Sweet and spicy pepper tempeh with green beans

Shop Ingredients
Serves 3-4


3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion (red, or 3 shallots), thinly sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce or shoyu
2-3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup or sugar
2 Tbsp water
225g traditional tempeh, sliced thinly
1/2 medium head cauliflower, very finely chopped (subbed here with rough equivalent of green beans and broccoli) 
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper


If cooking tempeh as a regular meal is something that eludes you, there’s a good chance this is the bold, addictive recipe you’ve been waiting for. A Heidi Swanson classic put to good use with green veg from your weekly box.

The original recipe I’ve adapted below (from Heidi Swanson‘s Super Natural Every Day), makes quick work of half a head of cauliflower. It’s great with cauliflower. There’s a seasonal gap in caulies at the moment, so I’ve made this one with green beans and a little broccoli that I had, but try the original version once the weather cools and cauliflower next arrives in your Fair Food box. (Tempeh last ages in the fridge, it’s an excellent thing to have on hand for a quick, nutritious meal). That said, the slightly more crunchy green veg are really good in this and, as an extra bonus, they add lots of colour.

Sweet and spicy pepper tempeh 

Gently heat a large pan or heavy based saucepan (with a lid), add coconut oil, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes and soften those for about 15 minutes, stirring fairly consistently to caramelise the onion. Mmmm it’s sweet and spicy already but there’s more to come.

While that’s working it’s magic, combine the tamari, honey and water in a small bowl, stirring to let the honey incorporate. Slice the tempeh into pencil-thin strips.

Add the tempeh to the pan and crank up the heat a little. Stir well, then add the sweet tamari sauce. Stir again and let this cook for a few minutes.

Add in the vegetables and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes. Check them and add a dash more water if it is sticking. They might need another few minutes uncovered to finish – when the veggies are a little browned and looking ready and delicious then it’s done. Stir through the freshly cracked black pepper, and give it a taste test, adding more if needed.

It’s big and bold, and would you believe … I’ve already reduced the sweet quantities. Enjoy!




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  1. This looks delicous and I am a big fan of Heidi Swanson, so I will take a look at her books to see which book this recipe features in. Tempeh is a great source of protein, and is very versatile with flavours. I do like a recipe with tempeh that Jude Blereau wrote in her book ‘Wholefoods, Coming Home to Eat’ where it is cooked in orange juice (you could cook that as your next recipe for this website, what a good idea!).

    1. Will check out that recipe from Jude, thanks Allison! Heidi has lots of great combos and ideas to help in the kitchen, doesn’t she. As noted, this one (originally cauliflower) is from her first book but she also has some tempeh recipes shared on her site, linked above. Enjoy!