Can’t believe I’m saying this, but Power Plates makes its way into the world today! It’s been a long time coming, but over two years, 100 recipes and photos, and many sinks full of dirty dishes later, it’s here.
You can read more about the book here or in this weekend reading post from the fall. It’s a collection of 100 vegan meals that provide plant-based protein, healthful fat, and energizing complex carbohydrates. Nothing overly prescriptive, and it’s certainly not a diet, nutrition, or fitness book. The idea was simply to offer up vegan recipes that contain a solid balance of macronutrients (more of my thoughts on that topic in this post), along with flavor and staying power.
The book doesn’t have any appetizers, small plates, snacks, or desserts (though I wish I’d had some desserts to test!). All of the recipes are meant to be enjoyed as meals. I give readers the invitation to enhance them or pair them with other things according to appetite, which means that they could be stand-alone dishes, but there’s lots of room to customize them and make them work for your body and life.
Today, in order to celebrate the book, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from its “bowls” section (it’s got six recipe chapters: breakfasts, salads, soups, bowls, stovetop meals, and bakes). These harvest bowls are full of sweet and savory flavors, packed with tender roasted root veggies, chewy spelt berries, and a cider-baked tempeh that I think is pretty irresistable. The maple mustard dressing was a favorite with my recipe testers, and it can be made as a vinaigrette or with tahini for an oil-free option. I cooked it last fall, when the weather was just getting cool and root vegetables were piling into the farmers’ market, and it’s one of the recipes I’ve revisited most often since.
For the bowls:
- 1 cup about 200 g spelt or wheat berries, barley, or farro*
- 4 cups 120 g firmly packed baby kale, spinach, or arugula
- 1 ⁄2 cup 120 ml Maple Mustard Dressing (see recipe below)
For the tempeh:
- 8 ounces 225 g tempeh, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1.3-cm) strips
- 1 cup 240 ml apple cider
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 cloves garlic minced or finely grated
For the Roasted Root Vegetables:
- 2 pounds 900 g root vegetables, peeled if need be and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 8 sprigs rosemary
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Maple Mustard Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or tahini
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 11 ⁄2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water if needed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), oil a 9-inch (23-cm) square baking pan, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook the spelt berries or other grain according to package instructions (the grain can be cooked a few days in advance).
- Meanwhile, prepare the tempeh. Put the strips in the oiled pan. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the cider, mustard, tamari, and garlic. Pour the mixture over the tempeh and cover the pan with foil.
- To cook the root vegetables, put them in a large bowl, drizzle with the oil, and toss until evenly coated. Spread them evenly on the lined baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets) and nestle the herb sprigs among them. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Bake both the tempeh and the root vegetables for 25 minutes. Remove the foil from the tempeh and stir the vegetables well, then bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the tempeh is browning and the vegetables are tender; there will be some marinade left in the tempeh pan, but it should have thickened up considerably. If it hasn’t, bake the tempeh for 5 to 10 more minutes.
- To make the dressing, combine the oil, maple syrup, mustard, tamari, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and nutritional yeast in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk to combine. If the dressing is thicker than you’d like, whisk in the warm water as needed. (Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the dressing will keep for 1 week; it makes 1/2 cup.)
- To serve, divide the greens among four bowls and top each with one-quarter of the grain, tempeh, and root vegetables. Drizzle with the dressing and serve right away.
All of the bowl meals in the book benefit from a little advance prep, and this one is a good example. You can cook your grain in advance, make the dressing ahead of time, and/or roast the root vegetables or tempeh a few days before serving. The components shine when they’re together, but they’re useful sides on their own, too (I’ve made the tempeh a bunch of times without serving it in the bowls).
If you’re curious about the book, I’m offering US and Canadian readers a chance to win it today! I’ll be picking three winners from the Rafflecopter drawing below, and I’ll announce them next Wednesday (1/31).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to those who enter, and a big and heartfelt thank you to everyone who takes the time to check in and read this blog from week to week. Power Plates grew out of the love I have for creating and sharing food within this space, and the book is dedicated—from the bottom of my heart—to you.