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Dr. Mark Hyman, the man behind this tempeh salad, is on a mission to unite vegans and paleo diet enthusiasts, creating something he calls the “pegan diet.” He recently spoke with Clean Eating about his book, The Pegan Diet: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World.
“The ‘pegan diet’ started as a joke,” Hyman says. “I was on a panel with two friends, a vegan doctor and a Paleo advocate. They both argued about why their respective diets hold the key to optimal health. I broke the tension by saying that I believe each diet has benefits, and each is rooted in intelligent eating.” And, he pointed out, the foods adherents of each diet eat are kind of similar until you get to the question of where to get protein – as long as you’re sticking to the healthiest, most whole food approach to each, of course.
But cute name aside, Hyman’s primary motivation is to get more folks on board with a planet-friendly diet that prioritizes food grown using regenerative agriculture practices.
“Growing food regeneratively creates much better working conditions for farmers and helps them make more money. It uses less irrigation and doesn’t pollute our land and water with dangerous chemicals. It increases biodiversity – another urgent issue since we’ve already lost half of all our animal species. And it produces cleaner, more nutritious food so that we can achieve our best health. All sides win,” Hyman noted. “The UN said if we took 2 of the 5 million degraded hectares of land around the world and spent 300 billion dollars (only 60 days of our global military spend) to support regenerative agriculture on it, it would stall climate change and give us another 10 to 20 years to work on other solutions. That’s no small feat. You can see there’s a lot of action to be taken, starting right in our own kitchens, backyards, restaurants, farmers’ markets and grocery stores. When we support local farmers, eat seasonally, and look for regeneratively raised food, we send a message to big food.”
And while many of us may not be farmers, even in our own homes we can make a difference. “If you want to start to eat like a regenetarian today, stop food waste in your home,” he said. “So much of the food we purchase – around 40 percent – is thrown out.”
For inspiration to make use of more of what you have in your kitchen, rather than throwing good food away, Hyman created this protein-rich salad with a mix of colorful vegetables including cabbage, romaine, carrots and cucumber (and if you don’t have those on hand, feel free to mix it up and use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge).
Napa Cabbage and Tempeh Salad
From Clean Eating
- Prepare chili tempeh: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together the chili garlic sauce and toasted sesame oil. Add the tempeh cubes and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes. When ready, transfer the tempeh to the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the salad: Shred the cabbage and lettuce by cutting them into ½-inch strips, or use a shredder attachment on a food processor. You should have about 2 cups. Peel the carrot and cut into matchsticks to make about 1 cup. Peel and halve the cucumbers, scrape out the core, and cut into half-moons. Thinly slice the red onion and transfer all the veggies to a large bowl and toss together.
- In a small mixing bowl, add all the dressing ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add the almonds, and toss frequently for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad, transfer the tempeh to the bowl with the veggies, pour the dressing on top, and toss gently. Top with the almonds, snow peas, and any additional desired garnish and serve.
- Serving Size ¼ of recipe
- Calories 263
- Carbohydrate Content 20 g
- Cholesterol Content 0 mg
- Fat Content 16 g
- Fiber Content 9 g
- Protein Content 17 g
- Saturated Fat Content 2 g
- Sodium Content 793 mg