Friday, March 12, 2010

Barbecue Ranch Bowl

A few years ago, I lived in Westwood Village, just blocks from the fantastic vegan restaurant Native Foods. When offerings like the Chicken Run Ranch Burger or Chili Cheese Fries (delicious, but very fatty) gave way to something healthier, I'd order a Mad Cowboy. Substantial and healthy, this heap of baked potato, vegetables, barbecued tempeh, and ranch dressing always left me satisfied...and still ready for a long walk around the neighborhood.

This Barbecue Ranch Bowl is loaded with vegetables, and inspired by Native's Mad Cowboy. It uses my hot pan method to cook the tempeh and vegetables, and features the same elements as my Barbecue Ranch Salad in Cook, Eat, Thrive, and I think it will quickly become one of your favorites.

Barbecue Ranch Bowl
4 dinner servings
The Peppercorn Ranch Dressing yields about 1 cup and keeps well, giving you just enough for salads and sandwiches the following week.

For the vegetables and tempeh:
2 large Russet potatoes, or other baking potatoes
1 8-ounce package tempeh
1/3 cup barbecue sauce (store-bought is fine; I used Trader Joe's Kansas City Style)
1/2 pound cauliflower (about half of one head), cut into 1" florets
1/2 pound broccoli (about half of one head), cut into 1" florets
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4" chunks
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2" half moons
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

for the Peppercorn Ranch Dressing:
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, preferably unsweetened
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon dried basil, or ½ teaspoon finely minced fresh basil
¼ teaspoon dried parsley, or ½ teaspoon finely minced fresh parsley
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

additional barbecue sauce, thinned with water to a drizzling consistency, for serving
2 green onions, green parts only, for serving

Heat oven to 400ºF, and place a large metal pan (or two smaller ones) in the oven. Prick potatoes with a fork, wrap in foil, and place in the oven in any space not occupied by the pan(s).

Cut tempeh into thirds (each third will be a square shape), then cut each third in half crosswise to make six thin squares. Halve each square on the diagonal; at the end of it, you'll have 12 small triangles of tempeh. Toss gently with barbecue sauce, and transfer to prepared pan(s) in the oven, careful not to burn your fingers. Bake about 15 minutes, until edges are charred, turning once. Remove to a plate, and cover with foil or another inverted plate to keep warm.

While the tempeh bakes, in a large bowl, toss together cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, corn, sea salt, paprika, and olive oil. Once tempeh is finished cooking (don't worry about cleaning the pan), toss the vegetable mixture in, and roast 20-25 minutes, stirring once.

While the vegetables roast, make the Peppercorn Ranch Dressing:
Whisk together all ingredients in a 2-cup measure or smallish bowl. The dressing will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. Set aside.

At this point, the potatoes should be nicely baked (sqeeze one to be sure; it should give slightly under your fingers). Remove from oven, along with the vegetables.

To serve, halve each potato and place the halves in 4 bowls. Evenly divide vegetables among the bowls, and top each with 3 triangles of tempeh. Drizzle additional barbecue sauce and about 2 tablespoons of Peppercorn Ranch Dressing over each serving. Garnish with green onions, using scissors to cut them over the bowls. Bring to the table right away, with extra barbecue sauce and Peppercorn Ranch passed alongside.


VivaciousVegan said...

I love barbeque and ranch, buton a potato!!! That is awesome! I have to make this soon!!!

radioactivegan said...

what a great combination -- so obvious now that I see it, but probably something I wouldn't have thought of on my own. thanks for the inspiration!

Joy said...

Isn't it ridiculously simple? The thing I really love about the bowl is that it's perfectly suited to whatever vegetables you have available: red bell peppers, sweet potato chunks, yellow squash, and so on.

I'm enjoying leftovers right now...