Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Everybody Loves Bacon

The worst part about trying to eat just plants is not getting to eat bacon.  I get along just fine with beans, nuts, legumes, fruits, and greens until the first gorgeous warm juicy tomato gets picked in my garden.  All I can think about is a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  Everything starts to go down hill from here. I ditch my 100% whole wheat seed bread and buy crusty white French or sourdough bread, Duke’s Mayonnaise (a southern staple) and center cut Hormel Bacon.  Leaf lettuce can be found in the greenhouse.  There is no substitute for bacon in the vegetarian “meat” section of the grocery store.  It all tastes like crap.  This year, after watching “What The Health” (streaming on Netflix) I decided that I no longer wanted to eat any meat or dairy products. Until, cue the happy music,  that warm luscious tomato was picked. My resolve began to falter.

The good news is that I have found a fantastic substitute. For all of you who struggle with being a vegetarian/vegan but love a BLT, I believe I have found the answer.  I have adapted this recipe from The Buddhist Chefs website. 

Vegan BLT
Makes 5 to 6 sandwiches using three pieces

  • 1 package of organic Firm Tofu, pressed and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (leave out if oil is not your thing)
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • Bread of choice
  • lettuce
  • Mayonnaise - I use dairy free Just Mayo 

Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel and press. 

You can use any object that will balance on top of the tofu.  This will help remove the water.  It will only take about 30 minutes.

Set oven to 375 degrees.

Slice tofu into 16 to 20 pieces using a sharp knife starting on the short end.

Whisk the onion powder, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil and liquid smoke together in a small bowl.

Place tofu in a baking dish and pour the mixed ingredients and let marinate for a few minutes. With your hands, flip the tofu so that all sides get coated.

Spray two large cookie sheets with Pam.  Put 8 pieces on each pan.  You want to spread them out so that they can dry and crisp up.

Start checking the tofu in 15 minutes.  I find that it takes a good 25 minutes to get it to where it is dry and crispy around the edges. I use a convection oven. If you are using a conventional oven you may want to rotate the pans.

This is simple and easy.  Most of your time will be spent waiting for the tofu to drain and cook. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and eaten throughout the week.

Mike and I love this as much as we did when we used Hormel.  We still use white bread - some things are down right sacred.

Life is good - enjoy!