Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli and Teriyaki Tempeh

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

I asked my sister the other day what she would like to see more of on the blog, and she said: simple supper options. So, in that spirit, here we go!

The original recipe inspiration for this came from Vegetarian Times magazine. I’m a huge library user and I love going in and finding that the new issue of VT is available. They have a lot of neat vegan and plant-based recipes, and such beautiful photographs!

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

I feel like I’m going through a bit of recipe fatigue at the moment. Maybe it’s because I have a cold (I’m not sure what I feel like eating) or because I made soup and it was too hot and I burned off all my taste buds (making me sometimes not sure what I actually AM eating). So between the two, I mostly feel like eating the soup I made for lunch, and then again for supper, because, well, there’s a lot of it. And then I don’t have to think too much.

Speaking of, this cold is relatively minor, but still a blow to my ego. I like to think I am cultivating the ferrari of immune systems, and when I get a cold IN SEPTEMBER I suddenly think, geez louise. Ferrari? Not in your dreams, lady.

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

Then again, colds are a reminder of exactly that – our immune systems are a bit compromised. Maybe it means you’re working too hard; not resting enough; not eating the best foods for your body; not getting enough gentle, restorative exercise (like walking in this beautiful fresh air!).

Which brings us back to this supper. It’s simple, nourishing, a great balance of sweet and salty and umami, a beautiful visual feast of green and orange, and pretty easy for your body to handle, from a digestion standpoint.

So maybe I should say, thank you cold! For pointing me in the direction of some healing foods, for making me take a moment to look at where I’m not giving my body what it needs, and for reminding me, yet again, that being healthy really is the best feeling and the best gift.

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Steamed Broccoli and Teriyaki Tempeh

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: plant-based, nut-free, gluten-free (if you use a gluten-free soy sauce), grain-free

Ingredients:

  • one head of broccoli
  • one pkg tempeh
  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • one large onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt/himalayan pink salt/sacred salts
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon your favourite dijon mustard

Instructions:

  1. To marinate tempeh: in a medium glass bowl, whisk together tamari, maple syrup, and mustard. Slice tempeh into cubes and shake around in your marinade. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes into long wedges and place on baking tray.
  4. Slice onion into rounds and scatter artistically over sweet potatoes.
  5. Drizzle oil over sweet potatoes/onions and sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and onions smell amazing.
  7. While the potatoes are cooking, gently steam/boil (steaming is preferred, but you might be like me and not currently be in possession of a steamer) broccoli in or over boiling water until close to tender and a brighter green colour. Drain and keep warm.
  8. In the last few minutes of your potatoes baking, place tempeh on a baking sheet and throw in the oven, baking until lightly browned.
  9. Arrange sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tempeh your plate, and drizzle with a little leftover marinade, if desired.
  10. Enjoy!

l© Backyard Owl

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Mango Salad with Cilantro, Cashews, and Tempeh – v, gf

easy fresh mango saladI was in beautiful Kingston, Ontario a few weeks ago, and had dinner at a Thai Cambodian restaurant where I was reminded of the simple, tangy joy of mango salad – fresh mango, sweet and sour dressing, zippy red onion, toasted cashews, cilantro, and red pepper. Mango salad is light, refreshing, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and so, so easy to make.

And it’s perfect for the summer. I know some recipes call for less-than-perfectly-ripe mango, but I say go ahead and use ’em ripe. I did, and it was fabulous. It just makes the whole thing fruitier.

easy fresh mango salad

I also thought it best to add some tempeh for additional protein, so that the mango salad could become a filling lunch or supper. I went with plain, sliced up tempeh, but you could marinate it, if you prefer.

Other than that, basically prepare your mango and veggies, toss with the cilantro and lime juice dressing, top with tempeh, and you’re off to the races. And let me add that this recipe is VERY forgiving. You can make enough for one (just use one mango) or expand it exponentially to feed as many as you want.

Experiment with the dressing to make it what you want. You can add more lime juice, more salt, less maple syrup, more sesame oil. Whatever tastes right to your palate.

easy fresh mango salad

Top with tempeh, cashews, and some smoked paprika!

