This post is about to get pretty heavy on the info. If you’re ready to party it up for Taco Tuesday, head straight to the recipe below. If you need a little more info on tempeh and soy then please read on.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. It’s high in protein, fibre and loads of nutrients like folate and vitamin K.
Fermentation is an ancient process that is an integral part of the diets of many cultures around the world. In North America, not so much, we’re really missing out! Fermentation increases digestibility (soy being a legume can be tricky for some, especially those who can’t digest proteins well). Fermentation also makes the nutrients more bioavailable, so you’re actually absorbing and assimilating all the goodness of what you’re eating. Some other great fermented foods to add to your diet: kimchi, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and tamari.
So what’s the deal with people hating on soy?
First things first, soybeans are one of the biggest crops grown in the US. Most of the soybeans grown and consumed in North America are genetically modified. The GMO issue is beyond the scope of this little Taco Tuesday post, but let me just say that I choose to not allow myself to be part of a big science experiment and instead choose only organic and non-GMO soy products. In addition to being GMO, the soy you find in countless common grocery store items is highly processed. Read labels my friends and steer clear of that crap! Tempeh on the other hand is produced with less processing and is closer to a whole food form.
Soy is an excellent meat substitute and is a popular protein option for vegetarians. Soy has also been receiving a lot of flack as of late and that’s due to it’s phytoestrogenic properties. Phyto-what now? Soy, or rather the isoflavins in soy, can mimic estrogen in the body because of their chemical similarities. Why is that a problem? Well, some cancers can grow in the presence of estrogen. Is there a direct link between soy consumption and cancer? No. There are many many other factors to take into consideration and another is all of the other ways that we unintentionally take in estrogen into our bodies, like from drinking tap water (hormones are not filtered out) and xenoestrogens from plastic (ditch those water bottles!). Many women and even men struggle with estrogen dominance for these reasons, so limiting the factors which we can control, like soy consumption, is something to take into consideration.
Ok, that was a lot of info, so what can you do? Let’s recap:
- Always choose organic and non-GMO
- Only eat soy on occasion
- Choose the most unprocessed versions (like tempeh!)
BACK TO THE TEMPEH TACO PARTY!
What’s a taco without toppings? I opted for a quick avocado mash (with lime juice and cilantro) and a cashew cream cheese.
And of course, you gotta wrap it up! There’s so many different options to choose from, you can go with an organic corn tortilla or another gluten free tortilla option or the paleo-friendly lettuce wraps. I decided on some chard to do the trick, but why not experiment with something different?!
tempeh taco meat
- 1 package of tempeh (I used Noble Bean)
- 2 peppers
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup salsa (I used Neil Brothers Spicy)
- 1/2 cup water
Throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours (alternatively, you can opt for a low temperature for 6-8 hours, if you happen to get your a** in gear and do the prep in the morning that is!)
cashew cream cheese
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp AVC
- pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender. If the mixture is a too watery, you can always add in a few more cashews until the blend is nice and creamy.
Throw all your tempeh “meat”, veg and toppings into your wrap of choice and it’s time to party like it’s Taco Tuesday (because it is), ole!