourite food and staple source of protein for several hundred years.  It is made by dehulling and cooking organic soya beans which are then mixed with a culture called Rhizopus Oligosporos and incubated overnight at around 30 degrees centigrade.  The culture grows through the beans binding them together into a solid block and the result is Tempeh.

Tempeh has a nutty, savoury flavour and a firm chewable texture. It can be used in an variety of ways: shallow fried, baked or steamed and can be used as an ingredient in stir fries, curries, soups, spreads, salads and sandwiches, or as a protein source in many traditionally meat based recipes. There are are loads of tasty looking recipes online.
I bought my Tempeh from my local health food shop. It is made by Impulse Foods using organic, non-GM soya beans.
As this is all new to me I decided to try something simple to start. I took a bottle of good quality (i.e. no E numbers and fake flavours) barbecue sauce, sliced up the tempeh and marinated it in the sauce for a couple of hours.
barbecue tempeh
Then I fried the marinated tempeh for a few minutes each side. My verdict? Gross! I wanted to like it so much but it was horrible! I think it was the barbecue sauce which was VERY strong. I did quite like the nutty texture though. I will have another go – but, as they say, don’t try this one at home! If anyone has any good tempeh recipes for beginners, please let me know!
Food Diary – Day 7
Breakfast: Menopause Smoothie – see breakfast recipe page
Lunch: Sushi at Yo Sushi – my favourite!
Dinner: Leftover rice and lentils from yesterday’s kedgeree topped with peppered mackerel and cherry tomatoes
Snacks & Drinks: Berries, herbal tea

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