spicy summer tempeh breakfast hash

by Stacy

Quick self-promotion: I am very excited about my upcoming teleclass: Stop Stressing, Start Living! I’m taking the most common road blocks that my clients have struggled with and overcome and packing all that info into a free hour. It’s in a few weeks; I hope you can join me.

Normally I don’t apologize for not posting, but this gap was a little longer than I planned. I had an amazing weekend in New York at a conference hosted by my health coaching school right after a house full of guests, and I didn’t get things ready before I left.

But enough about me; let’s talk about tempeh.

trader joe's tempeh

Tempeh (tehm-pay) is a fermented soybean cake. Before you run screaming into another room, let me assure you that it’s completely unlike tofu and utterly delicious. Where tofu has a bad rap as a bland and mushy horror, tempeh is dense, chewy, and flavorful. It’s hearty enough to stand up to strong sauces, sturdy enough for grilling, and tasty enough to satisfy hungry vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Finding tempeh can be tricky — not because it’s unavailable, but it’s sometimes hidden in the grocery store. Look for it shrink-wrapped and refrigerated, usually near the tofu and fake hot dogs, or somewhere around the mushrooms and wonton wrappers.

The best deal I’ve found is the organic tempeh at Trader Joe’s (it’s about $1.69), but I’ve found it at Whole Foods, the natural foods co-op, and better grocery stores. You can freeze it, so I often get several packs and toss a few in the freezer for later.

cubed tempeh

What can you do with tempeh? Try light wheat flatbread wraps with BBQ tempeh and red cabbage slaw or vegetarian tempeh lettuce wraps.

It’s great in stir fry, as a vegetarian reuben, or in chili. I’ve even marinated it in a little olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice, then used a grill pan or George Foreman grill to cook it, slice it, and serve it on a bed of grains.

Tempeh is one of my favorites sources of protein and iron (along with black beans and lentils), and it’s fermented, which alleviates some of the concerns about excessive soy in our diets.

It’s a great way to start the day.

summer tempeh breakfast hash

summer tempeh breakfast hash

My preferred meal plan is eating a filling breakfast, a light lunch, and a reasonable dinner. By front-loading my day with veggies and protein, I don’t have to worry about fitting all my fruits and veggies in lunch and dinner.

Sweet peppers, summer squash, purple carrots, and garlic are sauteed before the tempeh is added and browned in a little more oil. I didn’t feel like peeling a new onion, but that wouldn’t have been out of place.

This particular mix is summery because of the squash and peppers, but it can easily transition to fall with sweet potatoes or mushrooms. I make variations of this several times a week, but this mix was especially tasty.

summer tempeh breakfast hash

I blame the sriracha.

summer tempeh breakfast hash

print recipe
Spicy Summer Tempeh Breakfast Hash
Kickstart your day with this delicious veggie- and protein-packed breakfast. My sweet peppers are fairly small, so if you use a bell pepper, just use one.
  • 1 tablespoon (plus a little extra) olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, cut into coins
  • 1 medium summer squash, diced
  • 2 sweet peppers, diced
  • 4 ounces (~1/2 package) tempeh, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • sriracha or other hot sauce to taste
1.) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and saute 1 minute. Add peppers and saute 1 minute. Add summer squash and saute 1 minute. 2.) When vegetables are bright and starting to soften, add tempeh to the pan. Saute over medium heat until tempeh starts to brown. Add garlic and soy sauce and stir well.3.) Remove hash from pan. Top with hot sauce. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed and fry or scramble your eggs. Place egg on top of hash, serve immediately.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

kellypea September 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

I don’t dislike tofu, but don’t often eat it. This, I’ve never tried so thanks for sharing. I’m always up for trying new things and I love a good breakfast hash with great veggies in it.
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Stacy September 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I do like tofu, but with the conflicting information about it, I try not to eat too much of it. I’d love to hear what you think of tempeh!


Kate September 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

Confession: I saw these pictures go up on flickr a few weeks ago….and have been anxiously awaiting this post! I’m trying to move away from my typical Cheerios or other carb breakfast towards more protein based dishes, this is perfect!


Stacy September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Doht, now I feel like a tease. ;p

I stayed with a friend while I was out of town last weekend and sort of got “stuck” with cereal for a few days. It just reinforced how much better I do with protein in the morning.


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