Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato (TLT) Wrap

Why is Tempeh wonderful for our gut?

You’ve most likely heard of tofu, but what is tempeh? Tempeh is popular amongst plant-based eaters as it is incredibly versatile, full of protein, and can be used as a substitute for traditional meat dishes. It also is delicious and is satiating, which makes it perfect for at-home meals. Tempeh can be crumbled in a red sauce to replace ground meat, seasoned to replace bacon, or roasted to add to a stir-fry. Unlike tofu, tempeh is firm and has a nutty flavor because it is made from fermented boiled soy beans and grains.

Tempeh is not only known for its high protein content, it is also packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and manganese. Calcium in particular is very important: calcium deficiency can result in digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Besides these wonderful micronutrients, tempeh is a fermented food, which means it is rich in probiotic bacteria. These bacteria have the potential to increase the health of your gut microbiome, improve your digestive system, and enhance your immune system. In an animal study, bacterial diversity in stool tests increased following fermented tempeh supplementation compared to those fed non-fermented tempeh. In a human study, supplementation with soybean tempeh correlated with an increase in beneficial gut bacteria.

Every 100 g of tempeh contains 9 g of fiber! The fiber and probiotics that are found in foods like tempeh serve to add to existing healthy strains of microbes in the gut, or feed those strains to help them flourish and improve the health and robustness of the already existing microbiome.

Ways to Eat It

Typically, tempeh is sliced into pieces, soaked in sauce, and pan fried. It can also be marinated, steamed, baked, and even air fried! As it contains no salt, it is often marinated in soy sauce to give it more flavor. Try out tempeh in pastas, sandwiches, Buddha bowls, and salads to add protein to the meal!

Recipe: Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato (TLT) Wrap

Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):

  • 1 block of tempeh, sliced

  • 1 bunch of romaine leaf lettuce, raw used for wrap, or 1 bunch of collard greens, blanched (optional)

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tomato, sliced

  • vegan mayonnaise

Seasoning for tempeh

  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos

  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke


  1. To season tempeh: add garlic powder, coconut aminos, and liquid smoke. Mix well.

  2. Cook seasoned tempeh in an airfryer at 350°F until golden and crispy.

  3. To prepare wrap, spread vegan mayonnaise on preferred lettuce. Then layer with crispy tempeh, tomato slices, and sliced avocado.

  4. Fold into wrap.

  5. Enjoy!

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Fleishman, C. (2020, August 31). Tempeh Tempts with Benefits. International Probiotics

Association. https://internationalprobiotics.org/tempeh-tempts-with-benefits/

Kuligowski, M., Jasińska-Kuligowska, I., & Nowak, J. (2013). Evaluation of bean and soy

tempeh influence on intestinal bacteria and estimation of antibacterial properties of bean tempeh. Polish Journal of Microbiology, 62(2), 189–194. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24053022/

Link, R. (2021, August 9). Why Tempeh Is Incredibly Healthy and Nutritious. Healthline.


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