Guilt-Free Bacon? OH YES!

Back when I ate animal foods, I never ate pork – except on rare occasions if it was in the form of a BLT.  Bacon alone grossed me out but on that sandwich…yum!  How silly is that?  Reminds me of the mentality I had towards chicken – I could eat a boneless chicken breast no problem, but give me chicken on the bone and forget it!  It’s amazing what we can talk ourselves into, or out of, in order to ease our conscience.  Anyway, when I discovered tempeh bacon I was so excited to be able to eat BLT’s again, and more than occasionally since it’s not unhealthy! There are several varieties of ‘fake bacon’ out there, but the majority of them are highly processed and not what I’d call healthy (with the exception of Fakin Bacon by Lightlife, which is made from tempeh).

In case you aren’t familiar with tempeh, it is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans and usually a grain into a cake form.  It has a high content of fiber, protein and vitamins and a unique, earthy flavor with a very firm texture.  I recommend steaming the tempeh prior to cooking to remove some of the bitterness, as well as to help it absorb flavors of marinades, etc.

In a pinch I will buy Fakin Bacon, however it’s about double the cost of making it myself from plain tempeh.  If I do use the pre-made bacon, I never cook it according to the package instructions as it calls for frying in oil.  See recipe below for details.

Tempeh Bacon
Votes: 4
Rating: 5
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Since it's not fried in oil, the texture of this fake bacon is different than the real thing, but you can get it crispy by baking it long enough and broiling as a final step. On a sandwich, like a BLT with Avocado, you can hardly tell the difference!
Servings
16 -20 slices
Servings
16 -20 slices
Tempeh Bacon
Votes: 4
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Since it's not fried in oil, the texture of this fake bacon is different than the real thing, but you can get it crispy by baking it long enough and broiling as a final step. On a sandwich, like a BLT with Avocado, you can hardly tell the difference!
Servings
16 -20 slices
Servings
16 -20 slices
Ingredients
Servings: -20 slices
Units:
Instructions
  1. Remove packaging from tempeh and place block in steamer basket. Steam covered for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut into thin slices. The thinner you cut them, the crispier they will be once cooked.
  2. While tempeh is steaming, whisk together tamari, water, maple syrup and liquid smoke in a small bowl.
  3. Pour marinade over tempeh slices and let sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  4. Place tempeh slices on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper that has been coated with cooking spray.
  5. Place cookie sheet in oven set to 375 degrees and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn slices over and bake another 10 minutes.
  6. Move rack from middle of oven to just below broiler and cook slices for 1-2 minutes per side, being very careful not to let them burn. Keep oven partly ajar and keep an eye on them.
  7. Serve on toasted whole grain bread with low-fat eggless mayo, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts and whatever else tickles your fancy! Bon Appetite!
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