I had been craving a BLT-style sandwich but had no idea how to replace the bacon texture. I found a “bacon” tempeh recipe on Healthy Happy Life and thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s a very sweet flavored bacon (because of the maple/agave, which could be toned down and replaced with more liquid smoke and soy sauce for a savory flavor), so don’t make this recipe expecting a bacon texture or taste. That being said, it’s still very good! The tempeh gives the chewy/crunchy consistency of bacon and the sweet marinade is a new spin on the classic BLT.
Servings: about 4 sandwiches
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 1 medium tomato, sliced
- one or more leafy green of your choice: lettuce, kale, or arugula
- tempeh bacon:
- 5 oz. tempeh (or 1 package)
- 1-2 tbs. maple or agave syrup
- ½ tsp. cumin
- a dash or two of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- ½ to 1 tsp. black pepper
- Slices of oil-free whole wheat bread (I use Ezekiel Low Sodium), toasted
- more optional topping combinations: basil leaves, sauerkraut, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, spicy brown mustard, hummus
Prep the avocado, tomato, and leafy greens, then set aside. Combine all tempeh bacon ingredients, except the tempeh itself, in a bowl or dish large enough to place multiple pieces of tempeh at a time—we’ll be marinating them later!
Place a saute pan on a burner and start warming it up over High heat.
Cut the tempeh into thin slices, but not so thin they fall apart. After cutting them lengthwise I cut each piece in half so they would fit on my sandwiches better.
Soak the tempeh pieces in the marinade for a minute or two.
Using tongs (or if you’re really good with using a fork for this part), place each of the marinated tempeh pieces onto the preheated saute pan. The tempeh will start sizzling immediately. Brush a little more marinade over the top of each tempeh piece.
Allow the tempeh to cook for about a minute before flipping them, then cook an additional minute. Each side should be caramelized and have a “crispy” appearance. Place the cooked tempeh on parchment paper and allow them to cool before assembling your sandwiches.
Spread the mashed avocado on one of the toasted bread slices, then layer on the rest of your ingredients. Enjoy!