A Tempeh BLT Sandwich
Tempeh is made from fermented soya beans that are pressed into a cake. It’s then cooked and sliced to form the tempeh “bacon” in this sandwich. It’s high in protein with around 40% of its calories coming from protein, and is a healthier alternative to bacon, which is high in salt and saturated fat.
The Tempeh Marinade
The tempeh marinade is very simple to prepare and involves just mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl. You then cut the tempeh into slices and add to the marinade. you can leave soaking for a a few minutes if you have time, but it’s not necessary. This marinate also works well if you want to add tempeh slices to a salad, or alternatively, cut the tempeh into cubes. If you don’t have the marinade ingredients available, you can also simply fry the tempeh in a little oil, and it still works really well. There is also the option of baking the tempeh in a pre-heated oven for around ten minutes on each side at around 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) instead of frying.
To fry the tempeh you heat a tablespoon of oil on a medium/hight heat in a pan and add the tempeh slices. You fry on each side for 3 to 4 minutes being careful the pan is not too hot to avoid burning the tempeh. A little browning on both sides is perfect.
Preparing the Sandwich
Once the tempeh is cooked, then its time to prepare your sandwich
- Bread – I like to go with a nice sourdough bread, however any bread that you like will work. Often I like to go with a toasted version for this sandwich and toast the bread lightly in the toaster. If the bread is very fresh I sometimes prefer to keep the bread un-toasted.
- Mayo – This sandwich is prepared with a vegan mayonnaise. You can of course use regular mayonnaise or make your own if you have the time, ingredients and the motivation. Hummus is another option to use instead of mayonnaise. Just add whatever spread you are using to the bread.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are an integral part of the BLT flavour and I like to use some vine tomatoes, but other varieties such as baby or cherry tomatoes work fine. You simply slice whatever tomatoes you are using into slices and add to the sandwich. The only problem with cherry tomatoes is they can be more difficult to keep from falling out of the sandwich.
- Lettuce – I usually go with a mixed variety of lettuce leaves, however any lettuce leaves work well.
- Gherkins – I usually use a smaller variety as I think they have a better flavour. They add a lovely bitter flavour to the overall flavour of the sandwich. I slice them lengthways into four slices and add them to the sandwich.
- Kimchi (optional) – OK, not everyone will have kimchi on hand. If you haven’t come across kimchi before, its a traditional Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables. If you don’t have kimchi available, sauerkraut is a similar ingredient that will work perfectly well as a replacement. You can also easily leave both of these out, as the sandwich will already some bitterness in the overall flavour from the gherkins.
- Broccoli sprouts (optional) – this is another ingredient that you might not have on hand. These are very much an optional and will add some extra micro-nutrients to the sandwich. If you have some available, a sprinkle of these is all you need.
A Plant-Based Sandwich
There is not a lot of variety available when it comes to a sandwich that does not contain meat, eggs or dairy products. There does seem to be more choice available in recent years but it still tends to be very limited, so if you wish to have a plant-based sandwich for lunch, its great to have some recipe ideas to make your own. Another lovely sandwich filler option is my chickpea sandwich spread, which can be used as a sandwich filler along with a variety of your favourite sandwich fillings.
High Protein Vegan BLT Sandwiches
- 200g tempeh
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tomatoes
- 30g lettuce
- 4.5 tbsp vegan mayonaisse
- 3 tbsp kimchi (optional)
- 3 tsp broccoli sprouts (optional)
- Mix the tempeh marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Slice the tempeh and fully coat with the marinade. Leave sit for a few minutes.
- Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and add the slices of marinated tempeh. Cook for around 4 minutes on each side until the tempeh is started to brown on each side, being careful not to burn.
- Prepare the sandwiches with a drizzle of vegan mayo, lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced gerkin.