When you are tasked with a maple & bacon recipe challenge yet you're predominantly vegan/vegetarian, creativity really comes into play. I was mulling it over for weeks, however became inspired by Nutrition Stripped's Pesto Green Eggs & Avocado Toast. It was her play on "Green Eggs and Ham" that had a modern day spin for non-meat eaters and those of us that are avocado obsessed. I loved that idea and thought that perhaps I could have a little fun in the kitchen by pairing together tempeh bacon with some kind of green...and brussels sprouts it was! Quite a stretch as a spin on classic Green Eggs and Ham, yes, I will agree with you - but that's where my inspiration derived and in typical me fashion, I just ran with it!
I had experimented with tempeh bacon before in this Weekend Breakfast Scramble, but had not yet tried it with maple syrup. The generous folks at Crown Maple who invited me to participate in this fun recipe challenge sent along wonderful samples of their various pure, organic maple syrups that I used to craft my recipes - one of which was this insanely delicious Maple Sea Salt Almond Butter that I am still oozing over. I have a moment every time I take a spoonful straight out of the jar. You guys, try it.
Anyhow, I finally got to experimenting in the kitchen the other weekend and was very pleased with how my recipe pairings turned out. You know how that saying goes..."you're the peanut butter to my jelly?" Well, that's exactly how maple syrup and dijon mustard are. Match. made. in. heaven. I have used it plenty of times before as a marinade on salmon, so why not with some tempeh! And whether you're vegan or not, you have to give this tempeh stuff a fair chance. It is so versatile; I've even used it as curried croutons on a bed of spinach. Fills you right up without making you feel bleh, thanks to a rich source of plant-based protein. And the simple, savory skillet roasted brussels sprouts perfectly balanced our the wonderful sweetness from the tempeh bacon. A little sea salt and EVOO goes such a long way when cooking any type of veggies and seemed to just melt in my mouth with every bite.
So without further ado (because now I'm drooling all over again), give this dish a try. I think you'll be very pleased and surprised at how simple and flavorful it is when it all comes together. And it's perfect for any meal, any time of day. Promise.
Maple Dijon Tempeh Bacon
2 tbsp Crown Maple Dark Maple Syrup
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard (I use Sir Kensington's)
1 8oz package tempeh (I use Lightlife)
1. Combine all ingredients (except for the tempeh) into a large bowl to serve as the marinade for the tempeh.
2. Slice the tempeh into thin strips and then add into the bowl with the marinade. Allow the tempeh to marinate for several hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 375F and arrange the strips of tempeh on a large baking sheet.
4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, flipping halfway through for even baking time on both sides.
5. Once the tempeh is brown and crispy, remove from the oven and allow it to slightly cool before enjoying!
Skillet Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil (plus more if needed during cooking process)
2 pinches of sea salt
1 lb bag of brussels sprouts
1. Place stovetop on medium heat and drizzle olive oil into a medium sized skillet.
2. Run the brussels sprouts under water and place on paper towels to dry.
3. Cut the brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise. (If desired, cut the bottom nubs off as well).
4. Add brussels sprouts to skillet an sprinkle with sea salt.
5. If needed, continue to add a bit of olive oil to the pan and let the brussels sprouts cook until they begin to slightly brown.
6. Remove the brussels sprouts from heat and serve immediately with Maple Dijon Tempeh Bacon!