The Athlete’s Plate Challenge – Battle Grilling


Our last challenge was Battle Pizza where my vegetarian White Pizza came out victorious.  At that time we asked what type of cooking method you would like to see the next challenge revolve around.  You decided that you wanted to see food being grilled.  In my pre-vegetarian days this would have consisted of throwing a steak on the grill and adding a number of sides to it.

With my switch to being a vegetarian I had to think about how I was going to grill.  I could easily just grill vegetables, but that isn’t what you come to the challenge to see.  You ask us to be creative and so I channeled my inner Bobby Flay and came up with ‘Meat’ and Potatoes.

Now you are asking yourself about the meat portion.  It hit me when I remembered having made Buffalo Tempeh and that the texture of tempeh when marinated properly reflected meat.  So I decided to use tempeh as my ‘meat’ and marinate it the same way I would have marinated a rib-eye.

Here you will find how to create a ‘Meat’ and Potatoes dish for a vegan/vegetarian, or for those looking to do a Meatless Monday.


‘Meat’ and Potatoes

Ingredients: 8oz Tempeh (cut in half), 2 tbs tamarind paste, 4 tbs balsamic vinegar, 2tbs olive oil, 1tsp ground coriander seed, 1tsp ground cumin, 1tsp dried thyme, 2 sweet potatoes, 1/4c mushrooms (sliced), 1/2 yellow onion (sliced)

Servings: 2

Nutritional Information: 406 calories, 19.5g Fat, 46g Carbs, 11g Fiber, 12g Protein


Day One

  1. Combine tamarind paste, 2tbs balsamic vinegar, olive oil, coriander, thyme and cumin in a medium bowl.
  2. Cut tempeh in half and marinate for 24 hours.

Day Two

  1. Preheat oven to 475*
  2. Microwave sweet potatoes for 4 minutes

    Onions and Mushrooms Caramelizing

  3. Cut sweet potatoes in half and then into ‘steak’ fries
  4. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray and place fries on sheet.  Coat potatoes with cooking spray.
  5. Bake until potatoes begin to turn golden brown.  Flip one time to brown on both sides.
  6. While potatoes are baking, 2tbs olive oil in non-stick pan and add in onions and mushrooms.
  7. Saute’ until both the onions and mushrooms are caramelized.
  8. Once they are almost down add in 2tbs of balsamic vinegar and reduce.
  9. Grill tempeh on both sides for 3-5 minutes per side.
  10. Plate tempeh, then top with onion/mushroom mixture.
  11. Add sweet potato steak fries.




Vegan Meat and Potatoes


Check out Matt’s Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Dipping Sauce [HERE] then come back here and vote for your favorite grilled dish.


Watch our video on how to make this terrific tasting dish.


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  1. Scott says:

    Well, considering I havent had tempahahhahah and I dont like sweet potatoes, I have to vote for yours since you make the better pizza

    • Jason says:

      Great way to make a decision. Seriously stop by the grocery on the way home today and pick up 3 pkgs of Tempahahhahahah and you won’t regret it. If you like buffalo wings make the recipe for buffalo tempeh and go from there

  2. lindsay says:

    i’m sure all the meaters could easily sub their meat of choice in too.

    both dishes look great. especially since you both included sweet pots which are my favorito… i will vote for sweet pots all the time.
    lindsay recently posted..dear speed- be my friendMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      The sweet potato is purchased as often as tempeh in our house.

      And you are correct that steak can be substituted for tempeh but I ask that people make this a meatless monday meal and try it out.

  3. katie says:

    carmelized onions YUMMMMMM!!!! i need to try this sweet potato thing.
    katie recently everyoneMy Profile

  4. Chris says:

    I’m one of those people who eats almost anything, just not picky. However, sweet potatoes are something I never developed a liking for. Guess I’ll sit out voting on this one.
    Chris recently posted..Another Brick in the LogMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      Chris, Chris,Chris –

      As an endurance athlete you are almost required to love sweet potatoes. Try them again. You might just like them.

  5. Nora says:

    I’ll be trying the tempeh today! I love sweet potatoes!!
    Nora recently posted..FearMy Profile

  6. Raegun says:

    I’m going to have to try your marinade recipe – looks good! I like to skewer my tempeh on sugar cane or stalks of lemongrass for some extra flavor. You should give it a try the next time you’re firing up the grill. ;)
    Raegun recently posted..secret weaponMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      Will definitely take your recommendations into account. The sweetness from the sugar cane will probably be a great taste againts the tempeh marinade.

  7. Yum, yum, yum! Tempeh and sweet potatoes are so good together!
    Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) recently posted..My PT experienceMy Profile

  8. Emz says:

    ok this Tempeh stuff – I like. Yum!!

    Great recipe!!
    Great food to eat during my cats game. ;)

    • Jason says:

      Hilarious. Hope you enjoy it tonight while I don’t worry about a basketball game.

      Cupcakes being ordered today for you.

  9. Question – is this meat -like enough to fool my VERY carnivorous hubby?

  10. Great challenge this week! I can’t wait to start scheming for the next!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..The Athlete’s Plate Challenge- Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Coconut-Peanut Dipping SauceMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      Yeah, it has been great. Can’t wait to make the dipping sauce for my pancakes tomorrow morning. Thinking we choose meals for the next one to voted on. B’Fast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack…..thoughts?

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