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Tem-what?! Whether this is a completely new word to you, you’ve heard of it but have no idea what the heck it is, or it’s already in your regular rotation, tempeh definitely deserves a minute of our attention.

Tempeh is a fermented soy product originating from Indonesia. Every time I write or say fermented in the same sentence as food, it just seems wrong. But it couldn’t be more right! The process of fermentation creates probiotics- beneficial bacteria that support healthy digestion, improve nutrient absorption, and support a strong immune system among many other health benefits. (You may remember this from last week’s Sweet Potato Protein Brownies)

For meat eaters or plant-loving vegans alike, tempeh is a great protein option to throw into the mix to keep things interesting. My hubby is definitely a vegetarian protein skeptic – you know the ones… “How am I gonna get full? Where’s the meat?!” But recently he has oh so graciously agreed to be somewhat of a guinea pig for my kitchen creations, even agreeing to fully embrace meatless meals. With one condition… As long as it tastes good! I can manage that 😉

I think he finally stopped questioning me when I made some loaded nachos with the leftovers from these bowls and he didn’t even think to question what was on them. Success!

If I haven’t convinced you yet, tempeh is like tofu’s younger but wiser cousin, less processed but with almost double the amount of protein and 4x the amount of fiber! I’ll still be keeping tofu in the mix but it definitely has some competition. Ok, enough nutrition jabber, I know you guys are here for the food.

So…today we are doing Taco Bowls. I figured it was a pretty safe way to introduce it to you guys considering I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like a good taco. Put that into bowl format and you really can’t go wrong!

Have you tried tempeh before? Leave me a comment below and let me know!  If so, what’s your favorite way to eat it? For all you tempeh virgins out there, give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Fiesta Tempeh Taco Bowls
Serves 4

  • ¾ cup rice ( I used Level Ground Trading Aromatic Brown Rice)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Optional: 1 tsp cumin
  • 227g tempeh, crumbled ( I used Tofurky Organic 5 Grain)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Optional toppings: Fresh cilantro, diced avocado, sliced jalapeño, squeeze of fresh lime juice, crumbled tortilla chips (I used Way Better Blue Corn Chips


  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile prep your vegetables and garnish.
  3. Next, heat oil in a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, once hot (1-2 minutes) add garlic. Cook until fragrant, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn (1-2 minutes).
  4. Next add your tempeh, black beans, chili powder, paprika and cumin and let them brown for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once rice is done cooking, divide between bowls. Top as desired with tempeh and black bean mixture, veggies and desired garnishes.
  6. I went all out and finished off with about ¼ of an avocado, sliced jalapeño, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a small handful of crumbled tortilla chips and it was perfection!


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