Tempeh Protein Bowl

This is total hippy food. And I love it.

With the major drought going on in California, it is more important that ever to keep away from the meat (raising cows takes more water than raising soybeans…no brainer). Plus, tempeh has 31 grams of protein in 1 cup! Yes, you read that correctly. 31 grams!

I’ve been a long-time lover of tempeh ever since my two years in the vegan dining hall of East at Uconn. That’s also where I met Miles (the older R.A. who surfed… hawt), and started putting apple blossoms in stolen dining hall glasses in his dorm room. One might say the firm, fermented soybean cake that is tempeh is where our marriage began.

In this recipe I marinate the tempeh in a soy sauce, garlic, honey mixture (leave out honey if you want to be totally vegan), and then sear it off on the stove top. It is then served in a bowl of quinoa, edamame, baby kale, avocado, radishes and cucumbers. Use what veggies you have. There are no rules here. It’s hippy food after all.

Tempeh Protein Bowl

Ingredients (for tempeh):

  • 2, 8 oz blocks of tempeh cut into 1/2-1 inch thick planks
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced


  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • quinoa
  • edamame
  • baby kale
  • scallions or cilantro
  • radishes
  • cucumbers
  • avocado
  • Siracha
  • toasted sesame seeds


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large dish, and add tempeh. Let it get all groovy for 4-8 hours, turning pieces occasionally.
  2. In a large nonstick pan over medium- high heat, add coconut oil.
  3. When oil is hot, add tempeh pieces, reserving marinade.
  4. Let sizzle for 2 minutes or so before turning so they get a nice golden color. Turn again to brown up the other side for another 2 minutes or so.
  5. When tempeh is seared on both side, add in 3/4 or so of the marinade and let the tempeh pieces cook in it, turning occasionally until it the marinade is reduced to a thick sauce that coats the tempeh. (If your marinade reduces too quickly, add in the last 1/4 of the marinade reserved. You don’t need it for anything else).
  6. Remove from heat and season appropriately (if you are using reduced sodium soy sauce, you might need a pinch of salt).
  7. Compose bowls using quinoa and the other extras listed above. Drizzle with Siracha and enjoy that hippy goodness!

Tempeh Protein Bowls