Baked sweet potato wedges are paired with herby roasted cauliflower and carrots, savory pan-fried tempeh, and a simple tahini dressing in these meal-prep friendly vegan bowls.
These sweet potato bowls are a multitude of flavors: they feature sweetness from the baked sweet potato, savory and saltiness from pan-friend tempeh, and herby roasted vegetables, all topped with a parsley-tahini vinaigrette.
Sound like there's a lot going on in these bowls? Things come together surprisingly easily despite the variety of flavors.
Like my sweet potato quinoa bowls, all of the components of these bowls come together while the sweet potatoes roast.
- Balanced bowls: These bowls are made with a balanced plate in mind. Carbs from sweet potatoes, protein from tempeh and hemp hearts, and a veggie component from roasted carrots and cauliflower.
- Flavors: Rich, herby, savory and sweet. The natural sweetness of carrot is enhanced while roasting, rounding out the salty-savory flavors of the pan-fried tempeh.
- Versatile: Not a fan of tempeh? Replace it with tofu or chickpeas for a just-as-delicious meal.
- About the dressing: It's no secret that tahini is my favorite base for vegan dressings (Goddess dressing, anyone?). Just blend together fresh parsley, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, and tahini to make this vivid green sauce.
- Sweet potatoes: Choose orange-flesh sweet potatoes.
- Tempeh: If you're new to tempeh, it's an earthy, almost nutty ingredient made from soybeans. It's like the firmer, more naturally flavorful cousin of tofu.
- Cauliflower and carrots are the vegetables in this recipe. Choose fresh cauliflower and whole carrots. Other hearty veggies like brussel sprouts or eggplant could go well here too.
- Red wine vinegar is used in both the tempeh marinade and tahini dressing. If you don't have red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work in a pinch (though the flavors will end up slightly different!).
- Tahini: This is the base of the dressing. You can find tahini in the International aisle or sauce/dressing aisle of most grocery stores.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley gives a vivid green color to the dressing. We'll also use dry parsley on the vegetables.
- Maple syrup contributes sweetness to both the tempeh and tahini dressing. Honey can be substituted as needed.
Step by step instructions
Sweet potato and roasted vegetables
The quartered sweet potatoes bake on the same sheet pan as the cauliflower and carrots, but they do take about 10 minutes longer to cook. We'll start by roasting the sweet potato wedges while the cauliflower and carrots are prepped.
Roast the sweet potato wedges cut side down. This gives them a nicely golden and almost caramelized appearance.
Toss the cauliflower and carrots with olive oil (or whatever neutral oil you keep on hand) and the seasonings.
After 10 minutes, add them to the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes and roast until the sweet potatoes are tender and the cauliflower is golden. The carrots should also be mostly fork-tender.
Tempeh and tahini dressing
I highly recommend marinating the tempeh. This enhances its flavor and just makes it better. You can marinate it for 24 hours or just while the sweet potatoes and cauliflower are roasting.
It only takes 6-8 minutes to pan-fry the tempeh over medium heat. I like to cook it until it's starting to blacken (the maple syrup causes this to happen quickly), but you can certainly take it off the stove when it's just golden.
The tahini dressing is simple, just add ingredients to a blender and blend. Add water to thin to a pourable consistency.
Leftovers: Best within 4-5 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container, with the dressing stored separately.
Reheating: I find it easiest to just pop everything except for the dressing in the microwave. Otherwise, add everything to a skillet over medium heat and pan-fry until hot.
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Baked Sweet Potato Bowls
Sweet Potatoes & Vegetables
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- olive oil as needed
- ½ teaspoon salt divided
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 4 whole carrots
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 8 ounce blocks tempeh sliced into thin strips
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped; can include stems
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup water more as needed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- hemp seeds for topping; optional
Sweet Potato and Vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Slice each half again to make wedges. Place on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and drizzle with enough olive to coat. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Place cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Roast the potatoes at 400F for just 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice cauliflower into florets. Peel and slice carrots into wedges. Toss in a bowl with enough oil to coat, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, parsley, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven after 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and carrots to the pan. Return to the oven to roast for 25-30 minutes, until the sweet potato is fork-tender and the cauliflower is golden.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and maple syrup. Add the sliced tempeh, tossing to coat. Let marinate at least 10 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of oil. Once hot, add the tempeh with the marinade.
- Cook until the tempeh is golden, flipping halfway through. This will take 3-4 minutes on each side.
Dressing and bowl assembly
- To make the tahini dressing, add the parsley, tahini, water, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, and pinch of salt to a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thin to a pourable consistency.
- Assemble the bowls by dividing the sweet potatoes, vegetables, and tempeh between 4-5 bowls. Drizzle with the dressing and a sprinkle of hemp hearts (optional). Enjoy!
- Leftovers: Best within 4-5 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container, with the dressing stored separately.
- Reheating: I find it easiest to just pop everything except for the dressing in the microwave. Otherwise, add everything to a skillet over medium heat and pan-fry until hot.
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