One of the common questions that vegans and vegetarians get a lot of the time is “where do you get your protein?”
It’s actually pretty surprising how easy it is to get plant-based sources of protein in your diet. Not all protein needs to be a big steak!
For me, personally, peanut butter is something I eat pretty much every day, and cheese is a pretty big staple for me. I also eat quite a few legumes: beans, chickpeas and lentils (my freezer is still full of chickpeas from that time I wrote an Aquafaba cookbook). You might be surprised to learn quinoa is also packed with protein.
And then there’s tofu. Look–I’ve been pretty honest with you guys about how I feel about tofu. It’s not my favorite. I have a hard time infusing any flavor into it, no matter what I do to it. But I do still eat it some.
Tempeh is kind of like tofu’s cousin. Regular tofu is made from soybeans, but tempeh is made from fermented soy. Fermenting makes it easier to digest, if you have a tough time eating beans. Additionally, just one cup has 30 grams of protein! Not bad at all…
I recently ran into a new, local tempeh manufacturer here in Vancouver called Tempea. I discovered them at The Wellness Show, but you can run into them at Farmer’s Markets all over the Lower Mainland. I love to support local business, so the Tempea Tempeh is the basis of this recipe.
Now, let’s talk Jerky for a sec. Once thought to be the food of late-night 7-11 runs and hunters, the Paleo/Primal movement has caused a resurgence in jerky’s cool factor. When made with meat, jerky is basically cured and dried to the point where it won’t spoil. It becomes lighter, and very portable and packable. Full of protein, it makes a great snack to take a on hike or a longer trip where you won’t have access to purchase food. For the rest of us, it can make a great post-workout snack.
While traditional jerky is usually made with meat, you can make vegan jerky using tofu. This vegan, however, is made with tempeh. It’s pretty simple to do. You marinade the tempeh (cut in thin slices) overnight, then dehydrate them the next day. I used my dehydrator for this, but you could just as easily do it in your oven at very low temp.
Et voila! A light, portable, tasty, full-of-protein snack!
- Tempeh (I used Tempea)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or wheat-free tamari
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 6 drops liquid smoke
- a couple dashes of hot sauce
- 2 tbsp your favorite BBQ sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Slice the tempeh thin and set aside.
- In a mason jar, combine all the marinade ingredients and shake well. Add the tempeh and make sure it is all well-coated in the marinade. You can add some water if you like to give it more volume. Place in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, remove the tempeh from the marinade and dry on paper towels.
- Place in a single layer in your dehydrator, and allow to dehydrate for about 2-2 1/2 hours on 225 degrees. If you don’t have a dehydrator, place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees, for about 2-2 1/2 hours. Store in an air-tight container.