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Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tempeh with Ginger-Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Orange Relish

Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tempeh with Ginger-Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Orange Relish


For cranberry-orange relish:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 red apple, cored and chopped
  • 3 oranges, peeled and segmented, juices reserved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For roasted ginger-maple sweet potatoes:

  • 6 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For tempeh:

  • 4 8 ounce pacakges tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Ener-G egg replacer
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. To prepare relish, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add cranberries and fennel and cook until cranberries begin to pop and fennel is softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Transfer to a bowl and add the apple, oranges and juice, parsley, chives, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste and mix together. (Relish can be made up to 3 days ahead and will keep, covered, in the refrigerator.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put sweet potatoes in a large bowl; add oil, buttery spread, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, sage, rosemary, and salt and toss together to coat. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 1 hour, until potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare tempeh: Cut each block in half horizontally, then into 3 equal pieces vertically. You will have 6 pieces per block of tempeh. In a large pot over medium heat, combine tempeh, 4 cups of water, tamari, ginger, oil, bay leaves, and cilantro and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Combine pumpkin seeds, flour, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until coarsely ground, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Mix together the egg replacer and 2/3 cup of water in a shallow bowl. Dredge tempeh in egg replacer mixture, covering both sides. Dip tempeh into pumpkin seed crust and pat firmly to cover all sides completely. Let tempeh sit for 5 minutes to ensure that crust has adhered to it properly.
  5. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and cook until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer tempeh to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. To serve, arrange sweet potatoes and tempeh on plates and garnish with a dollop of cranberry relish.


  • Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe by Joy Pierson, Angle Ramons, and Jorge Pineda, Ten Speed Press, 2014


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