roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!
The game plan: roast up the easiest, healthiest Winter supper ever and then give yourself a pat on the back. Some version of this is my lunch and dinner move more often than not because I only have to do one stretch of chopping, stirring etc, and from there the work is mostly done. Drizzle on some sauce, maybe top the whole thing with chopped nuts or seeds and you’ve reached peak-Instagram-healthy-bowl-shot achievement status ;)

I’m working dinner service for Valentine’s Day this year and like some people you may know, I find some of the amorous messages a little random/over the top/effed up/outright silly. Also, last year one of my tables got into a full-on argument toward the end of the night and it bummed me out. The pressure is too real. I liked the V-days of grade school with the construction paper pouches filled with cute little cards and an afternoon to eat sweets and do kid stuff because it was just about embracing love and kindness as a general way of being.

So no pink things or chocolate to help you prepare for that monster of a day–oh well! Make this instead and give your insides/outsides a hug? Once everything’s roasted and golden brown (and in the case of the tempeh–sticky and glazed oooooooh yep), you just drown it in hemp seed ranch sauce. I’ve never even liked conventional ranch-style dressings all that much, but I’m sooo into this. I have a leftover distaste for ranch-y sauces from my full time server days because seriously: “You DON’T have any ranch?!” + “I need ranch.” + “My kid doesn’t eat anything without ranch.” Maybe I just got unlucky with the volume of salad dressing questions? I was initially weirded out that I even had a craving/desire to make a healthy version.

But obviously I’m glad that I decided to make it. Super tasty, creamy, tangy, a little hint of nuttiness, and it couldn’t be easier to make. Hemp seeds don’t even need to soak, so you have ample time to fix it up while everything else is roasting. Give yourself some love this week, pals–in the form of food/treats, positive self-talk, moving your body or whatever else makes you feel like the most realized version of you :) xo

roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!roasted winter bowl w/ BBQ tempeh + vegan hemp seed ranch dressing - The First Messpin it!

Print the recipe here!
Serves: 1, with extra dressing
Notes: For barbecue sauces, there’s no shame in a good store bought one OR you can make one from my recipe. This one and this one also look great. I used a high speed blender for the ranch dressing, but I imagine a normal blender could get the job done because hemp seeds are quite soft.

1/2 cup raw + hulled hemp seeds
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 1 lemon)
1/4 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 green onion, finely minced (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 sprig of dill, chopped (approximately 1 tablespoon)
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 small-medium sweet potato (about 3/4 lb or 330 grams) peeled + diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/3 of a block of tempeh (from a standard 1/2 lb or 250 gram block), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce of choice (see headnotes for links to recipes)
7-8 brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out a large baking sheet, lining it with parchment paper if you like.

Make the hemp seed ranch dressing. In a blender, combine the hemp seeds, lemon juice, water, olive oil, dijon, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Whizz the mixture on high until you have a smooth and creamy texture. Scrape the dressing into a small bowl and stir in the green onions and dill. Cover the dressing and store in the refrigerator.

Place the diced sweet potatoes onto one end of the baking sheet. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, some salt and pepper. Slide the sheet into the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.

At the 15 minute mark, remove the baking sheet. In a small bowl, toss the tempeh pieces with another teaspoon of olive oil, some salt and pepper. Arrange the tempeh pieces in the middle segment of the baking sheet. Lightly toss the sweet potatoes. Slide the sheet back into the oven and set your timer for another 15 minutes.

At the 15 minute mark, remove the baking sheet. Throw the brussels sprouts into the same small bowl that you used for the tempeh. Toss the brussels sprouts with the remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. Scatter them in a single layer on the remaining segment of the baking sheet.

Flip the tempeh pieces over and brush them with the barbecue sauce. Slide the sheet back into the oven for 15 more minutes. Once brussels sprouts are lightly browned, remove baking sheet from the oven.

Transfer sweet potatoes, tempeh, and brussels sprouts to a serving bowl. Drizzle some of the hemp seed ranch dressing over top and enjoy.

