Sweet, spicy, protein-rich filling, and full of YUM!


I was taught a variation of this recipe visiting a friend in Brooklyn in the cold of early winter. I brought it home with me and cooked it for my vegetarian family for Christmas Eve dinner in San Francisco. Next I took it with me to Maui and made it for my yoga retreat guests. The version below is my Maui version, complete with pineapples and spice! The photos are from Christmas Eve when I used zucchini.

This is a wonderful recipe to showcase tempeh. Everyone I’ve prepared it for has loved it. It’s a fun healthy and spicy variation of orange chicken sauce. I love it because it’s such a rich and hearty vegetarian meal that even meat eaters can leave full and satiated.



  • 1 package of tempeh (generally 8-10 oz), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced (omit if desired)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed tangerine or orange juice
  • 2 T tamari (or namu shoyu or soy sauce), plus a bit more for frying
  • 1 T honey (or maple syrup or brown rice syrup)
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 T fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 T cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 t crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
  • coconut oil for frying, about 1/8-1/4 cup
  • Optional for flavor, nutrition, and color: bell peppers, squash, mushrooms, green beans, etc


  1. Combine citrus juice, tamari, honey, ginger, garlic, and spices in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Warm up a pan to med-high and melt about a T of coconut oil. Lay a layer of tempeh on the pan. Sprinkle all with tamari. (This is an easy way to get a nice brown layer on your tempeh!) Flip the tempeh when browned. Add more oil and tamari if needed. Repeat with as many batches as it takes to brown them all. Set aside. If you are using additional vegis cook them in this same manner.
  3. Add the tempeh, pineapple, and vegetables back to the pan. Pour sauce over and allow to reduce by 1/4-1/2, about 10-15 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thin you can add in a bit of water. (Note: sometimes when cooking for large groups my pan is not big enough. I simply reduce the sauce by itself with the pineapple only and then pour over the tempeh and vegetables. You will lose some flavor in the tempeh but it will hold up better.)
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.




Notes: My go-to brand for tempeh is Lightlife. It has a good texture and is readily available at most health food stores.