Vegan Grilled Tempeh, Roasted Golden Beets, And Crispy Kale

March 30, 2010 by Keri

Today was a beautiful day; I’m so happy to see the sunshine again!  After an afternoon outside with my toddler of tossing beanbags and drawing on the sidewalk, we came inside to plan dinner.  As you have probably noticed, I’ve been in a real cookbook mood lately.  I think joining the blogging community made me realize how many great vegan cookbooks there are out there, and while my favorite thing to do is experiment with my own creations, there is a lot to learn from making other people’s recipes.  After all, they’ve chosen to make cooking, baking, recipe making (hey, that rhymes!) their profession.  And what delicious lessons!  Tonight I planned on just winging it for dinner, but when I started to pull out ingredients I started remembering pictures from the books that looked tasty.

I had a piece of tempeh that had been hanging out in the fridge longer than I like, so I started off making the marinade for  Veganomicons Smoky Grilled Tempeh (page 130).  The only thing I was missing to make the recipe exactly as written was a liquid smoke, so I added a little brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce in it’s place.  I cut the tempeh piece into 6 triangles, placed them in the bowl with the sauce, and left it to marinate while I prepared the rest of the meal.

Vegan Cookbook Recipes

I decided to roast golden beets as a side dish, and after peeling and slicing them, put them on a foiled cookie sheet.  I had to admire how pretty golden beets were when cut, like sunny yellow tree trunk slices!  To keep it simple, I brushed both sides of the beet slices with a little olive oil and sprinkled with a touch of sea salt before putting them in the oven to roast at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  Halfway through their roasting time I flipped the beet slices to keep things even.

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Recipes

To finish off the meal, I made Vegan Yum Yum‘s Crispy Sesame Kale (page 141).  The oven-toasted kale was so quick and simple to make that I barely have anything to say about it!  I took the roasted golden beets out of the oven to cool to an edible temperature, turned the oven temperature down a bit, and popped the kale in to toast while I wen to “grilling” my tempeh.

Vegan Cookbook Recipes

After heating my oiled cast iron pan, I grilled the tempeh until golden on both sides.  The recipe called for a cast iron grill pan, but since I don’t have one I just used a cart iron skillet instead, which worked just fine.  Luckily, I had orchestrated the preparation times on everything to finish at the same time (I often forget that ever important detail!), so once the tempeh was done and the kale crisp, it was time to eat!

Everything was delicious!  I really loved the simplicity of the flavors and how they combined.  Even my husband, who isn’t a fan of tempeh, said the Smoky Grilled Tempeh was really tasty.  The roasted beets were probably my favorite part of the meal; they were absolutely delicious and made the house smell like roasting vegetables.  Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever met a roasted veggie I didn’t like!  The Crispy Sesame Kale was definitely a different take on kale.  It had a really nice toasted sesame flavor and the texture of dried leaves in the fall, which doesn’t sound appetizing but somehow worked.  It was a fun little change of pace for our greens and so easy to make that I’m sure I’ll make it again.  I just hope I can explain to my two year old why it’s good to eat the dried crunchy leaves on our plates, but not the ones we find in the yard!  I hope everyone had a great day.  I think I’m going to end mine with a little television and a Caramel Pecan Bar. What a tasty day!

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Danielle (Coffee Run) says:

    I love seeing these cookbook recipes! I’ve made the smoky grilled tempeh before and it was just alright for me. The beets + kale look amazing (and so colorful) 😀

    • Keri says:

      Oh yay! 🙂 Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t review the recipe per se because I added the brown sugar and worcestershire and left out the smoke, but it took a little bitter out of the tempeh. Thank you- I love eating colorful!