Tempeh Bacon “BLT”

After last weekend and the major eat-fest that I oh-so-thoroughly enjoyed, I’ve buckled down this week. I worked out when I didn’t want to…four times since Monday, in fact. I pushed myself to go a bit harder or longer during said workouts. Good job, self. You’ve burned about 40% of that lemon turnover from last weekend. (So.worth.it.)

I also made fruits and vegetables a priority…even more so than usual. I think I’ve eaten 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day this week. Potatoes and corn totally count, for the record.Also this week I tried an ingredient I’ve had on my Foodie Bucket List for YEARS — tempeh! Considering I really like tofu, I don’t know why this soy product scared me a bit. Terrified me, really. It looks a little…not tasty, to put it kindly. It’s tan-ish in color and bumpy. I had no idea what to do with it. Other than Google recipes, blindly choose one, and hope for the best. If history tells me anything, that’s usually not a good game plan.

Then Monday morning came around. I was off work, recuperating from the weekend, and ready for a week of healthy eats…all while trying to sweet talk my body into equilibrium and normalcy.

On days like Monday I have really good intentions of lesson planning, grading papers, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and many other productive activities. And somehow, I usually end up working out…and reading blogs, or cooking, or reading blogs while cooking. (Mad skills, I know. There’s a reason my laptop looks like it was drizzled with maple syrup and dusted with flour and crumbs. But it ends up, so are the computers of most other food bloggers…go figure).

I ran across Gina’s recipe for a Tempeh Bacon “BLT” and knew that that would be lunch. I had everything on hand. Including the tempeh, because I have had every intention over the past few months to actually TRY tempeh. Ends up, tempeh stays good for a really long time.

This BLT was quick, simple, and very good! While I don’t think tempeh bacon tastes like bacon, it fulfills that smokey-salty protein component. A good imagination coupled with the fact that it’s super healthy makes up for things like…saturated fat.

This sandwich packs whole grains, heart-healthy oil, and 12 grams of fiber! This is a great option for vegetarians looking for sandwich options that don’t rely on peanut butter or hummus, or for omnivores looking for a tasty, healthy change. As for tempeh, I can’t help but assume this to be a great first taste! I’d go back for seconds!

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Tempeh Bacon “BLT” slightly adapted from The Candid RD

Tempeh “Bacon”:
5 oz tempeh
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
a dash of cayenne

To assemble:
6 slices of whole grain bread
1 tomato, sliced
6 large lettuce leaves
3 Tbsp light mayonnaise

Directions:

Slice tempeh into about 6 oblong strips.

Combine maple syrup, olive oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce, cumin, pepper, and cayenne in a shallow dish. Soak tempeh in marinade for 2-3 minutes, turning to coat.

Turn a saute pan on medium-high and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the tempeh to the pan in a single layer and cook 1-2 minutes on each side, or until browned.

Build three sandwiches with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 2 lettuce leaves, tomato slices, and about 2 slices of tempeh. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 408 calories; 16 g. fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 583 mg. sodium; 55 g. carbohydrate; 12 g. fiber; 16.7 g. protein

Result: Sweet and salty tempeh make this BLT a much more nutritious option. Healthy fats and lots of fiber make for a filling, heart-healthy sandwich. The tempeh bacon takes about 10 minutes to prepare and cook, so this meal comes together in a jiff! Enjoy!

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I’m *toying* with the idea of giving Mr. Prevention the reins over a dinner selection once a week and calling the post series “Mr. P Picks” — catchy, isn’t it? ;). I fully realize that this could mean some serious creativity on my part to trim calories, fat, cheese, and breadcrumbs, but I think I’m up for the challenge. Marriage is all about compromise…or so I hear.

I know so many of you, dear readers, have picky mouths (read: husbands and children) to feed, and seeing as I have a brutally honest other (better?) half, why not make him a bigger part of meal planning? Well, that’s what I’m thinking…let me know your thoughts!

xo,

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21 Comments

  1. November 11, 2011 / 6:35 am

    Glad you liked it Nicole!! Your version sounds, and looks delicious too. I loved that recipe!
    I would really enjoy a Mark post once a week, I won’t lie 🙂 Nick would like it too! Maybe he’d actually read it with me, ha!