  • Katrina10/02/2016 - 8:43 am

    I am all over that ranch! This bowl sounds amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout10/02/2016 - 9:10 am

    yum! this is looks great :) I have never been a ranch/ creamy sauce person but I can definitely get behind this one + maybe sub it in for my usual tahini sauce!ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/02/2016 - 1:21 pm

      This reminds me of tahini sauce in a lot of ways because of the seedy base. Thanks so much, Maya!

  • Sarah | Well and Full10/02/2016 - 10:42 am

    You are so right, there is so much pressure on Valentine’s Day! I miss the days of construction paper cards and Kit Kat valentines too ;)ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/02/2016 - 1:23 pm

      I miss those days for sooo many reasons lol ;)

  • Mariela10/02/2016 - 11:02 am


    Gonna try that ranch sauce soon!


    • Laura10/02/2016 - 1:20 pm

      Screw the pink hearts and stuff, right? ;)

  • Jessica10/02/2016 - 12:56 pm

    Can’t wait to try this. You create the best sauces/dressingsReplyCancel

    • Laura10/02/2016 - 1:19 pm

      Thanks so much, Jessica! Sauce is pretty much my favourite part of any meal :)

  • Alissa10/02/2016 - 1:55 pm

    Hey Laura great recipe! I have a question though. When you make a google doc for a printable form of your recipe do you just make that doc available publicly through your own gmail account and then direct link it? I love this simple way of adding a printable recipe!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/02/2016 - 1:58 pm

      That’s exactly what I do! My blog email is facilitated through Gmail, so I just do it through that account. Easiest ever! :)

  • Jillian10/02/2016 - 2:37 pm

    Hi Laura! I’ve been falling in love with every recipe you’ve posted lately- you’re on a roll, girl! I just had a question about this recipe- did you really mean “1/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast” or is that a typo? Maybe I’m just too nooch-crazy but it seems like such a small amount!
    Thank you! xoReplyCancel

    • Laura10/02/2016 - 3:06 pm

      Thanks so much, Jillian! The nooch is not a typo. I only added a pinch to give it more of a savoury flavour (vs. super nutty because of the hemp). I didn’t want it to taste too cheesy because of all the herbs I was using. I hope this makes sense! Of course, you can just add more if you like. I’m kind of wild for nooch, too :)

  • Aubrey10/02/2016 - 4:44 pm

    This looks so good and beautiful!:)ReplyCancel

  • Mark Joshua10/02/2016 - 11:04 pm

    Wow! This looks awesome. I like to try your sauce. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.ReplyCancel

  • sherri11/02/2016 - 3:02 pm

    I need this bowl today…won’t be doing the BBQ sauce though…just not my thing. Thanks for the inspiration to eat well today=)ReplyCancel

  • Molly11/02/2016 - 8:28 pm

    Seriously, how do you take such gorgeous photos!? This looks insannnee and amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Renee Sexton11/02/2016 - 11:48 pm

    This is definitely my type of easy lunch/ dinner. I sometimes forget how quick and easy it can be to whip this up and love how much you can get done while it’s all cooking away in the kitchen. Can’t wait to give it a go.

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well12/02/2016 - 11:20 am

    Went to the store to get the ingredients for this bad boy yesterday ;) Scott is going to be so amped for dinner tonight, thank you friend! Have a gorgeous weekend, I hope people behave sunday night ;) xoReplyCancel

  • Allyson12/02/2016 - 3:13 pm

    This is what I want to eat for V day. Bright and happy, satisfying and low-pressure. Sounds kinda like a good relationship.ReplyCancel

  • This bowl hit all the right spots this week…I’ve been making a bunch of different variations :) I went a little overboard with the nutritional yeast in the ranch dressing and whaddaya know…it ended up tasting like ceasar! That was the best surprise, since I can’t tolerate regular caesar salad dressing and it’s my fav! Huge <3 to you this weekend for the endless inspiration that I get from your recipes. Can't wait for your book to come outReplyCancel

  • Shannon Murphy13/02/2016 - 5:50 pm

    I made this twice already. Purely amazing. I think you helped me break through my tempeh barrier – I need to be using a thicker sweeter sauce e.g. BBQ sauce vs just some blah marinade like I’ve been doing.

