This recipe was inspired by an Instagram post.
I’m not much for fake meats or meat substitutes. I mean, there was a reason I stopped eating meat and animal products over 20 years ago so for the most part i avoid them.
I’ve also upped my workouts lately. I’ve been running longer distances and working out a bit harder, which means my body needs a little more fuel. Quinoa is a staple in our household and I eat a lot of beans and nuts every day. Still, I felt like i needed to diversify, so when I saw a musician-turned-health coach post about some sweet and sour tempeh she’d tried out, I felt like it was worth a shot.
After experimenting a bit, I finally created an excellent marinade for the tempeh and added some quinoa and greens to make it a more complete meal.
As a bonus, my son who is 18 months old and on the tinier side of the spectrum, also loves it, so he gets some extra protein once a week, too! This dish helps his body and his brain grow, which makes mama (and his pediatrician) happy.
This recipe is super simple and can be used as a foundation for an even more complex meal. Or you can keep it simple like I do and just enjoy the delicious combination of flavors as is.
Also, there is some advance prep for this recipe. For best results, make the marinade in the morning and soak your tempeh in the marinade until you’re ready to use it. I usually soak for about 3 or 4 hours. you can do it for less or more, but the whole point of the marinade is to help the tempeh take on more flavor because without it, the tempeh is kind of bland and unappealing. So don’t skip this step!
Orange Baked Tempeh with Quinoa and Kale
Serves 2 or 4, depending on portion size.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
4 cups of kale
1 Tbs coconut oil
salt to taste
for Tempeh and marinade~
1 package tempeh, cut into chunks (about 1 inch)
1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if you’re feeling fancy or Tropicana’s best)
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 piece of ginger, grated (you’ll be squeezing this into the marinade, just fyi)
1 Tbs coconut oil
dash of back pepper
Optional extras: grated carrot, avocado, cherry tomatoes
Make your marinade. Mix the OJ, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and maple syrup in a large mixing cup. Add in the ginger by squeezing the grated ginger into the sauce. Stir it all up very well. Then add in your tempeh chunks. Don’t add the coconut oil until right before you’re ready to use it, especially if you’re using premade OJ, which is cold and will harden the coconut oil!
Keep your tempeh marinating in a closed jar on the countertop until you’re ready to use it. If you’re around during the day, every so often, give the jar a shake to make sure all of the tempeh is well coated.
When you’re ready to make this meal, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the coconut il to the marinade and give a final shake. Then, place the tempeh chunks on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Halfway through, turn them over — if you can remember. It cooks them more evenly although it’s not 100% necessary.
While tempeh is baking, cook your quinoa in the water until it’s nice and fluffy. Then remove from heat and set aside.
In a saucepan, heat a small amount of coconut oil and cook your kale with a little bit of salt. Remove from heat when the kale is bright green and slightly wilted.
When everything is done, separate out all ingredients evenly into bowls. Top with grated carrot (my favorite) and a little extra marinade (there should be plenty left over). You can also make it more fancy by adding avocado, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds — whatever you think might be delicious with this.