Mango Salad with Cilantro, Cashews, and Tempeh

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 ripe to almost-ripe mangoes
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • juice of one lime
  • generous sprinkle of sea salt (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 or 3 servings of tempeh, sliced
  • smoked paprika (optional), for finishing

Instructions:

  1. Lightly toast cashews and tempeh until your oven broiler (watching carefully, because the cashews will burn very quickly – usually around 4 minutes is good).
  2. Peel and thinly slice mango into a large bowl, and add sliced red pepper and chopped cilantro. Add red onion.
  3. Add sesame oil, maple syrup, salt, and lime juice, and toss well to mix.
  4. Scoop into bowls and top with cashews and tempeh. Sprinkle on some smoked paprika, if desired.
  5. Store any remaining salad in the fridge (it keeps well, thanks to the lime juice and salt).
  6. Enjoy!

(C) Backyard Owl

Creamy Spinach Salad with Roast Potatoes, Avocado, and Maple Tempeh

spinach salad with tempeh, avocado, and roast potatoesEven though it’s cold outside (a very frosty -12 C feels like -26 C with the windchill today here in wintery Southwestern Ontario), and my natural impulse is to wear pajamas in front of the fireplace all day long, I haven’t yet felt the yen for the proverbial comfort food.

Or rather, I should say that I want comfort food, but re-envisioned. I want foods that are the right balance of rich, healthy, and light, if that at all makes sense. What appeals to me right now are meals like raw vegetables with a creamy tahini dressing, or an inviting lentil soup with delicious miso for that umami flavour.

spinach salad with tempeh, avocado, and roast potatoes

But, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Let’s talk about this recipe. This spinach salad with roast potatoes, avocado, and maple tempeh is inspired by (and, truthfully, closely follows) a recipe from the Thrive Cookbook, a fantastic cookbook with vegan recipes that aim to help everyone transition to clean eating. The recipes are tagged as either raw, transition, protein-rich, gluten-free, and/or super nutrient dense, so you can pick your level of ‘clean eating’ (the goal being to provide options for people all along the spectrum of eating). All of the recipes are healthy, though, and all look delicious. (If you want another fantastic clean eating cookbook, check out Clean Food)

In this particular salad, the spinach keeps things light and fresh (Popeye said it best: “I’m strong the finish, cause I eat my spinach”), and the toppings are suitably delicious, substantial, and warming, making this a salad fit for a clean eating winter queen.

spinach salad with tempeh, avocado, and roast potatoes

Plus, in winter, when everything starts to take a more gargantuan effort than ever before, using a few prepared items (the maple tempeh and the vegan mayonnaise) makes things just that little bit simpler.

And man, is this salad ever good. Warm, creamy, full of protein and healthy fats, with a bit of that excellent spinach crunch. Top notch.

Creamy Spinach Salad with Roast Potatoes, Avocado, and Maple Tempeh

  • Author: Thrive Cookbook (with tweaks by Backyard Owl)
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free (depending on your brand of tempeh), soy-free (depending on your type of vegan mayonnaise), nut-free, grain-free, naturally-sweetened

Ingredients:

  • organic baby or regular spinach, washed well – your desired amount
  • smoky maple tempeh (I use the Tofurky Tempeh brand)
  • one avocado
  • roast potatoes (potatoes, olive oil, pink salt)
  • For the Dressing: mix 1-2 tablespoons of soy-free vegan mayonnaise with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup – depending on your taste preferences
  • Optional: splash of lemon juice, sprinkle of smoked paprika

Instructions:

  1. Roast potatoes. Scrub two to three large organic potatoes and dice into cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon pink salt, and roast in a 425F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown)
  2. Either in the same oven, or in a frying pan, prepare tempeh – broil for 8 minutes in the oven, or gently fry in a skillet until lightly golden.
  3. Preparing dressing: whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
  4. Toss spinach with dressing.
  5. Peel and slice avocado, and add to salad.
  6. Arrange tempeh and roast on top of spinach, and finish with the optional splash of lemon juice and smoked paprika. Enjoy!

Happy January!

© Backyard Owl