Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vegetarian BLTs

You already know my love for tempeh because of the amazing penne with tempeh.  I even recall saying that the delicious tempeh would make a great sandwich.  So imagine my excitement when A Couple Cooks came up with the genius idea for a BLT using tempeh instead of bacon!  Yes!  Facon! :)  Just give it a try, okay?

This tempeh gets marinated in olive oil, soy sauce, sriracha, cumin, black pepper, maple syrup, and liquid smoke (I left out the latter, but if you want the traditional smoky flavor, then go for it).  It gets sliced into bacon-sized pieces and then cooked on a griddle just like real bacon.  In fact, to be fair to the carnivore I married, I made real bacon too for his sandwich.  I actually burned some of my hair while doing so (still not totally sure how that happened... thanks for the emergency haircut, Sam!)
facon on the left, bacon on the right!

Now, at this time of year, tomatoes that are actually red and juicy are finally coming back out.  But, this BLT recipe has a suggestion to help you avoid those winter tomatoes (there's nothing worse): canned fire-roasted tomatoes!  Top some bread with your tempeh bacon and some Bibb lettuce (no mayo ever for me and Mark, but go for it if that's your style) and you have one hell of a sandwich.  I loved this!  The tempeh bacon was amazing and definitely better than Mark's real bacon.  I was the sandwich winner that night.


vegetarian BLT
from A Couple Cooks
serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
3 grinds black pepper
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 8-ounce package tempeh
8 slices bread
15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
8 leaves Bibb lettuce
mayonnaise (optional)


1) In a bowl, mix together olive oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke, sriracha, cumin, black pepper, and maple syrup.

2) Cut tempeh in half; stand each piece up on its edge and cut into thirds.  Lay the three pieces down on top of each other and cut into thirds again to make 18 slices that are 1/4 inch thick, 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.  Place the strips in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the tempeh.  Let sit for 30 minutes or more, if time.  Reserve the marinade from the bottom of the dish.

3) Heat a griddle to medium heat.  Place tempeh strips on the griddle and cook 2 - 3 minutes per side until browned.  Turn off heat, then brush both sides of each piece with the reserved marinade.

4) Lightly toast 8 pieces of bread.  Drain the canned tomatoes, letting them sit in a colander for a few minutes to remove excess liquid.  Prepare 8 leaves of Bibb lettuce.

5) To serve, spread mayonnaise on each bread slice if you're using it
.  Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and slices of tempeh.  Top with a final bread slice and serve immediately.  Tip: the lettuce on the sandwich acts as a shield to the bread below from the juiciness of the tomatoes.  Make sure to place the lettuce below the tomatoes.  Try to make up the sandwich immediately before you serve it, since the bread can become soggy form the tomato liquid.

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