Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vegan Mofo #10 Celine and Joni’s Tempeh, Pepper and Spinach Pesto Sandwich...

Vegan Mofo #10 Celine and Joni’s Tempeh, Pepper and Spinach Pesto Sandwich 

The Book - Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites
The Author - Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman
The Recipe - Tempeh, Pepper and Spinach Pesto Sandwich
Page #84 Pesto on Page #210
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 30 minutes.

This is a super simple and delicious sandwich that you can throw together in no time for a quick lunch or light dinner. The whole reason I chose to make it was for it’s simplicity and for it’s emphasis on whole ingredients. Besides how can anyone pass up a combination like bacon flavored tempeh, roasted red peppers and pesto? Yum!

I think one of my favorite things about this recipe is the method of how the tempeh is made. The tempeh is sliced thin, slathered in a mixture of soy sauce, liquid smoke, Dijon mustard, sesame oil, granulated onion, paprika, chipotle chile powder, garlic and brown sugar. Then it’s baked for 20 minutes until brown and crispy. The only alteration I made to this method was that I steamed my tempeh first, and then let it marinate for an hour as opposed to just baking it right away. I think this worked out really well and gave it a nice full bodied flavor.

Second I love the pesto in this recipe. I’ve made a lot of pesto’s in my time, vegan and non-vegan and this is one of the best. I love my walnut based pesto but using almonds as this recipe does gives the pesto a really unique flavor and a creaminess that you don’t quite get with a walnut pesto. I also love the addition of spinach because it boosts the pesto’s nutrition, adds to the creaminess and lends a subtle and delicate flavor to the final product. Absolutely perfect paired with the smoky tempeh, and amazing with those roasted red peppers. Which by the way I roasted myself but you could easily buy jarred roasted peppers to save yourself some time. In the recipe it’s suggested to add spinach or arugula to the sandwich - I chose to add arugula - and to serve it on a toasted bun. I didn’t toast the buns because I’m not a huge fan of toasted bread but I’m sure that would have brought this sandwich even further into the realm of awesome flavor. I did however add some sliced avocado, because I had some that needed using, and I love avocado on practically anything! This actually worked really well with the tempeh, pesto and peppers and I highly recommend it!

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