Thursday, November 6, 2014

Amazing Fall Vegan Dishes! Maple Tempeh Bacon Chili Bean Stuffed Potatoes

Sweet Maple Tempeh Bacon Chili Beans
makes 3-4 stuffed sweet potatoes (or just serve bean mixture on its own too!)

maple chili beans:
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (1, 15oz can, rinsed and drained)
2 Tbsp pure grade B Maple Syrup (+ 1/2 tsp for the onion saute)
2 medium tomatoes, diced (I used roma tomatoes)
1/2 tsp fine black pepper
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp chili powder (add a pinch of cayenne for extra heat)
1/4 cup peanuts, whole (raw jungle peanuts used, but roasted will work too)

tempeh bacon:
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup tempeh cubes, small strips
1 Tbsp pure grade B Maple Syrup
pinch of fine black pepper
pinch of salt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
optional: 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

3-4 medium sweet potatoes + 1 Tbsp pure grade B Maple Syrup side as a "drizzle over top" extra

optional: handful of chopped parsley or micro sprouts to garnish

* maple syrup info: I used pure, organic, grade B Canadian Maple Syrup, Shady Maple Farms brand - but just make sure your maple syrup is pure! The fake stuff will not work. And grade B has a dark amber color, more antioxidants than lighter varieties and a bolder maple flavor I prefer.


If serving your bean mixture inside sweet potatoes, you will want to wash your potatoes and bake until tender and sticky-sweet. Oven method is recommended over the microwave. Oven: bake medium potatoes at 400 degrees for 35-50 minutes.

1. Add 1 tsp oil to a medium sized soup pan. Add in the tempeh slices, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, salt and pepper, optional liquid smoke and 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. Saute about 1 minute on each side, or until edges brown. When done, remove tempeh bacon bits and set aside in a bowl.

2. In the same pan (no need to clean it) Add another tsp oil. When oil is hot, add the onions and a 1/2 tsp maple syrup and saute until edges become translucent.

3. Add these chili bean ingredients to the pan: kidney beans, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, tomatoes, vinegar, pepper, garlic, chili powder. Salt to taste. If you beans are pre-salted you will not need to add any salt. If they are not salted, a few pinches should do it. Toss well and saute on med-high until the liquid absorbs mostly. When bean mixture is warmed through and in a saucy mixture state, fold in the cooked tempeh bacon and peanuts. Turn off heat

4. You can serve your mixture as is or serve inside baked sweet potatoes. Bonus idea: try adding some soft cashew cheese (like this recipe) to the sweet potatoes before adding the bean filling! 

Leftover Ideas: You can use the chili bean filling to stuff sweet potatoes as shown in post, or use to fill a burrito, wrap or sandwich pita - or scramble with some tofu for a vegan breakfast scramble! You could even saute the beans and potato for a hash-style dish.

Can I make these ahead of time? Yes, you can totally make these in advance if needed. I would keep the chili bean mixture stored in an oven safe container and simply place that in the oven to re-warm - them fill baked sweet potatoes right on the spot. You could pre-cook your potatoes too if needed. (Although serving this dish freshly made is my preference so the tempeh bacon stays a bit crisp. And the potato sticky-sweet and edges caramelized.

Nutrition estimate - This dish is rich in iron, protein, fiber, vitamins A, C and B6, potassium and more. 

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