tempeh sweet potato skillet with miso clove sauce.

I think I may have found my new favorite sauce for stir-frying. But first...

I am going to admit something right now: I like wine. It's yummy. I don't drink it all the time, but when I do, I enjoy it -  especially in winter! There's something nice about hanging out with a group of people and that nice warm feeling of a good class of vino. 

Lately, I have been craving salt like crazy (and I think I know why). December is an inevitable onslaught of social gatherings (excellent), great food (yay), and wine. Always wine. 

sweet potato tempeh skillet

Here's the thing: all food has an energetic quality. From a Macrobiotic perspective, it can be expansive (yin) or contractive (yang). Wine - and all sugars and alcohol - are incredibly expansive. When we ingest a high proportion of expansive foods over a given period, the body seeks balance by asking for more contractive foods. Salt - and animal products - are contractive. 

Thus, my hypothesis: my increased intake of wine of late has caused a bit of an imbalance and my system is asking for salt to even things out. 

[Interestingly, miso is one of the best remedies for sugar cravings!]

Have you ever noticed this happening to you? Cravings are a symptom of something out of balance. Check out this article here on how to uncover what your cravings mean...

Conveniently, there are some delicious (and rather nutritious) ways to work a healthy amount of salt into the diet without piling on the bleached white stuff in shakers at restaurants.

Sea vegetables - hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, kelp, kombu, and nori - are great natural sources of salt. I love making miso soup with kombu for a deliciously rich, salty dish when the craving strikes. It's also super nutrient-dense: try out this recipe here

Miso itself is also a great way to work some contractive saltiness into your food, along with the benefits of fermentation. I decided to use some of the brown rice miso we had on hand to make a sauce to accompany a tempeh-sweet potato skillet this past week. Delish. It was just what I was after: savory, salty, and truly flavorful. It added a really nice kick to the veggies (and would be a great marinade on its own for pretty much any other Asian-inspired recipe).

The key here was the addition of cloves: they offer a very specific dark flavor. I don't use them in my cooking very often, but think I may have to start doing so more often!

sweet potato tempeh skillet 2

The sauce itself is a simple combination: miso + tahini (for creaminess) + ground cloves. I mixed these in a small bowl and then transferred to a makeshift piping bag made from waxed paper. (Roll your 6" x 6" square into a cone (like one of those pointy water cooler paper cups), fill with sauce, and snip off the bottom corner. It generates less plastic garbage - and is less expensive - than using a plastic baggie.) Once the veggies and tempeh were done, I used the piping bag to 'decorate' each plate. YUM. 

Do try this out! It's a yummy mix of seasonal veggies and protein-tastic tempeh. Super filling, super warming, super delish. As always, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free. 


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tempeh sweet potato skillet with miso clove sauce
Serves 3
Greens, mushrooms, sweet potato, and tempeh with a miso dressing packed with umami goodness? Yes please. Perfect weeknight dinner! Gluten free, vegan.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1 block tempeh, cubed
  2. 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  3. 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and divided
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  6. 1 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  7. 3 cups kale, loosely packed
  8. 2 tbsp tahini
  9. 1 tbsp brown rice miso
  10. 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
  11. gomasio, for garnish
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. 2. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp coconut oil and spread on baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
  3. 3. In the meantime, prepare your other ingredients (chopping, etc).
  4. 4. Heat remaining oil in a skillet on medium. Toss in garlic; sautee for 30 seconds.
  5. 5. Add mushrooms. Sautee until softened and slightly browned.
  6. 6. Add tempeh. Continue to sautee until browned (about 7 minutes). While tempeh cooks, combine tahini, miso, and cloves in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag (or makeshift waxed paper piping bag described above).
  7. 7. Add kale and tamari, stirring to combine, then cover with a lid. Allow everything to steam for 2-3 minutes until kale is bright green and slightly wilted. Remove from heat.
  8. 8. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and toss into your skillet, mixing well so they're spread throughout your mixture.
  9. 9. Transfer to bowls and use piping bag to dress with miso sauce. Garnish with gomasio and serve!
From The Ground Up Wellness https://www.fromthegroundupwellness.com/
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    1. […] is Unbelievably Vegan Tempeh. I also like to make a little stir-fried version, like the one in this skillet recipe. There are also a ton of great ideas over at Oh My Veggies’ Potluck site. It’s a great […]

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