May 12, 2006

The Vegan BLT

Fantastic for picnics, and ten thousand times healthier than a real BLT. No pictures because I ate it too fast.

Toast two slices of your sandwich bread of choice; I like sourdough. On one piece, spread a healthy portion of:
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Vegan mayo

The lack of eggs means this mayo won't turn into toxic waste after a few hours at room temperature.

1/2 package (~6 oz) silken tofu
1/3 cup vegetable or light olive oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard or 1 tsp mustard powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp chili powder (to taste)
3 green onions, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 tsp lemon or lime zest

Puree the tofu, oils, citrus juice and mustard in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add onions, zest, salt and pepper to taste. Do not overprocess or the emulsion will break. Water can be added if you find the mayo too thick.
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In a small bowl, smash an avocado. Spread on the other piece of bread (guacamole also works). Pile on fresh tomatoes and lettuce and top with several strips of:
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Vegan bacon

Tempeh is made kind of like bleu cheese: after soybeans are cooked, they're injected with a bacterial spore. Once mature, the pad of soybeans will be spreckled with white and black spots. Tempeh is bitter raw, but develops a nutty flavour along with taking on the flavours of whatever it's marinaded in. It's high in protein and fibre and low in fat. Don't buy tempeh -- or tofu, for that matter -- at your regular megamart; it'll cost half the price at an Asian food market. This recipe makes a tempeh with sweet yet smoky and slightly hot flavours vaguely reminiscent of bacon (not that I'd know at this point) that's fantastic with the mayo and fresh veggies.

1 package tempeh, sliced into thin strips (check your local Asian food market)
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 to 1/2 cup of soy sauce
one thinly sliced chipotle chili and 1 tsp adobo sauce (check your local Mexican food market)
a pinch of powdered ginger
2 cloves
1-2 tbsp molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Put all the ingredients except the tempeh in a large skillet and stir to combine with a whisk. Lay the tempeh down in a single layer in the liquid and simmer, covered, over medium to medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Turn the tempeh and cook until glazed and browned from the oil, about 5 more minutes.

Adapted from recipes in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian cooking for everyone, which is THE vegetarian cookbook.

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