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.