Roast sweet potato, kale and tofu, with tamari, maple, chilli and ginger. This recipe is adapted from one in Diana Henry’s brilliant cookbook, From the Oven to the Table and it is a 40-minute weeknight dinner beauty. It’s sweet and spicy and comforting (and low FODMAP and vegan) and all the things I love to eat.
The main veg used is sweet potato, accompanied by crispy tofu and a rich, sticky sauce (if you’re not sure about tofu, I promise this recipe will convince you). There’s minimal chopping, minimal faff and everything is cooked on two roasting trays in the oven, leaving you time to chill and have an evening.
I find there’s a balance when it comes to cooking tofu – I want it to soak up as much flavour as possible, but also to turn golden and crisp. The best way I’ve found to do this is to be generous with the tamari sauce below, whilst giving each piece of tofu enough personal space on the roasting trays to cook.
400g extra-firm tofu
450g sweet potato
4 tablespoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 inch chunk fresh ginger, finely grated
45ml vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic infused oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 big bunch of kale
3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
3 spring onions, green tops only, thinly sliced
Juice of ½ a lime
Preheat your oven to 200°C, 180°C fan, gas mark 6.
Drain the tofu and cut it into ½-inch-thick slices. Put a double layer of paper towels on a plate or cutting board, add the tofu, then put another double layer of paper towels on top. Place another plate or cutting board on top, then add something heavy to weigh it down. Leave for 20 minutes to press out as much excess moisture from the tofu as you can.
Wash the sweet potatoes, giving any gnarly bits a good scrub. Cut into wedges about ½ inch thick.
In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, tamari, chilli flakes, ginger and oils. Divide the sweet potato between 2 roasting tray, then cut the tofu pieces in half and nestle them in between. Spoon two-thirds of the tamari sauce mixture over, turning the sweet potato and tofu over with your hands to coat. Make sure that everything is in a single layer so it has a chance to get crispy and golden.
Season the sweet potato and tofu with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
Turn the sweet potato and tofu chunks over. Tear the kale leaves from their stems and slice into smaller pieces. Nestle the kale onto the trays and pour over the remaining third of the sauce. Return everything to the oven and roast until the tofu is dark, the sweet potato is tender and the kale edges crisp, roughly 10 minutes.
To serve, arrange the veg and tofu on a serving plate, scatter with the sesame seeds and spring onion tops, and squeeze over the lime juice.
Another delicious weeknight recipe that can easily be made vegan: Root vegetable crumble
Images by Emma Croman