This recipe for Tempeh Lentil Stew with Potatoes uses my foolproof method for making tempeh seriously delicious. It's high in plant-based protein, and can be made oil-free. Serve over brown rice.
I'm on a mission to make tempeh dishes that leave you wanting more. This cozy stew checks that box.
Tempeh can have a bitter after taste, which is why some people avoid it. However, I have figured out how to cook it in a way that removes this bitter taste.
One of my proudest moments as a mom was when I made a tempeh chili so delicious, my three teenaged girls polished it off.
This recipe for Tempeh Lentil Stew with Potatoes was inspired by my 15-Minute Lentil Veggie Curry on this site. My Vegan Rib Sandwich with Street Corn is another delicious tempeh recipe you should definitely try.
Lentils and tempeh are both high in protein. Therefore, this is a protein-packed, plant-based meal.
Potatoes makes this stew even more comforting and satisfying. Plus, they add resistant starch which feeds our good bacteria, making them very happy.
Fresh herbs and an abundance of veggies add nutrition and even more flavor.
For oil-free: This recipe is very versatile. It can easily be made oil-free by using veggie broth in place of the olive oil. In addition, the tempeh can be substituted for one half cup more lentils, if preferred.
Tempeh has been around for a long time. This nutty-tasting bean cake originated in Indonesia hundreds of years ago. It is typically made from fermented soybeans, grains, and added flavorings. The soybeans are cooked and fermented before they are packed into a brick-like cake. Fermentation adds nutrients and makes it easier to digest.
Loaded with fiber, vitamins, and probiotic benefits, this plant-based protein is a staple in my house. With my foolproof method for cooking tempeh, my guess is it will become a popular meat substitute in your house too.
Simmering tempeh and seasoning it before using it in a recipe removes its slightly bitter aftertaste. It also opens up its pores so it can more readily absorb the flavorful seasonings of sauces and marinades. This recipe goes one step further to tempeh deliciousness. The tempeh is sautéd until crispy, and then seasoned with tamari. Now it is ready to make this comforting stew.
While lentils have a high carb content, much of it is resistant starch, which makes us feel full and has a lower glycemic index. The carbs in lentils produce a smaller rise in blood glucose than other high starch foods that contain very little resistant starch, such as baked potatoes, rice, and white bread. Clearly, all carbohydrates are not made equal.
Lentils are also a high-protein food, which makes them an ideal meat substitute.
Green, brown, red, and yellow lentils are all a type of legume –a category that also includes beans, soy beans, peas, peanuts, and chickpeas. They have a rich, earthy texture, and add bulk to a recipe.
In addition, they are a good source of iron which can be low in vegan diets. They also contain plant chemicals called polyphenols that have antioxidant properties.
Their high fiber content keeps bowel movements regular, blood sugars in check, and feeds our good gut bacteria.
Simmer the block of tempeh for 3 minutes to remove the bitter flavor. Rinse with cold water until it is cool enough to handle.
Use your hands to break the tempeh into crumbles. (Or you can pulse in a food processor.)
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Tempeh Lentil Stew with Potatoes
- 8 ounces tempeh simmer for 3 minutes (see note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 ribs celery sliced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 medium carrots sliced into ½-inch coins (about 1 cup)
- Dash of salt
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes peeled, chopped into ¾-inch pieces
- ½ cup lentils green or brown
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 14 ½ ounces diced tomatoes canned, with juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (Annie's, The Wizard's)
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Tempeh: Use your hands to break up the tempeh into large crumbles. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or broth in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the tempeh for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Add 1 tablespoon tamari and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the tempeh to a plate.
- Aromatics: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable broth in the skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, celery, and carrots for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add a dash of salt. Add the garlic, and thyme and cook for 1 minute more.
- Cook: Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, lentils, rosemary, bay leaves, and diced tomatoes. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves. Stir in the tempeh crumbles, Worcestershire sauce, and tamari. Season with salt and black pepper.
- The tempeh in this recipe can be substituted for ½ cup more lentils.
- Simmering the tempeh beforehand is optional, but highly recommended. It removes any bitterness. Plus, it opens up its pores so it can more readily absorb the seasonings. Place the block of tempeh in enough water to cover by about 2-inches high. Bring the water to a gentle boil before reducing the heat. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.