Sometimes you just want a melty grilled cheese or juicy Sloppy Joe. Here are healthier, meatless versions of some American classics.
Have you veganized a classic sandwich? We’d love to hear about it – share your experiences in the comments section!
The BLT: The standard Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich You can use tofu strips to make a tasty BLT. Just slice your tofu into thin strips, soak it in soy sauce or marinade of your choice for a couple of hours, drain it and fry until it’s crispy!
There are fakin’ bacon options available at stores but if you’re avoiding eggs or dairy, make sure to check the ingredients (for example, the first ingredient in Morningstar® Bacon Strips is egg whites).
Spread Earth Balance® MindfulMayo™ on toasted whole wheat bread, add lettuce (or spinach), tomatoes and tofu strips and enjoy!
The Sloppy Joe: This American classic is ground beef in a tangy sauce that is so simple to make. In place of ground beef, try TVP (textured vegetable protein), crumbled tofu or Smart Grounds and GimmeLean, which both make vegan ground beef crumbles.
In a pan, put ¼ cup of chopped onions, ¼ cup chopped green pepper and some minced or crushed garlic with 1 tbsp of Earth Balance® buttery spread and sautée until softened.
Add 2 cups of ground ‘beef’ to the pan with 1 more tablespoon of Earth Balance® buttery spread, a couple of teaspoons each of cumin, brown sugar and yellow mustard and ¾ of a cup of ketchup.
Mix this until combined and let it simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the hot Sloppy Joe onto whole wheat buns and serve with vegan coleslaw (we have a great recipe for coleslaw coming up later this week) or kale chips.
The Philly Cheese Steak: A classic Philly Cheese Steak is served on a Hoagie or Kaiser roll with thinly sliced, sautéed onions, green peppers and beef, and covered with melted cheese.
You can chop some seitan or tofu and sauté it in place of beef or just make a sandwich with the onions, peppers and ‘cheese’ sauce.
Here’s a recipe that makes a nice, melty sauce using nutritional yeast. Sauté your onions and peppers in Earth Balance® buttery spread and seasonings (pepper, garlic and onion powder), butter and toast the bun and drizzle the cheese sauce on top.
Nutritional Yeast ‘Cheese’ Sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup water
2 tbsp Earth Balance® Buttery Spread (other seasonings or additional suggestions include: 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup of minced onion, jalapeno or scallions)
1. In a saucepan combine dry ingredients (nutritional yeast, flour, paprika, salt, and garlic powder).
2. Whisk in water. Continue to whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in Earth Balance until melted, then whisk together.
Grilled Cheese: Vegan cheese is another tricky item as many vegetarian cheeses still contain casein, an animal product. Follow Your Heart® makes a ‘Vegan Gourmet’ cheese that comes in block form and Daiya makes shredded vegan cheese – both of which will melt in a grilled cheese sandwich.
For the butter, which you’ll spread on the outer slices of the bread, use Earth Balance® Vegan Buttery Spread or Earth Balance® Organic Coconut Spread. You can spread MindfulMayo™ or cheese sauce (from the recipe above) on the inside of the bread, sprinkle garlic or onion powder on the cheese and add tomatoes, onions and pickles to amp up the flavor of the sandwich.
Don’t forget to share your experiences veganizing sandwiches. And let us know about your favorite snack here to win free Earth Balance!