Dr. Lani Nykilchuk
Naturopathic Family Physician
Here is a great meal using the extremely healthy but lesser known tempeh. What is tempeh you ask? It’s fermented soy beans that have been pressed to form a patty. What makes it different from tofu is that it is fermented and whole soy bean is retained, which gives it a higher protein, vitamin, and fibre content. The flavour of tempeh is often described as “earthy”.
Because it’s a healthy option, I’m always looking for new ways of incorporating it into my diet. This recipe is super easy to make and can be enjoyed as a savoury breakfast (which is how I like to have it) or can be served at lunch/dinner with a soup or over top brown rice.
The other ingredient I’d like to highlight is the Umeboshi paste. Umeboshi translates to English to mean “ Japanese salt plums”. It has a sour and salty flavour and a little goes a long way. It can be found at most specialty food stores (If you’re here in BC - I’ve seen it at Choices Market). If you have a hard time finding it, you can substitute tamari/liquid soy for flavouring.
Tempeh & Kale Stir fry
1 package tempeh - cubed
1 small red onion- sliced into half moons
4 cups kale- spines removed and chopped
1-2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 -1 tsp Umeboshi paste -pickled plum puree (based on flavour preference)
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds
sauerkraut to garnish
you can substitute tamari/liquid soy for the ume plum sauce
sauté tempeh (cubed) and red onion ( half moon) in coconut oil
chop up 1-2 cups kale
add ume plum sauce (1 tsp) and 1 tsp h20, add Kale
sauté 1-2 min on low medium
top with sesame oil and 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds
sauerkraut to top - I used wild brine arame and ginger sauerkraut salad (delish!!)
If you haven’t tried spot prawns before, you can pick them up at your local farmers market or certain specialty grocers. It is essential to know where you’re getting your seafood from since much of our marine life is contaminated with heavy metals and harmful chemicals. Also, many of the seafood that we eat regularly are being vastly over-fished and are dropping to seriously low numbers. Shrimp are one of these creatures. For these reasons it is important to be purchasing from reputable sources that ensure sustainable fishing practices (look for Ocean wise or Seachoice)
When creating a meal with meat or fish, I like prefer to use these more as an accent rather then the main player. Focus on your veggies and sauce and the meat or fish can be there but in moderation. Many of us have become accustomed to eating large portions of protein and having vegetables and a side note. Vegetables (especially when purchased in season) grow in abundance and take much less energy to produce and they pack a punch nutrition-wise.
To make this dish vegetarian of seafood allergy friendly consider cubed tofu.
Wild BC Spot Prawn Stir-Fry with Jalapeño Lime sauce
Prep/cooking time ~ 30min
1/2 lb wild BC spot prawns
4 carrots, sliced thin
1/2 zucchini sliced thin
your favorite noodles - I used pumpkin and ginger rice noodles
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 Jalapeño, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 small piece ginger root, roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp Liquid soy
1 bunch cilantro, divided and roughly chopped
2 green onion, chopped
Pea shoots, 2 large handfuls, roughly chopped
can substitute prawns for cubed firm organic tofu.
Prep prawns - de-shell and rinse
Prep sauce - chop 1/2 jalapeño, 2 cloves garlic, small chunk of ginger and half of the bunch cilantro and place in blender. Add equal parts lime/ lemon and olive oil about 1/2 cup each and 1/2 tsp lid soy- blend till smooth.
Heat water to cook noodles as per instructions
In the meantime, set pan on medium heat add a dollop of coconut oil and prepped prawns - cook until prawns are almost done then add carrots, zucchini and optional cashews. Cook until vegetables are slightly soft. Remove from heat and place on a plate. Strain noodles, give them a quick rinse then add them to pan on med- low heat. Toss noodles with half of the sauce for about 1 min. Add the prawn mixture and the rest of the sauce and toss all together in the pan for another min.
Serve immediately- top with roughly chopped cilantro, pea shoots and green onions.
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