Tosca Reno


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Protein?

Today's Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook guest blogger is Laurel McBrine - a Toronto-based artist, eco-lifestyle blogger. She is also working hard to complete her diploma in applied holistic nutrition. Find her on Twitter @foodartlife. And don't miss her yummy Spicy Citrus Tempeh recipe below...
Tempeh makes for a great protein source.
Tosca has always included some plant-based recipes in her Eat-Clean Diet, but it is great to finally have a comprehensive guide on how to “keep it tight” for those who would rather not eat the meat and chicken breasts that seem requisite to build muscle.

“Where do you get your protein?” is probably the #1 nutrition question I hear when people discover my plant-based eating habits. There are so many healthy, plant-based protein sources!  Quinoa, beans, nuts & seeds, grains, green vegetables, avocados, sprouts, miso, hemp and chia all provide significant amounts of amino acids. Although not all of these provide complete protein, many of them complement each other and a variety will provide all the protein needed for a fit body. One of my favorite complete protein plant-based foods is organic tempeh (made of fermented, pressed soybeans) since it is unprocessed and easily digested.

There are so many ways to prepare tempeh - Curried Tempeh, Tempeh Chili and a Tempeh Reuben Sandwich are just a few ideas. You can choose any recipe with flavors you like and simply substitute tempeh for the meat. Since the taste of tempeh is a bit more intense than tofu, choose strong flavors for your marinade or sauce. Tempeh is usually sold frozen, so you can either thaw it in the fridge or, if you are in a rush, soak the unopened package in a bowl of warm water. Tempeh can be cut into thin strips, triangles, cubes or crumbled.
Spicy Citrus Tempeh
For a quick, easy and delicious version, try Spicy Citrus Tempeh:

Cut an 8-10 oz. block of tempeh into small pieces.   Heat 1 T. coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Mix together in small bowl juice from 1 lime, juice from 1 orange, 1 finely chopped clove of  garlic, 1 T. grated fresh ginger, 2 T. tamari soy sauce, 1 T. maple syrup or 1 packet stevia, ½ tsp. roasted sesame oil and ¼ tsp. chili pepper flakes.  Add tempeh to skillet, turning tempeh over to brown all sides.  Add a few grinds of black pepper, then pour liquid mixture over the tempeh in the skillet, lower heat and let simmer until the sauce has reduced.  Garnish with 2 tsp. sesame seeds and serve over lightly steamed vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and carrots! This is also great with quinoa, a seed that provides complete protein.


  1. I love the Nile Spice Soups I get at Whole Foods, they are 10 g of protein for the red beans and rice.

  2. I have to try this recipe. I get asked the same question. People associate protein with meat, chicken and fish. Protein is basically amino acids and they are found in lots of plant based foods like you said. I myself struggled with the thought that I was not getting enough protein so I went on a tofu craze but I hate it..LOL!

    Thanks for this recipe. I am going to try it this week and see how I like it. It will be a great alternative to the tofu cubes I have been eating on my salads. :)

  3. Tempeh has higher amounts of protein and fiber than tofu plus it is more easily digested. It is great on a salad, rice/legume bowl or in a sandwich.

  4. This sounds fabulous! I LOVE tempeh!! Thank you for sharing!


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