Tempeh & Togetherness

We're in Texas for the holidays, and have been taking advantage of our downtime by preparing and enjoying meals together. Every meal has been created while enjoying hors d'oeuvres, wine, and conversation with a roaring fire in the background. In addition to the adults, we have two little ones and two dogs in the kitchen. It's been lovely. So lovely, that documenting the events has fallen to the back burner. We did manage to capture one meal, though: a simple, yet super flavorful lunch that we enjoyed after a post-breakfast nature walk the day that it dropped 30 degrees in just a number of hours:


Citrus Ginger Tempeh over Forbidden Rice

Serves 3 // Vegan


  • 1 Package Organic Tempeh (I used Lightlife Organic Flax Tempeh)
  • 1 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups Forbidden Rice, cooked
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 4 Oranges, juiced with pulp (approx. 1.5-2 cups juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons Grade A Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce (I use Nama Shoyu)
  • 1-Inch Knob Ginger, minced
  • Squeeze of Lemon
  • Spices: Few shakes each: Turmeric, Ground Ginger, Coriander, Thyme, Sea or Pink Salt, Pepper


1. Begin by cooking your rice: if using black rice, the ratio is 1.5 Cups Water for every 1 Cup Rice. Make sure you rinse the rice well before adding it to the water and bringing it to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 more minutes.
2. Steam your tempeh: Remove tempeh from packaging, slice into desired shapes, and place in a steam tray or colander over a saucepan with an inch or two of boiling water. Steam for a few minutes, flip, and steam for another few minutes. Steam for approximately 10 minutes.

3. While rice is cooking and tempeh is steaming, prepare your marinade: Combine orange juice, maple syrup (you can add a little more if you'd like it to be a little more "glaze-y"), soy sauce, minced ginger, and spices. Whisk to combine. Taste. Season to preferred taste (maybe add a little cayenne for a kick!). Pour into a bowl or small dish.
4. Remove tempeh from steam tray and place into prepared marinade. Let marinade for a few minutes or as long as a few hours.

5. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
6. Add tempeh to pan, cook for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. Both sides should be a slight golden brown.
7. Once golden, pour marinade over tempeh, lower heat to low, and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
8. Time to plate: Take a scoop of black rice, top with sliced avocado, sprinkle on a little lemon juice and sea or pink salt, and top with tempeh. Once all plates are ready, pour the remaining sauce evenly over each dish.    

What is tempeh?
Tempeh is fermented soybeans that is high in fiber, protein, and good fats. It is less processed than tofu, as it uses the entire soybean. It is hearty and firm, and has a bit more natural flavor than tofu. It can be prepared as-is, although steaming it beforehand allows it to soften and absorb more flavor.