Easy Weeknight Dinners // Un-Recipe No. 23:
Sweet Potato Skins With Tempeh Bacon, Caramelized Pineapple and Arugula
5 stars stars based on 4 reviews
Zippy Pickapeppa Sauce is a recurring flavor in these sweet potato skins loaded with caramelized pineapple rounds, smoky tempeh bacon and spicy arugula. Pin this post.
Maple Syrup Or Agave Nectar
Salt And Pepper
Pineapple Rings (Canned)
Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Mint For Garnish
Option: If you want more traditional skins, bake the sweet potatoes as described above. Later in the process you will scoop out some of the sweet potato meat. I prefer to put my toppings right on the cut-in-half sweet potato and not remove any of the flesh. If you prefer that route, brush a little oil and Pickapeppa sauce onto each half before baking.
Remove tempeh from the packaging and slice as thinly as you can. The thinner you can slice it, the more crispy and bacon-like it will be.
Next, whisk together a couple tsp. of Pickapeppa sauce, a dash of liquid smoke and about a ¼ cup soy sauce in a small bowl. Sprinkle in some cumin, salt and pepper. Arrange tempeh slices in a casserole dish and pour the marinade over the tempeh to coat. Let sit for at least a half hour.
After the tempeh has marinated, heat a small amount of oil in a large non-stick skillet and fry the tempeh for about 10-15 minutes. Flip occasionally to ensure the tempeh doesn’t burn or stick.
When the tempeh is finished cooking, you can leave it in strips or crumble depending on your preference.
3. Caramelize The Pineapple: I’ve made a few different versions of this un-recipe, sometimes I use a fresh pineapple and sometimes I use pineapple rings in the can. I have to admit canned pineapple is not only easier but works better for caramelizing too. Rings in the can are smaller, easier, softer and cheaper.
Melt a couple Tbs. of Earth Balance in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a couple Tbs. of brown sugar to the melted butter and mix well. Dredge the pineapple rounds through the sweet buttery sauce.
Next, arrange pineapple slices on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Brush any remaining sweet butter over the pineapple (make sure they’re thoroughly coated). Bake the pineapple in the same oven as the sweet potatoes (at 425 degrees) for about 30 minutes. Check regularly and flip to make sure they’re cooking evenly.
4. Assemble And Serve: When the sweet potatoes are finished baking and cool enough to handle, scoop out a little of the sweet potato meat from each half. Brush the sweet potato halves with a little vegetable oil and Pickapeppa sauce. It helps to make a little extra of the marinade for the tempeh bacon (above) and use for brushing. (Use the excess sweet potato meat for baking or as a side mashed sweet potatoes for another meal.)
Lay a slice of caramelized pineapple over each sweet potato skin. Then sprinkle with tempeh bacon and arugula. Garnish with mint if you’re going for show.
Pickapeppa Sauce. Pickapeppa is a Jamaican sauce made from tomatoes, cane vinegar, sugar, raisins, orange peel and other spices. It has a rich, slightly sweet and very distinct flavor. Use it as a marinade for just about anything, or anywhere you would use hot sauce. You can find it in well-stocked grocery stores that have large ethnic sections, or buy online.
For The Win:
Caramelize The Pineapple. If you’re in a pinch, you could just throw fresh pineapple on these sweet potato skins, but the deep, mellow sweetness of the baked pineapple will mix well with the smokiness of the tempeh bacon to create a big WOW factor.
A big mistake of amateur home chefs is to undercook. I know, I know, it feels much riskier to overcook food, so we err on the side of undercooking. Afterall, there’s no way to recover burned food.
But with ingredients with a high sugar content and/or a fibrous texture (hello, pineapple), it’s actually easier to undercook than overcook. Make sure to keep these babies in the oven long enough to for them to get soft and brown. We’re going for the texture and consistency of fruit in a fruit pie. The pineapple rounds might even start to fall apart; while this isn’t the best for presentation they will taste better!
Homemade Tempeh Bacon. Who needs bacon? I sincerely believe it’s no sacrifice to enjoy bacon from plant-based sources. When prepared properly, you can achieve the same salty, smoky, crispy satisfaction.
Tempeh is easy to work with, incredibly healthy (it’s made from fermented soybeans) and high in protein.
The trick to getting tempeh to mimic traditional bacon is to cut it as thinly as possible before frying in the pan. And a little dash of liquid smoke is pure magic.