Tempeh burger with sundried tomato pesto, on a homemade wholemeal bread roll.
Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is:
11. Focus on a nutrient.
I pretty much played “Eenie-meenie-minie-mo” until I picked my nutrient – and I decided to go with ZINC.
As you are probably aware, zinc is an important mineral that we need in small (yet vital) amounts. Some body functions we need zinc for include:
- Healthy hair
- Healthy skin
- Strong immune system
- Wound healing and blood clotting
- Thyroid function
The top food sources of zinc include animal products, so zinc deficiency can become common in vegans. I was actually a bit deficient in zinc during my teenage years – my hair started falling out :O luckily I didn’t go bald before I decided to see a doctor who told me to take zinc supplements.
However, zinc isn’t too hard to find if you’re eating a balanced, healthy vegan diet. Zinc can be found in wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, avocado, legumes, nuts, spirulina, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms. These days I eat a good deal of those foods every single day…I wish I could go back in time and tell my teenage-self to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, KID!
Tempeh burger <3
Or maybe I could just go back in time and make one of these burgers. This tempeh burger is bursting with zinc. I tried to calculate just how much zinc is in one of these babies but that turned out to be difficult (does anyone have a link to a handy calculator that does that???).
I guesstimate there’s about 2mg of zinc in one burger. Adult women need around 8mg, and adult men need around 14mg, although it is recommended that women/men vegetarians/vegans aim for 12mg/21mg respectively (50% higher than the set RDI). For more information about how much zinc you need, find out at nrv.gov.au.
Zinc can be hard to absorb from grains, but leavening with yeast (as I do in this recipe) can help the zinc become more bioavailable. For more information about obtaining zinc from a plant-based diet, have a read of this article.
I served my zinc-rich burgers with these garam masala wedges (I used a mix of sweet potato and potato).
- 1¾ cups warm water
- 1 tbs raw sugar
- 1 tbs dried yeast
- 2 tbs chia seeds
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 4 cups wholemeal flour
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 300g tempeh
- ½ cup tomato puree (passata)
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 280g jar sundried tomatoes in oil (reserve oil)
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 1 clove of garlic
- As desired: baby spinach, shredded carrot, red onion, or any other salad vegetables.
- Combine the warm water (not higher than 40C), sugar and yeast in a non-metallic bowl, leave to rest for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
- Add the chia seeds, salt and flour, mix until a smooth dough forms.
- Knead with your hands for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough on the counter, covered with the upside down bowl, leave to rest for 2 hours.
- Knead again, divide into 8 pieces.
- Place on a baking tray, brush with water and sprinkle with pepitas.
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes or until golden.
- Let cool while you prepare the rest of the meal.
- Cut the tempeh into 8 equal pieces.
- Combine the tomato puree and cayenne.
- Dip the tempeh pieces into the tomato mix.
- Preheat a cast iron griddle over a medium heat.
- Grill the tempeh for 7 minutes on one side, flip, grill for another 7 minutes.
- Blend the sundried tomatoes, oil from the jar*, parsley and garlic in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Cut open a bread roll.
- On one half, spoon on 1-2 tablespoons of pesto, add salad ingredients and tempeh.
- Top with the other bread roll half.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
- VeganMoFoers; what nutrient did you choose for today’s prompt?
- Have you had any deficiencies since adopting a plant-based diet?
- Are you concerned about getting enough of some other nutrient? Let me know!