May 17, 2013

Tempeh Bacon "BLT" Sandwich

I was recently skulking around on the Happy Herbivore's Facebook Group, "Herbie Parents" (great group of really sweet, supportive folks!) and I read a post wherein a pregnant vegan gal admitted to the group that she is having desperate cravings for deli meat, and might there be a yummy vegan replacement? Follow-up comments suggested all sorts of brands and types of faux meats that might fit the bill, but I don't like how overly-processed all that stuff is, so I suggested the Tempeh Bacon "BLT" I found recently on the Prevention RD website. It is sweet and smoky, and tempeh is fairly easy to come by at any veg-friendly grocery store. Plus, the recipe is a cinch! Just mix the marinade, pan fry the "bacon," and build the sammie.

It's the perfect meal for a Friday night at home with the family. I say that because this is what we had for dinner tonight - that very sandwich you see in the photo was snarfed greedily by yours truly only mere seconds after snapping this picture. I paired it with a side of cut fresh fruit and cucumbers mixed with fresh chopped mint leaves (straight from my garden) and fresh-squeezed lime juice. It was so good! My husband said of the sandwich, "I could eat about three more of these." High compliment from the man of the house! And my daughter said, pulling the tempeh ever so slightly out of the sandwich and eyeballing it with curiosity, "What is this stuff? It tastes good." She's four, so... you know that's pretty high praise.

Here's the original recipe from Prevention RD:

"Tempeh 'Bacon':
5 oz tempeh
2 Tbsp maple syrup*
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
a dash of cayenne
To assemble:
6 slices of whole grain bread
1 tomato, sliced
6 large lettuce leaves
3 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • Slice tempeh into about 6 oblong strips.
  • Combine maple syrup, olive oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce, cumin, pepper, and cayenne in a shallow dish. Soak tempeh in marinade for 2-3 minutes, turning to coat.
  • Turn a saute pan on medium-high and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the tempeh to the pan in a single layer and cook 1-2 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  • Build three sandwiches with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 2 lettuce leaves, tomato slices, and about 2 slices of tempeh. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 servings.
  • Nutrition Information (per serving): 408 calories; 16 g. fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 583 mg. sodium; 55 g. carbohydrate; 12 g. fiber; 16.7 g. protein
  • Result: Sweet and salty tempeh make this BLT a much more nutritious option. Healthy fats and lots of fiber make for a filling, heart-healthy sandwich. The tempeh bacon takes about 10 minutes to prepare and cook, so this meal comes together in a jiff! Enjoy!"

*I don't know about you guys, but I straight-up cannot afford maple syrup. For this recipe, I subbed some organic raw agave nectar that I got on a deep sale at Sprouts. OR, you can use use this recipe for Homemade Maple Syrup if you're really broke.  --Jen


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