The Grumpy Garbanzo vegan food for real life

Tempeh Tomato Sauté

Tempeh is not cute. If a lumpy hunk of fermented soybeans held together by a mysterious white film sounds less than appetizing to you, you probably have good survival instincts. Despite what you may assume from tempeh's appearance, it actually is edible. In addition to being edible, it's nutritious. Tempeh is made from whole soybeans and is rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and magnesium. As a fermented food, it contains probiotics and is easily digestible.
Just as importantly: tempeh tastes far less gross than it appears. It tastes nutty, earthy, and—unless you' re taking risks with expired tempeh—not at all rotten. Once you grow to accept its appearance, tempeh can be a delicious addition to stir fries, sandwiches, wraps, and bowls.
This meal features tempeh front and center, along with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and rice. While I love a good tempeh lettuce and tomato sandwich, there's no hiding behind a vegan bacon marinade in this dish. You might be pleasantly surprised by the true flavor of tempeh.






bell pepper

olive oil

soy sauce and/or coconut aminos

olive oil

salt & pepper



Chop the tomatoes and onions and dice the garlic.

Sauté onion with olive oil over medium heat until softened.

Add diced garlic and tempeh.

Cook until tempeh becomes browned.

Add tomatoes, bell peppers, and seasonings to taste.

Once tomatoes have reduced, serve over rice.

What did I use and why?

I like to use both soy sauce and coconut aminos in this sauté. While soy sauce and coconut aminos are very similar, soy sauce has a stronger, saltier flavor while coconut aminos add sweetness. I always buy my coconut aminos from Trader Joe's, because I've found that it's the most reasonably priced.