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Vegan Recipe – Tempeh Bacon

I never realized the delicious smokiness that is Tempeh Bacon until a visit to Venice Ale House in February.  This weekend, I found myself craving some kind of vegan meat, but without any Tofurkey sausages on hand.  After a quick search, I found this recipe on Chez Bettay.  It seems like something that would be tough to make yourself, but it was actually surprisingly easy.  Give it a try.  If I can do it, anyone can!

Tempeh bacon | A Vegan in Progress

Tempeh bacon

The following is the recipe from Chez Bettay, modified for my preferences (I often refer to my blog for ingredients when cooking and grocery shopping later).


Tempeh Bacon ingredients | A Vegan in Progress

  • 1 package tempeh of choice (sliced in long thin slices)
  • 1/8 cup organic maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke (I prefer it smokier rather than sweeter)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper (I would leave this out if cooking for Eric – too spicy)
  • 1/8 cup tamari
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil (melted)


Tempeh Bacon strips | A Vegan in Progress

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a large non-stick skillet until coconut oil melts, then add tempeh strips.
  2. Bring contents of the pan to a simmer over low heat and cover with a lid.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes and then slip each tempeh bacon strip over and cover the pan for another 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook over medium-high heat and flip as necessary until both sides are a crispy carmelized brown and the marinade is completely evaporated.

Vegan at Venice Ale House, Venice

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For our close friend’s birthday, we met her and a group at Venice Ale House, a cute place located right on the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

I checked their website ahead of the visit and saw that they offer “local California wines and a full menu of organic and sustainable food.”  Whenever a restaurant mentions organic, sustainable food, I get my hopes up for interesting vegan options and Venice Ale House did not disappoint.

I ordered the Spooni Special Vegan Scramble with tempeh bacon from their brunch menu.  This was my first experience with tempeh bacon and it was a total mouthgasm!  I never even liked bacon as an omnivore, but there’s something so awesome about that smoky “meaty” texture in a scramble.  The scramble came with the aforementioned tempeh bacon, red potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, garlic sauteed onions, roasted bell pepper, black beans, and market greens (I ordered it without avocado).  I haven’t had much variety, but this is seriously one of the best vegan breakfasts I have ever had.

Venice Ale House - Vegan Scramble | A Vegan in Progress

Love that tempeh!

After we finished the meal, we walked the boardwalk to people watch.  Venice is a crazy place, but a must-visit for any tourist in town!

Happy Birthday, Jessica! | A Vegan in Progress

Happy Birthday, Jessica!