I recently bought The Vegetarian Flavor Bible as a Christmas gift to myself. It lists all imaginable food ingredients in alphabetical order and gives suggestions for good flavor pairings. The book is also gorgeous and starts out with a timeline highlighting key events in the history of vegetarianism. Even I was amazed at how many important people from the past advocated the lifestyle: Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Susan B. Anthony, and Gandhi to name just a few. It certainly isn’t a new trend.
I was feeling creative and wanted to do something different for dinner last night, so instead of pairing sweet potatoes with typical sweet foods like maple syrup, pecans, or cinnamon, I tried the book’s recommendation to pair them with cilantro and plain yogurt (in my case, silken tofu with apple cider vinegar). I loosely based the dressing on a recipe a friend sent me. It’s really versatile and would work well as a salad dressing or even warm over beans or tofu and grains.
To make it a full meal, I added spinach and tempeh, which were also recommended in the book. The result was unexpected, but really good! Plus it is packed with protein, fiber, and pretty much all of your essential nutrients. This meal is a healthy and delicious way to break out of a food rut in the New Year.
Deluxe Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Herb Dressing
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cups spinach, cooked
1 package tempeh, cubed
salt and pepper
1 package firm silken tofu
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground corriander
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400. Wash and poke holes in the potatoes, then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 40-60 minutes, until soft.
2. In the meantime, add the tempeh cubes to a nonstick sprayed baking sheet. Spray the tempeh as well, and top with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little cayenne pepper for spice if desired. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
3. To make the dressing: drain tofu and add large chunks to food processor. Pulse until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients. Pulse until well blended. Add salt if desired.
4. To assemble: cut potatoes lengthwise but not all the way through, then fluff with a fork. Add spinach and tempeh, and then top with a dollop of the dressing. Enjoy!