Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli and Teriyaki Tempeh

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

I asked my sister the other day what she would like to see more of on the blog, and she said: simple supper options. So, in that spirit, here we go!

The original recipe inspiration for this came from Vegetarian Times magazine. I’m a huge library user and I love going in and finding that the new issue of VT is available. They have a lot of neat vegan and plant-based recipes, and such beautiful photographs!

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

I feel like I’m going through a bit of recipe fatigue at the moment. Maybe it’s because I have a cold (I’m not sure what I feel like eating) or because I made soup and it was too hot and I burned off all my taste buds (making me sometimes not sure what I actually AM eating). So between the two, I mostly feel like eating the soup I made for lunch, and then again for supper, because, well, there’s a lot of it. And then I don’t have to think too much.

Speaking of, this cold is relatively minor, but still a blow to my ego. I like to think I am cultivating the ferrari of immune systems, and when I get a cold IN SEPTEMBER I suddenly think, geez louise. Ferrari? Not in your dreams, lady.

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

Then again, colds are a reminder of exactly that – our immune systems are a bit compromised. Maybe it means you’re working too hard; not resting enough; not eating the best foods for your body; not getting enough gentle, restorative exercise (like walking in this beautiful fresh air!).

Which brings us back to this supper. It’s simple, nourishing, a great balance of sweet and salty and umami, a beautiful visual feast of green and orange, and pretty easy for your body to handle, from a digestion standpoint.

So maybe I should say, thank you cold! For pointing me in the direction of some healing foods, for making me take a moment to look at where I’m not giving my body what it needs, and for reminding me, yet again, that being healthy really is the best feeling and the best gift.

sweet-potatoes and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Steamed Broccoli and Teriyaki Tempeh

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: plant-based, nut-free, gluten-free (if you use a gluten-free soy sauce), grain-free


  • one head of broccoli
  • one pkg tempeh
  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • one large onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt/himalayan pink salt/sacred salts
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon your favourite dijon mustard


  1. To marinate tempeh: in a medium glass bowl, whisk together tamari, maple syrup, and mustard. Slice tempeh into cubes and shake around in your marinade. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes into long wedges and place on baking tray.
  4. Slice onion into rounds and scatter artistically over sweet potatoes.
  5. Drizzle oil over sweet potatoes/onions and sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and onions smell amazing.
  7. While the potatoes are cooking, gently steam/boil (steaming is preferred, but you might be like me and not currently be in possession of a steamer) broccoli in or over boiling water until close to tender and a brighter green colour. Drain and keep warm.
  8. In the last few minutes of your potatoes baking, place tempeh on a baking sheet and throw in the oven, baking until lightly browned.
  9. Arrange sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tempeh your plate, and drizzle with a little leftover marinade, if desired.
  10. Enjoy!

l© Backyard Owl

Homemade Sweet & Tangy Maple Mustard

mustard.1I’ve been wanting to make homemade mustard for some time, ever since I learned that you can make it with about five ingredients and a whisk. Prior to that time, when I lived in the mustard dark-ages, I thought mustard was a complex web of ingredients, built following a secret recipe, and that it was folly to even to contemplate that a mere mortal such as myself could create that beautiful yellow condiment available in grocery stores the world over.

And yet.

The theme for June is reducing packaging, and making your own mustard is a really easy way to do so, and also to feel pretty damn good about yourself and your kitchen skills with really very little labour or cost. And what would summer be without a good mustard-based salad dressing, or a generous dollop of mustard on a vegan sausage or sandwich, or that secret ingredient in your tangy potato salad? Plus, the beauty of homemade mustard is that you can customize it and make really gourmet flavours – herbed thyme mustard, maple mustard, garlic mustard, and so on.

mustard.2There are a couple of ways to make mustard: one involves soaking and then crushing up mustard seeds with some other ingredients, resulting in a beautifully rustic ‘stone-ground’ kind of mustard. The other way involves stirring together dry mustard powder (essentially ground up mustard seeds) with apple cider vinegar, a few other spices, your sweetener of choice, and boom. Mustard.

Before I leave you with the recipe, take care to note the golden rule of mustard: mustard mellows with time. Easy enough, right? Slap freshly made mustard on your sandwich after day one and you can expect to have your sinuses clean as a whistle. It’s got that horseradishy “whoosh” of heat. For those of you for whom the answer to “what kind of salsa do you want?” is always “mild, please,” give this mustard a few days or two weeks to mellow.  You can also “can” mustard via a boiling water bath if you want it to last ages, but otherwise, just store in a beautiful airtight jar and it should last a goodly while – at least one month, or up to six months if you’ve sterilized your glass jars first (i.e boiled in water for 10 minutes). I’ve seen several recipes that suggest mustard can be stored at room temperature, but I say, for safety sake, go with the fridge.

So, there you have it! A generous half cup of organic mustard powder cost me about $2 – plus the vinegar and maple syrup, this batch might have cost me $3.50 or $4. So about on par with what you’d pay at the grocery store, perhaps, but you have complete control over the quality and organic-ness of the ingredients and you also get the bragging power of having made it yourself. And bonus: no mustard jar to throw out or recycle at the end.

Homemade Sweet & Tangy Maple Mustard

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, naturally-sweetened
  • Yield: 1/2 to 2/3 cups mustard
dry mustard

dry mustard / ground mustard


  • 1/2 cup dry mustard (also called ground mustard)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (for colour)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • generous pinch each: ground black pepper and garlic powder
  • if you’re feeling adventurous: a pinch of smoked paprika


  1. Whisk together all ingredients (in a glass or non-reactive bowl).
  2. Store in a (glass) jar.
  3. Feel like a pioneer.
  4. Plan out several recipes that use mustard.

NOTE: I mentioned this above, but it is worth repeating: numerous recipes I consulted said that if you want to keep your mustard for longer than one month in the fridge, it is worthwhile to sterilize your glass jars first. Also, if you want shelf-stable mustard, and want to process the jars in a water bath, consult a website with mustard canning expertise, like Food in Jars.

© 2014 Backyard Owl