    Had to do an extended riff on the sauce using dried dill (couldn’t find fresh), fresh parsley (trying to replace the dill) and jacking up the garlic 1000% ( to cover up to taste of too much parsley). It ended up great but was one of those 45-minute, adjust-and-taste-it-thirty-times, sauce-doubles-in-volume type of situations. I could *not* taste the dill so kept adding it and adding it but now that it’s been hanging out in the fridge a couple days the dill is super prominent – I guess I’m just saying, with a ranch-type of flavor profile I think it’s a good idea to make extra sauce and let those flavors meldReplyCancel

  • cheri14/02/2016 - 5:52 pm

    Hi Laura, beautiful salad, love the dressing. Will try tempeh this way have not had much luck with it:)ReplyCancel

  • Our Favorite Meals |16/02/2016 - 11:37 am

    […] Roasted Winter Bowl with BBQ Tempeh and Help Seed Ranch Dressing from the First Mess: The dressing for this is fantastic, and makes enough that you can use it for several meals. For the two of us, I used two sweet potatoes, a block of tempeh, and a head of romanesco cauliflower. We had enough leftovers to build a hearty salad the next night for dinner (I used shredded kale because the density of the sweet potatoes and tempeh needs something hearty). […]ReplyCancel

  • […] with buffalo tofu, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and ranch. This barbeque tempeh recipe was my inspiration, but as I was about to make this I realized I didn’t have any […]ReplyCancel

  • Ashley23/03/2016 - 10:08 pm

    Where do you buy your tempeh? I live in Mississauga and can’t seem to find it anywhere!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/03/2016 - 8:45 am

      Hi Ashley,
      I get tempeh at Whole Foods Market, Health Food Stores, and a couple independent grocers carry it in my neighbourhood as well. I hope you can find some soon!

  • Sarah02/07/2016 - 10:42 am

    Did you really mean 3/4 cup of lemon juice from 1 lemon? I’ve never been able to get more than 4 tablespoons out of 1 lemon.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah02/07/2016 - 11:15 am

    Ugh. I just realized I had this doubled in my recipe app. But it didn’t double the amount of lemons. Duh!

    But still, I’m very impressed with your lemon juicing skills! I never get that much out of mine!ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/07/2016 - 3:18 pm

      They get super juicy if you leave them out at room temperature for a few hours!!

  • Makenzie03/11/2016 - 10:40 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Seriously loved this bowl. One thing, however, I put it into myfitnesspal to calculated the calories and it was about 1,200 calories! The bulk of the calories came from the sweet potato and the hemp seeds. 1/2 cup of hemp seeds has about 450 calories. Luckily I’m not too concerned with calories, but for those who are it might be wise to use a smaller potato (330 g has almost 300 calories) as well as less hemp seeds in the dressing.ReplyCancel

  • […] Roasted Winter Bowl w/BBQ Tempeh + Hemp Seed Ranch Dressing – The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Sherry M04/01/2018 - 4:04 pm

    I love the hemp seed ranch dressing, my husband and I just started eating a plant based diet and this is a most make dressing! So delicious! We put this on everything from rice/bean bowls, salads to our pizzas. We don’t even miss the cheese with the hemp seed dressing drizzled on top. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, we haven’t had a bad dish yet:) Your blog is so beautiful, too!ReplyCancel

  • […] to finish this pizza with ranch and that’s just the way it is! You can find my hemp seed ranch HERE, tahini ranch HERE, or pickled jalapeno ranch HERE (double spicy yessss).ROASTED ONION CREAM1 small […]ReplyCancel

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