Smoky Tempeh with Quinoa and Snap Peas

by Danielle Omar on September 12, 2014

Smoky Tempeh with Quinoa

I love cooking with tempeh. It’s such a delicious and healthy way to add texture to a dish and it’s very filling and satisfying. Soy food sometimes get a bad rep in natural health circles. I get it, there’s a lot of debate regarding whether soy is safe to eat. I tend to lean toward the organic, non-GMO, and fermented side of soy.

Tempeh is fermented soy, which means the carbohydrates in the soy have been broken down by mold, yeast or bacteria. This fermentation process transforms the proteins in soy, making them more digestible. It also increases the availability of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the food, making them easier to absorb during digestion — many of which serve as as antioxidants, boost your immune system and are anti-inflammatory.

I’ve blogged about fermentation before and I’m a huge fan. I love adding naturally fermented foods to my diet. This smoky tempeh with quinoa was inspired by a delicious cauliflower rice stir fry I made earlier in the week. I love the whole stir fry concept. It’s so easy  – you really can’t screw it up. If you’re not sure how to stir fry, read this post.

I think the snap peas are what make this stir fry legit. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal and tastes just as good the next day for lunch. I hope you’ll try this smoky tempeh with quinoa.

Also, just as a reminder, this is your last chance to join my Clean Eating Detox. I have an awesome group of detoxers who are ready to start prep week on Monday. If you’re still on the fence about doing a clean eating revamp of your diet, jump off that fence and join us!  Learn more and register here. 

Smoky Tempeh with Quinoa and Snap Peas

Smoky Tempeh with Quinoa and Snap Peas


  • 4 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sweetener (maple syrup, agave or honey)
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of tempeh, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 2 large handfuls snap peas
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Handful fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Add the tempeh cubes and toss to coat all of the cubes. Marinate the tempeh in a bowl, making sure they are all covered, while you prepare the quinoa. Stir the cubes around a few times to make sure they are all well marinated.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water with a dash of salt to a boil. Add your rinsed quinoa, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, 15-18 minutes. When done, remove from heat and let sit.
  3. When quinoa is done and sitting, melt the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh, without the marinade sauce, evenly into the pan. Set the marinade sauce aside for later.
  4. Cook the tempeh for a few minutes, or until lightly well browned on the bottom. Flip the cubes over one by one and cook the other side until lightly browned. Note: Do not walk away from the stove! I flip each little cube separately. I have burned the tempeh many times because I walked away. When the tempeh is done, remove it from the skillet and transfer to a plate.
  5. Add a few teaspoons of oil to the pan and stir in the bell pepper, snap peas, scallion and garlic. Sauté until the veggies begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked quinoa and black beans to the pan, along with the reserved marinade. Then add the tempeh and toss again. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

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{recipe redux} Raw Wild Blueberry Snack Balls

by Danielle Omar on August 22, 2014

Raw Wild Blueberry Snack BallsI spent a few days in Bar Harbor Maine last week to learn about wild blueberries. The trip was sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. It was a great time! I caught up with some fun RD colleagues, saw some beautiful parts of Maine, and of course learned a ton about wild blueberries. I had never been to Maine before and I can’t wait to go back.

This was the view outside my door at the Bar Harbor Inn.

Bar Harbor Inn Maine

Gorgeous right? And the blueberry barrens were just as amazing…..fields and fields of wild blueberries as far as the eye can see.

wild blueberry barrens

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. It really shows the beauty and expanse of the barrens. And what a perfect Maine day! Our visit coincided with the harvest, which begins in late July and continues through August, so it was a busy place (despite this picture). We also toured Wyman’s processing plant and were able to see the whole process – from picking to freezing. I was pleased to learn that wild blueberries are frozen fresh within 24 hours of harvest, when their flavor and antioxidants are at their peak.

wild bluberries

Wild blueberries are not the same as the cultivated type you buy fresh in the grocery store. Unlike regular blueberries, wild blueberries are not planted. They literally grow “in the wild” and thrive in the harsh climates of northern Maine, Eastern Canada and Quebec. This ability to thrive in those harsh climates is the reason wild blueberries contain twice the antioxidants of regular blueberries. Another big difference is there isn’t just one kind of wild blueberry — there are 1,000′s of varieties growing all at the same time. You can see in the picture above the different shapes and sizes of the berries, each with their own unique blueberry flavor.   

Raw Wild Blueberry Balls 3

So coming back from this trip I knew I would make something using wild berries for this month’s Recipe Redux theme: Bars & Bits for Brown Bags. I wanted a strong wild blueberry flavor and I definitely got it with these delicious little bites of blueberry goodness! They are no-bake balls so you can literally whip them up in 5 minutes with your food processor. What’s different about these balls is that I used the frozen wild blueberries in the mix. So if you eat them right after you make them they’re really cold and refreshing — and if you let them thaw a bit they are melt in your mouth delicious.  You pretty much can’t go wrong either way!

Raw Wild Blueberry Balls 4

These wild blueberry snack balls are perfect for a lunch box or after-school snack, a grab-and-go breakfast or just a fun dessert. I rolled them in shredded coconut, but I bet cocoa powder or hemp seeds would also be delish. You could just eat them plain, too!

Here’s how I made them. Enjoy!

Raw Wild Blueberry Snack Balls

Raw Wild Blueberry Snack Balls


  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 heaping cup wild blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • Shredded coconut (unsweetened)


  1. Process the nuts, dates, vanilla and almond butter in the food processor. Then add frozen (not thawed) wild blueberries and process again until well blended. Wet your hands a bit and roll mixture into balls. Freeze balls for an hour or so to harden, if needed. Then remove from freezer and roll in the coconut. I do this in a bowl. If you want them soft, store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want them super cold, store in the freezer! Both are delicious.
  2. This recipe makes about 8 balls, double as needed.

Raw Wild Blueberry Balls

And don’t forget to click the link below to check out what my fellow reduxers made for this month’s theme!


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