Sunday, April 14, 2013

Meatless Monday...Thai Red Curry Stir-fry with Tempeh

Tempeh eh?
For those of you not familiar with tempeh, it is a fermented soybean product (a meat "alternative"). I have been experimenting a lot with tofu, and don't get me wrong I love it, but sometimes you just want something different. Tempeh is often a mixture of fermented soy product and whole grains and is absolutely delicious sautéed, or baked and perfect in a stir-fry. I am partial to the Lightlife products, which are organic and made with non-GMO soy. My new favorite is the flax one, for extra Omega 3 fatty acids! 

One serving of tempeh (4 oz) provides 16-20 grams of carbohydrate and 20 grams of protein! Tempeh is low in saturated fats (the ones that clog arteries and raise LDL cholesterol "the bad cholesterol") but is a good source of heart healthy fats! Did I mention that its naturally very low in sodium? 

I served mine with Jasmine rice as a treat. Jasmine rice is a Thai white rice, which means it doesn't have any fiber. This dish would be just as delicious over a brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa and would have additional nutrition benefits! 

Stir-fries are super quick and easy in a wok, but if you don't have one a large frying pan will do. Buying a good wok is a great investment. It cooks vegetables and meats quickly because the heat is evenly distributed up the sides of the pan. Plus they can hold a ton of vegetables (my favorite part of stir-fry!)

Stir fries are great because almost any vegetable can taste great in them and you can really feature the wonderful flavors. It is a great way to include a variety of colors in one meal! Actually the recipe for my stir-fries is never planned... I often just use what I have available and I know that it is going to be wonderful. Using frozen vegetables is another great option, especially when fresh produce is expensive or out of season. Plan a bit longer cooking time if cooking in a wok though! 

Thai Red Curry Stir-fry with Tempeh
Makes 6 servings

1.5 cups of rice (Jasmine or brown)
2 tsp canola oil
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (Thai Kitchen)
1 can of light coconut milk
2 Tbsp fish sauce
16 oz of tempeh, diced
1 can of bamboo shoots
1 can of sliced water chestnuts
1 red pepper, diced
2 cups sliced mushrooms 
2 cups of sliced bok choy
1 cup snap peas
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1. Cook rice as directed.
2. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan over medium heat, add carrots and onion and cook for 3 minutes. 
3. Add curry paste, coconut oil, and fish sauce and simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes. 
4. Add tempeh and remaining ingredients (except scallions) and cook until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes).
5. Serve curry vegetables and tempeh over or with a side of rice. 

Nutrition facts: 3/4 cup of rice plus 1-1/2 cups of vegetable/tempeh mixture
335 calories, 19 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 16 g fat (6 g saturated from coconut milk), 680 mg sodium

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