When I was in university, I would show up to my seminars—in January—in flip flops or some other sandal (this was during some dry winters when we weren’t getting any snow to speak of) (also I was mostly walking across a parking lot). This would invite some predictable comments, but the honest truth was that I hated the feeling of full boots/shoes, and would rather risk freezing my toes off than wear them. Pair this with a lack of proper winter coat/total disregard for dressing for the weather, and it’s kind of amazing that I wasn’t chronically ill.
But now? Sweaters, boots, flannel, hats, and the like are life to me. And I still hardly ever get sick—good genes maybe? I know it might be too early to mention “sweater weather,” but the sensation of being properly bundled is something I look forward to after a humid/sweltering summer. Weird, but true. Other things that early Fall gets me excited about: enjoying hot drinks again without the accompanying sweaty face/hot ears feeling, food that can be prepared in an oven without turning your house into a dry sauna, hair that can be tamed without every single measure of frizz avoidance, NOT watering my garden every six hours, life without the haze of allergy-induced sneezing fits, working out with a little extra pep… It’s like a return to full human potential/functionality for me.
I’m not usually one to define my enjoyment of something by way of negatives, but the end of summer, especially if it’s a scorcher like we’ve had, starts wearing on me when I have September in my sights.
This cozy skillet meal that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is my tiny salute to the cooler times ahead. Everything is made in one skillet and topped with a blender-made sauce. Easy! Tender sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are served with a protein-rich mix of tempeh, black beans, and spices. It’s all topped off with avocado, tomatoes and a zippy, super fresh sauce with nutpods dairy-free creamer as the base. Using the nutpods is such a great move if you want a creamy sauce, but have zero time to wait for nuts/seeds to soak. It’s deep green from a hearty handful of cilantro and a roasted jalapeño—perfect for soaking up with tortillas and pouring liberally over this skillet of goodness.
I find that vegan savoury breakfasts are generally scrambled non-egg things, like tofu or tempeh, served with typical accompaniments like toast and home fries. This recipe is my little attempt at breaking the faux egg mold (even though I’m so down with tofu scram). I hope you all give it a try—or that you at least make the sauce ;)
SPICY VEGAN BREAKFAST SKILLET W/ CILANTRO JALAPEÑO SAUCE
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: Finely chopped tofu would be great in place of the tempeh if you can’t find it where you live. I recommend serving this with warm tortillas, but you could also serve this over some chopped greens if you like. Also, I find that the local jalapeños are crazy-hot this time of year, so one was more than enough for me. You can adjust this according to your taste though!
CILANTRO JALAPEÑO SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 jalapeño pepper
1 clove of garlic, peeled
½ cup Original nutpods, or other rich and unsweetened non-dairy cream/creamer
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
handful cilantro leaves
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, divided
4 oz tempeh, finely chopped (about ½ a package—this one is my favourite)
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a chipotle chili powder)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-ounce can, drained
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 medium new potatoes, chopped
handful of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 ripe avocado
2 green onions, sliced
First, make the sauce: set a medium-large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place the jalapeño and the garlic clove in the skillet. Cook the pepper and garlic clove in the dry skillet until each is browned/charred on all sides. Transfer the garlic clove to the blender. At this point, you can seed the jalapeño and then place it in the blender, or place it in whole if you want extra heat.
To the blender, add the nutpods creamer, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. Cover the sauce and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring the heat of the skillet up to medium high and drop 1 tablespoon of the oil in. Add the tempeh to the skillet and stir. Keep stirring and cooking until the tempeh is well browned, about 4 minutes.
Add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the black beans, and season everything with salt and pepper. Shut off the heat. Scrape the black bean and tempeh mixture into a separate bowl and keep warm. Wipe the skillet out with paper towel.
Carefully transfer the chopped sweet potatoes and potatoes to the skillet. Pour the remaining grapeseed oil into the skillet, and season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast the potatoes for 35-40 minutes, or until tender and browned, stirring them up and flipping them a few times.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven. Stir the tempeh and black bean mixture into the skillet.
Garnish the top of the breakfast skillet with the chopped tomatoes. Peel, pit, and chop the avocado, and scatter it over the top as well. Drizzle the cilantro jalapeño sauce over top and finish with the sliced green onions. Serve the skillet with the warm tortillas and extra sauce on the side.
*This post was created in partnership with nutpods dairy-free creamer. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!