Thank goodness the days of sandwiches comprised of bland bread, uninspiring cold cuts and flavorless slices of cheese are behind me. Going vegan means getting creative – and sandwiches are no exception. Chances are everything you need to create a delicious, healthy sandwich can be found in your refrigerator, cupboards and pantry. Roasted veggies? Olives? Sprouts? How about those slices of marinated and baked tofu from last night’s dinner? Sounds like a sandwich to me. I had some leftover roasted tomato sauce and a small amount of silken tofu (tofu mayo!) to which I added eggplant, caramelized onions, crisp greens and a couple of fresh-baked whole wheat buns to hold it all together. Lunch was served.
1 medium-sized eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
3 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (or low-sodium tamari/soy sauce)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch ground pepper
1/2 cup roasted tomato sauce
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2+ vegetable broth
handful fresh arugula, baby spinach or mixed greens
2 tbsp. tofu aioli mayonnaise* (or vegan mayonnaise)
2 whole wheat buns (or your favorite sandwich bread)
Preheat the broiler. Place the sliced eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce), lemon juice, Liquid Smoke, garlic powder and pepper and brush on both sides of the eggplant slices. Broil eggplant for about 5-8 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and flip eggplant slices, brushing with additional sauce. Return to broiler until nicely browned. Remove eggplant from oven and set aside.
To prepare the onion, over medium-heat pour about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a small skillet. Add the onion and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onion slices are soft, buttery and golden in color. This could take 15-20 minutes. Keep adding small amounts of vegetable broth to keep the onions from sticking – but let the broth cook off each time. When the onions are done, set aside.
To prepare the sandwiches, lightly toast the split buns (if desired) then spread tofu mayonnaise on one half of each sandwich; divide greens and place on top of the tofu mayonnaise, then divide the caramelized onions between the sandwiches. Add 2-3 slices of eggplant per sandwich and top with roasted tomato sauce. Place the top of the bun on the sandwiches and serve.
*I make tofu mayonnaise by combining a small amount (about 2-3 tbsp.) of soft silken tofu with about a 1/2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle or two of dry mustard, a pinch of black pepper, a few drops of agave nectar – and then I add one small clove of finely minced garlic and some lemon zest into the whole mess – and whisk. Delicious. You can also make a larger quantity, of course.