1) The best way to crumble the tempeh is between your hands straight into the pot. I used about 8 ounces of tempeh which I found to be just right. My husband didn't even realize until his second bowl that there was tempeh in there. 2) You may adjust the amount of cayenne pepper you use. I used just a small amount so that my son could eat it. However in my own bowl, I added more and some sliced jalapenos.