Tempeh is a wonderful meat-free alternative that marinates nicely and has an amazing nutritional profile. It’s a fermented soy food that originated on the island of Java in Indonesia and is closest to soy in it’s whole food form. According to Whole Foods experts at whfoods.org “fermentation is desirable because it increases the digestibility of soy (especially its proteins), nutrient absorption from soy (including absorption of phytonutrient isoflavones like genistein and daidzein), and the concentration of bioactive peptides (formed during the breakdown of soy proteins during fermentation).”
Tempeh is a very good source of manganese, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron and calcium. It also provides good fiber and protein.
You can usually find tempeh near the produce section.
This recipe was adapted from 101 Cookbooks. You can use any healthy, whole grain bread but I like it with this thinly sliced Mestemacher Fitness Bread .
I served these open-faced sandwiches with a large green salad of chopped apples, red onions, avocado and sherry vinaigrette dressing. My judge gave this a score of 8 out of a possible 10!
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tamari
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1 eight-ounce package of tempeh cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
large pinch sea salt
About 3 cups greens cut into ribbons
1-2 avocados, mashed with a pinch of sea salt
6-8 pieces thin, whole grain bread
Preheat oven to 350º
Whisk together the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, tamari, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and adobo sauce. Pour one-third of the marinade into an 8 X 8 baking dish or one that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until ready to use.
While the tempeh is marinating, roast the tomatoes. Add tomatoes to a medium bowl and coat them with the olive oil and salt. Place in an oven-proof baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and sweet.
When the tempeh is done marinating uncover the dish and place in 350º oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
To make the sandwiches generously slather 3-4 pieces of bread with mashed avocado. Top with a bit of shredded lettuce, a few tomatoes, 2-3 slices of tempeh and a few more tomatoes.