Roasted Asparagus and Tempeh
Roasting anything is one of my favorite cooking things to do. So why did I combine tempeh with asparagus in the same dish? The simple answer is that I love both and I often mix them together as a side dish or throw them in salads or over quinoa. I get my veggie from asparagus and my protein from tempeh and I got it mostly covered. Asparagus comes out especially yummy as the roasting brings out the juiciness and flavor, that is as long as you don’t overcook it. Interesting facts: asparagus is a member of the lily family and a distant member of the onion family. And there are male and female plants. The male spears are skinny where the plump ones are female, or I should say the full-figured spears. The flavor has nothing to do with male or female but rather with the freshness of the spear. Key to know: pesticides are not used in commercial asparagus so buying organic here may be just overspending. Asparagus is a great source of potassium, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamins C & A, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamin B6.
Tempeh is traditionally an Indonesian food where the soybeans are fermented. Tempeh is more versatile than tofu and it is hearty in texture so it absorbs flavors and it can be used in dishes such as veggie chili and veggie burgers and just plainly roasted the way I have done in this recipe. I love tempeh because it can be made super tasty and gives me tons of energy due to its high protein content, 9 grams in each serving! Although it is a filling food, tempeh is easily digestible because of the particular enzymes it boasts. Tempeh comes in different flavors and I have used Garden Veggie by LiteLife. In this recipe, the tempeh will be a bit crispy and golden brown when it comes out of the oven.
If you have a dish large enough, you can place the asparagus and the tempeh side by side and roast them together. As you are getting to know me, I conserve dishes in the kitchen whenever I can without sacrificing taste or the integrity of the food. Don’t like doing dishes!
- 1 bunch of asparagus spears (washed and 2 inches cut from the bottoms of spears. You can save these and make soup stock if you are so inclined)
- 1 8 ounce packet of tempeh (sliced down the middle and then cut into 1/2 inch squares)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375 F. Place tempeh in a baking dish and drizzle two table spoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper and mix until tempeh is lightly covered. Push tempeh to one side. In the empty side arrange asparagus, drizzle with oil and add salt and pepper gently tossing the spears so that these are covered as well. Place dish in oven and roast asparagus and tempeh for 10 minutes. With a spoon, mix the tempeh around in its space and do the same with the asparagus. Place in the oven for another 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve as a side dish or add to salads or a quinoa dish. Serves 2-4.