As this is my very first recipe post ever, one of my fabulous clients suggested it would be very appropriate to post a breakfast dish. Breakfast generally hearkens a new beginning, even if it is just the start of a new day. Opinions on when and what to eat for you first meal of the day definitely vary depending upon which nutrition professional you ask. I believe it also depends on the individual and what type of lifestyle you lead. Personally, I tend to be more of a morning person—I have clients early most days, like to workout before noon if possible, and just tend to be more productive while the day is still young. Since a lot of my activity occurs in the morning, I like to start out the day with a good breakfast. Nobody likes a hungry trainer, so it is better for everyone if I have some food in my belly before I leave the house!
That being said, I constantly strive to improve my food choices for each meal. My vice is definitely sweet foods, so I could totally eat pancakes for breakfast every day. While you can certainly find some very healthy pancake recipes out there, I find I do better if I can shove as many vegetables in my mouth as early on in the day as possible. This simple breakfast of roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed vegetables is a great way for me to make sure I start of the day checking off the boxes of my nutritional needs for the day!
For this recipe, I was really excited to find some genuine purple sweet potatoes! I have used the Japanese sweet potatoes before that have purple skin, but they usually have white flesh. The purple throughout are great choice, as foods that are strongly pigmented generally have very high quantities of antioxidants and other nutrients. You can most certainly use regular sweet potatoes if you do not have access to purple ones. As you can see from the picture, I only needed one for this recipe as the one I chose was as big as a bunch of celery!
The other ingredient in this recipe that those who are new to vegan or plant-based eating may not be as familiar with is the tempeh bacon. I love using tempeh in recipes. It is very hearty, a great source of protein, has a delicious nutty flavor, and fermented soy products may carry additional benefits. Some of those benefits can include easier digestion, greater micronutrient availability, and some great research shows it can play a role in the prevention of certain diseases (see the Nutrition Facts website for specifics on such research). I specifically chose tempeh “bacon” for this recipe because it mimics the savory flavor of bacon, though not quite the texture. In case you are wondering, no, I don’t miss “real” bacon. 😉
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sautéed Tempeh, Mushrooms & Asparagus
Makes 4 large or 6 smaller servings
For the Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1 gargantuan sweet potato (or 2 large), chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese five spice
For the Sautéed Vegetables
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 1 (8-ounce) pack sliced mushrooms
- 1 (7-ounce) pack tempeh bacon, chopped (I used Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon)
- 3 cups roughly chopped dandelion greens*
- 1-2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or to taste
- Optional chopped avocado for serving.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, chop up your sweet potatoes and spread on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper to prevent sticking. Sprinkle with the Chinese five spice and mix together. Place the pan of potatoes in the oven and cook for approximately 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
Prepare the rest of the vegetables while the sweet potatoes are getting happy in the oven. Put a large skillet on the stove top and set the burner to medium to begin heating up your pan. Add your chopped celery to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add your asparagus pieces and spices, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in a few tablespoons of water as needed and stir to prevent sticking. Next add your mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until all of the vegetables are just about done to your liking. Finally, roughly chop your tempeh and greens and add to the pan at the end. Cook just long enough to wilt the greens and warm the tempeh pieces through. Remove from heat, but keep a lid on the skillet to keep warm until your sweet potatoes are done.
When the sweet potatoes come out of the oven, combine with the vegetables in the skillet. Stir all of that plant-based goodness together and finish off with the tamari or liquid aminos for a little bit of moisture and salty umami. Serve with chopped avocado if you like!
*May substitute spinach, kale, or any other leafy green you have available. Dandelion greens just pack a really great nutritional punch, and I like to rotate my greens from week to week to make sure I am getting in a good variety!
Please feel free to leave me comments if you get a chance to make this! I would love to get feedback on how I can continue to grow and improve my recipe-writing skills.