    • Nicole
      Author
      November 11, 2011 / 6:41 am

      I don’t know how much of the writing he would do, but maybe a blurb, and maybe some photo-taking! LOL! Can’t wait to see you guys tonight!!!!

  2. November 11, 2011 / 7:12 am

    Yay for tempeh! Tempeh bacon definitely does NOT taste like bacon but I choose to forget that it’s a bacon substitute and just appreciate that it tastes good in it’s own right. this looks like an awesome sandwich!

    I’ve been trying to be so good all week also! Some days were better than others…but at least there were no chocolate truffles!

  3. Layla Bowen
    November 11, 2011 / 8:43 am

    I have quite a collection of vegan cookbooks and many have recipes using tempeh. I have yet to make anything with it though (even after purchasing tempeh and letting it sit in the fridge until I finally threw it out)! You have inspired me to give it another go! You may be interested in the Post Punk Kitchen website for vegan recipe inspiration. They are a group of vegan foodies led by cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz and showcase beautiful food porn.

    • Nicole
      Author
      November 12, 2011 / 4:20 pm

      I am checking the site out now…thanks, Layla 🙂

  4. November 11, 2011 / 10:08 am

    Sounds great! I have never tried tempeh myself for similar reasons!
    I am glad to hear you liked it! I will have to pick some up and do some “experimenting” of my own. We shall see! 😉
    Have a great weekend, Nicole!

  5. November 11, 2011 / 10:11 am

    I’m scared of tempeh too, but I just might have to try this…
    I think it would be great if you did a Mr. P Pick’s recipe every week! Even though I don’t have picky mouths to feed, it’d be nice to get some new, healthier recipes that picky eaters enjoy

  6. November 11, 2011 / 10:12 am

    Ryan has loved posting for the blog– I say let him do it!!

    I love tempeh. You’re right– it looks pretty scary. But it tastes so good!

  7. November 11, 2011 / 10:42 am

    I really love tempeh but don’t eat it to often. I need to try your bacon version 🙂

  8. November 11, 2011 / 2:43 pm

    Never had tempeh before – looks intriguing though! If we ever got together for a couples dinner, our boys would be on the same page (sans the buffalo sauce!) and you and I could eat the quinoa meatballs and spaghetti squash! 😀

    Happy Friday Nicole!

  9. November 11, 2011 / 2:53 pm

    I don’t know a thing about tempeh…what is it exactly? Yes, my husband is more picky than my kids….how does that happen? lol

  10. November 11, 2011 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Nicole. LOVE the idea of getting Mr. P involved in the planning. Look forward to seeing what he picks. Have a fantastic Friday!!!!

  11. November 11, 2011 / 4:08 pm

    I always ask for suggestions from my boyfriend as to what exactly he wants for dinner and all he comes up with is “chicken kiev”. He doesn’t even want to make it homemade he wants it from the freezer to his plate. I hope Mr. P’s Picks are superior!

  12. November 14, 2011 / 10:02 am

    I’ve been wanting to try tempeh for ever. Unfortunately I can’t get it here in Spain though. I’m so fussy with bacon as fat is something I can’t handle. Oh, even thinking of it makes me feel yuk LOL. Your recipe however, sounds right up my street.

  13. November 15, 2011 / 10:37 am

    I looooove tempeh bacon! Here’s a tip: if you steam the tempeh before you cook it, it gets rid of some of that bitter flavor. I put mine in a steam basket. It’s an extra step, but worth it!

  14. Colleen
    December 11, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if you prefer a certain brand of bread? Thanks, love your site!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      December 11, 2012 / 8:49 pm

      Hi Colleen! I generally buy Brownberry 100% Whole Grain, personally. Love that stuff 🙂

  15. Ruth Sager
    August 24, 2014 / 12:22 pm

    After steaming the Tempe,try marinading it.It is much easier to digest.

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