The Almighty BLT
- 1 jar (14 ounces, or 392 g) hearts of palm, drained
- 1/4 cup (60 g) nondairy sour cream or unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt
- 1/2 cup (112 g) vegan mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste 1 tablespoon (8 g) drained capers
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons (14 g) sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 8 slices any bread (crusty or soft), toasted
- 4 large lettuce leaves
- 1 recipe Tempeh Bacon, panfried (recipe below)
- 1 beefsteak tomato, cut into 8 thin slices
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 12 slices
- 4 razor-thin slices red onion (optional)
To make the spread: Process the hearts of palm in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add all the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times to leave chunky, or process thoroughly until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides occasionally. Chill in an airtight container overnight to let the flavors meld. Enjoy the leftovers within 1 week.
To assemble the sandwiches: Smear 1 tablespoon (16 g) spread on each slice of bread. Top 4 slices of bread with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 ounces (57 g) bacon, 2 slices tomato, 3 slices avocado, and 1 slice onion. Top with the 4 remaining bread slices.
Yield: 4 sandwiches, 2 cups (515 g) spread
- 8 ounces (227 g) tempeh
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (16 g) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tamari
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) liquid smoke, divided
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the tempeh into 1/4-inch (6-mm) strips across the short side.
In a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) pan, combine the broth, syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, tamari, cumin, coriander, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the liquid smoke. Place the tempeh strips in the marinade and turn to coat. The strips will probably be touching, which is fine. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2). Bake the strips in the marinade, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Most of the marinade will either be absorbed or coating the tempeh. Remove from the oven. At this point, the strips may be prepared for serving or stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and cooked as needed.
To cook, combine the olive oil and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) liquid smoke in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of the tempeh strips with the olive oil mixture and, working in batches, cook for 4 minutes, or until browned. Turn and cook the other side for about 3 minutes.
Yield: 8 ounces (227 g)
Green Monster Bread
- 1 packed cup (40 g) baby arugula or spinach
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) minced garlic 11/4 cups (295 ml) water, lukewarm
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) light olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups (438 g) all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons (18 g) vital wheat gluten
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
- Nonstick cooking spray
Place the arugula, garlic, water, and oil in a blender; blend until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, gluten, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix for about 6 minutes, until a dough forms. Add more flour, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time while mixing, if needed. Alternatively, if you don’t have a stand mixer, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding 1 tablespoon (8 g) flour at a time if needed, until the dough is smooth and pliable.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until doubled.
Lightly coat an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) loaf pan with spray. Gently punch down the dough and press it down into the pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough reaches 1 inch (2.5 cm) over the top of the pan, between 30 and 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Carefully remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool before slicing.
Yield: 1 loaf, about 12 slices
Image credit: photo courtesy of Celine Steen, Tamasin Noyes, and Fair Winds Press.