(This is not quite storable in the pantry, but something I buy almost every time I go to Trader Joe's.)
Tempeh is fermented soy bean cakes. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it? I may have to say though that I enjoy tempeh better than I enjoy tofu. There are different kinds of tempeh, varying in ingredient additions such as whole grains. Tempeh originated in Indonesia and the fermentation process enables you to digest the soybean more fully. Tempeh has more protein than tofu as well as more fiber, and the processing leaves different nutritional value than tofu.
Tempeh has a consistency that lends itself well to substituting for ground beef in recipes. And at under $2 at Trader Joe’s, it is a steal! By crumbling it up, it is wonderful in tacos or sloppy joes. I have heard that steaming it before cooking gives it an even better texture, but I very seldom have the patience to cook before I cook (or never). It is also often used as a bacon substitute when smoked.