Being entirely plant-based, I institute periodic self checkins where I ask myself (in very serious and stern self-monologue)…
“Are you getting enough protein?”
If my only recent food recollections are flashes of veggies dipped in hummus (oops), the response to myself might a bashful no.
Maple Balsamic Tempeh & Rainbow Veggie Buddha Bowls to the rescue.
I’m excited to share these Maple Balsamic Tempeh & Rainbow Veggie Buddha Bowls with you because it’s one of my absolute favorites.
Have you tried tempeh yet?
If you want to try tempeh, but aren’t sure what the heck to do with it, this recipe is for you.
If you’ve tried tempeh and decided you’re definitely not a fan, give this recipe a try and reassess.
This magical maple and balsamic marinade has a way of swaying even the most hard and fast of tempeh opinions.
Tempeh is fermented and compressed soybeans product similar to tofu with a firm texture and an earthy taste. I prefer tempeh to tofu and other plant based “prepackaged” products because it’s less processed and uses the entire soybean. This nearly doubles the protein content and makes it rich in vitamins and minerals.
Oh, and just because I wish someone had told me this, I’m going to tell you. Don’t be alarmed if your tempeh block has a little (or a lot) of blue, purple, or blackish spots. Another plus is that Tempeh is a fermented food, so those discolored “spots” on your tempeh are actually totally natural and perfectly edible, mold. Embrace the probiotics, friends.
I hear a lot of first timer tempeh aversion stories, but it wasn’t like that for me.
My first experience with tempeh I “fried” the big slab straight from the package in a pan with veggies with minimal seasonings.
The verdict: I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it. It was just meh. It has a natural bitter flavor that can be off-putting if you aren’t used to it.
So how do we take meh and make it AMAZING?
When preparing my tempeh I’m all about marinades. You can whip them up in the morning or the night before and marinade the tempeh until you’re ready to use. This marinade is my favorite way to cook tempeh, inspired by Oh She Glows “Marinated Balsamic, Maple, and Garlic Tempeh”. My version uses less unrefined sugar and is also oil free.
I love baking the Maple Balsamic Tempeh in this recipe. The key is to pour all of your remaining marinade over the tempeh cubes so they absorb it during the baking sesh, making them crispy and beautifully browned on the outside and tender on the inside. If you’re looking for a shortcut to save time with the same great flavors, try “frying” your marinades tempeh in a pan for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
I chose sweet potato, rainbow carrots, and brussel sprouts for my veggies, but you can mix it up and use whatever is in your fridge. I highly recommend throwing a sweet potato or yam in, though, because it enhances the subtle sweetness of the maple flavors in the dish.
You’ll find me roasting my veggies into spring and summer, but if you’re so over roasting this year, you can stir fry some on the stove top to add to this bowl as well, using the same seasonings.
Enjoy this bowl for easy lunches and dinners throughout the week. I like to make a big serving to throw in lunches and dinners all week long. This might be contradictory to my opening statements about hummus, but this bowl is amazing with a dollop of hummus on the side.
Because with buddha bowls the bigger the better, right?
If you make a Maple Balsamic Tempeh & Rainbow Veggie Buddha Bowl of your own, show me! I’d love to see how your turned out!
Give me a shout on instagram @flora_and_vino and use hashtag #floraandvino to show me your creations!
For more power bowl recipes, check out my Greek Power Bowl with Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce or Forbidden Rice Power Bowls with Orange Maple Miso Dressing.
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- 1 cup tricolor quinoa, uncooked
- 1 8 oz package of tempeh, rinsed (I like this kind)
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ¼ c. veggie broth +more to cover marinade
- 1 TBS tamari lite
- 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cubed
- 3 cups brussels sprouts, halved
- 3-6 tricolor carrots, cut into large chunks
- 1-2 tsp avocado oil (optional for veggies)
- HimalayanSea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon
- Rinse the tempeh and pat dry. Slice the tempeh into 8 thin (1/4”) pieces, then halve them on the diagonal to make a total of 16 triangles.
- In a large dish, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, tamari, maple syrup, veggie broth, and thyme.
- Add the tempeh to the dish and gently toss to coat with the marinade. Cover the dish and marinate the tempeh in the refrigerator for a least 2 hours, or overnight, flipping the tempeh once halfway through.
- While the tempeh is marinading, prepare your quinoa and veggies. Cook 1 c. uncooked quinoa according to instructions.
- Wah and chop vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Spread the marinated tempeh triangles onto a parchment covered cookie sheet and pour the remaining marinade over it. Bake the tempeh in the marinade for 25-30 minutes until the tempeh is golden brown and has absorbed most of the marinade. Flip once halfway for even baking.
- Increase temp to 400 and add the chopped vegetables to a parchment covered baking sheet. Season with Himalayan sea salt and black pepper, and avocado oil (if oil free, omit and use a bit of lemon juice). Drizzle with a tiny bit of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and bake for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender and lightly browned.
- To assemble bowls, divide quinoa, maple balsamic tempeh, and roasted rainbow vegetables among 3-4 bowls.Top with fresh parsley, fresh squeezed lemon, and a if desired, a bit of balsamic vinegar and/or maple syrup.