This salad is my absolute fall favorite, but also summer favorite, and winter favorite, and every season favorite.
It’s a bowl of feel-goodness that starts with kale massaged with avocado to make it nice and tender and delicious, a high pile of roasted sweet potato and roasty marinated maple-mustard tempeh, some sweet crunch and color from an apple, and a little something unexpected, salty, and briney from the sauerkraut.
I KNOW, I know, I know you – you think the sauerkraut is such a weird idea. I texted my sister excitedly about this recipe after I made it (she is vegan) and she was like, okay but um… no to the sauerkraut. People are not going to like the idea of it. I shall be ridiculed. I understand this.
But please at least try it before you vote me off the island – it adds saltiness and a little bit of that yummy funk that makes every bite that much more zippy and exciting.
Tempeh All The Way
I am fairly new to tempeh (you too?) and do you know what? It is fabulous. Affordable, intriguing, sturdy, nutty, and chewy in a much more interesting way than tofu, and keeps me full all day long.
The Ingredient Details
Here’s what we have going on for our short ingredient list:
sauerkraut – yes, seriously
The marinade for the tempeh is so simple and so basic and yet so NEXT LEVEL for the sweet, slightly punchy, tangy flavor it gives to the entire bowl.
Make These Bowls Come Together
Your sweet potatoes and tempeh get roasted up, your kale gets a nice massage with the avocado to really break it down and make it into something you’re actually excited to eat, and the crunchy apple and sauerkraut round out the flavor and crunch factor to make this bowl just a beautiful cornucopia of wholesome fall eating.
And – did I say this? – the tempeh lasts amazingly well as leftovers, so it works beautifully as an SOS meal because you can save the roasted sweet potatoes and tempeh and build yourself a nice lunch or dinner salad all week long.
Did I crown the whole thing with a little bit of a crunchy onion sprinkling? Yes I did, because that’s how I like to live my life, okay? Crunchy onion toppings are just a way of being for me right now.
If it’s possible to be obsessed with a salad / bowl / wholesome gang of vegan goodness, I am 100% there with this thing.
God bless food for being so wonderful. ♡
Maple-Mustard Tempeh Bowls: FAQs
I can’t find tempeh. Will this work with tofu instead?
Absolutely! It would be delicious with tofu.
Will this keep as leftovers?
Definitely! This is actually a great recipe to meal prep and save for lunches throughout the week. Just keep your bowl ingredients separate from the dressing and drizzle on the maple-mustard goodness right before eating.
What kind of kale did you use here?
Curly kale, but dino (lacinato) kale would also work.
Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?
Source notes: I’ve been on a YouTube recipe video bender lately, and Sweet Potato Soul has long been one of my favorite sources for fun vegan recipes and lifestyle videos. ♡ This recipe from Jenné was the one that inspired this recipe! Her salad includes a few more ingredients, and cooks the tempeh and the sweet potato separately. It’s gorgeous. In an effort to make this as doable and SOS-friendly as possible, I just scaled back on the ingredient list and roasted the tempeh and sweet potato together on the same pan.
Make the dressing and marinate tempeh: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Shake dressing ingredients in a jar. Marinate the tempeh in about half of the dressing for about 30 minutes, or just while the oven heats up.
Roast tempeh and sweet potato: Place marinated tempeh (with marinade) on a baking sheet. Add sweet potatoes to the other half of the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast for 25-30 minutes. When both are browned and roasted, toss the tempeh with a little more dressing so it soaks up lots of mapley-mustardy flavor.
Get the kale all yummy: Pro tip: place the kale in the same bowl that the marinated tempeh was in so it can grab onto all the leftover marinade in the bowl. Massage the kale with a little bit more dressing and the avocado, so the avocado kind of smashes into the dressing and makes it tender and a little bit creamy.
Toss and serve: Toss up the roasted tempeh, sweet potato, kale, sauerkraut, in a big bowl with any other extras that you like. I mean, RIGHT?! It’s shockingly good.
Dressing: If you love dressing (I do), you may want to double up on the dressing amounts just to make sure you have enough for your leftovers.