My love for fermented foods is fervent. Offering impressive nutrition with every bite, these gut-friendly products are superfoods in their own way. Tempeh, a traditional fermented soy product, is originally from Indonesia, where it’s eaten as a primary source of protein.
Aside from using soybeans, tempeh can also be produced from coconut press cake (tempeh bongkrek), okara or soy pulp (tempeh gembus) and banana leaves (tempeh gódhóng). Turn ordinary tempeh into a mouthwatering dish with my quick and easy Tempeh Reuben recipe.
Did You Know?
- Tempeh is a traditionally fermented soy product from Indonesia, where it’s eaten as a primary source of protein
- If you buy ready-to-eat tempeh from the grocery, steaming or simmering a bit is highly recommended to reduce its bitterness, make it softer and soak up seasonings and flavorings better
- Probiotics play a vital role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, and aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens
- Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged like many other oils
- 2 packages tempeh, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
- 24 ounces raw sauerkraut
- Sea salt, to taste
- 6 large romaine lettuce leaves, whole
Serving Size: 6
- Crumble the tempeh and steam for 20 minutes. Remove and place in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together the tamari and mustard. Pour over the steamed tempeh, and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to sit while preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, add the onions. Sauté until onions are brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, but let pan stay on burner.
- Add the steamed tempeh mixture and sauerkraut to the pan, stir to combine. Allow to stay on burner, covered, until heated through. Season with sea salt to taste.
- Serve in lettuce leaves.
(Adapted from Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)
Tempeh Reuben Cooking Tips
As I’ve said many times before already, soy is not the miracle health food that the media and leading food manufacturers have painted it to be.
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of "The Whole Soy Story," points out thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility — even cancer and heart disease. That being said, I strongly advise against consuming unfermented soy products.
In addition, since virtually every soybean crop grown in the United States is genetically modified, I recommend looking for tempeh products with a label that explicitly states they’re made from organic non-GMO soy.
Prepackaged tempeh from grocery stores usually has a bitter flavor. Even if it says “ready to eat” on the label, steaming or simmering tempeh a bit is highly recommended in order to reduce its bitterness, make it a little softer and providing time to soak up seasonings and flavorings better. Similarly, fresh tempeh will have to be steamed or simmered for about 25 minutes as it’s not precooked.
On the other hand, instead of buying commercially available sauerkraut in supermarkets, why don’t you try making your own at home? Check out my homemade raw sauerkraut recipe here. To keep a bunch of green leafy vegetables fresh for as long as 10 days, store them in an airtight container with clean paper towels. The paper towels will help absorb moisture, which is the primary reason why they easily wilt.1
Why Is Tempeh Reuben Good for You?
This tasty Tempeh Reuben recipe will not only be an absolute delight for your tastebuds, but for your gut flora, too. With cultured foods like sauerkraut and tempeh as its main ingredient, this dish is surely loaded with beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics play a vital role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, and aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens. This makes a healthy gut a major factor in maintaining optimal health, as a robust immune system is your top defense system against many forms of disease. Packed with essential nutrients, such as vitamin K2 and B vitamins, fermented foods:
|Act as excellent chelators capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals in your body
||Regulate dietary fat absorption
|Prevent obesity and diabetes
||Lower your risk for cancer
|Improve your mood and mental health
||Protect you from infection
Another wonderful ingredient in this tempeh recipe is coconut oil, which offers an array of impressive health benefits, such as:
|Promoting heart health
||Enhancing brain function
|Delivering an excellent fuel for your body
||Supporting a strong metabolism vital for weight loss
|Supporting a healthy thyroid function
||Strengthening your immune system
|Maintaining a youthful-looking skin
To learn more about the basics and the benefits of fermented foods, I suggest you read my article “Fermented Foods: How to ‘Culture’ Your Way to Optimal Health.” Get the most out of coconut oil by using it in recipes that require heating. Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged like many other oils.
Sources and References