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One night last week I needed something quick and satisfying for dinner…Pasta. There’s something comforting about the traditional spaghetti and red sauce dinner that I crave every now and then. And rather than using ground beef, why not try tempeh? It gives you the same great protein but without all the saturated fat.

Tempeh usually comes packaged in a block – just crumble it up, saute it with onion, peppers and garlic, and simmer in your favorite red sauce (or simply chopped tomatoes). Throw in some basil, spinach and chopped olives and you’ve got yourself a hearty, meat-free pasta sauce.

You could also replace ground meat with tempeh in anything  you can think of – meatballs, meatloaf, stuffed peppers (I have a great stuffed pepper recipe), etc. Let your creativity take you away!

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Tempeh Spaghetti Sauce

Serves~6

1 package soy tempeh

1 large jar of spaghetti sauce (or ~4 cups homemade sauce)

1/2 large red onion, chopped

1 bell pepper (any color), chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups spinach, chopped

1 cup black olives, chopped

1 TBS olive oil

1 handful fresh basil and oregano (or 1/4 cup dried)

2 tsp cayenne

Salt and Pepper to taste

– Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and cook onions, peppers and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add tempeh and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper throughout cooking.

– Add red sauce and herbs, and simmer for 10 minutes. You  may want to add water to thin the consistency. I like my sauce chunky so I didn’t. 

– During the last couple minutes of cooking, add the spinach and olives. 

-Serve over your favorite cooked pasta.

Nutrition per 1/2 cup serving:

217 calories, 7g fat, 23g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 14g protein

This sauce is a great source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and a slew of essential minerals. 

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