Artisan sandwiches have always held a special place in my heart. Back in my cheese mongering days I loved making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on toasted artisan bread with pates, spreads and salad greens. Once I gave up dairy, I started filling my sandwiches with tofu turkey, seitan slices and fake cheeses. Hardly the healthy route to take.
I’ve since changed my ways, and have cut out most processed foods from my diet, in favour of whole foods. I’ve learned to create healthy artisan sandwiches that rival any meat and cheese creation in flavour, heartiness and nutritional profile, proving that plant based sandwiches don’t have to be boring, tasteless or otherwise unhealthy.
This creation here was inspired by My New Roots. While I’ve been making my own versions of Baked BBQ tempeh and sundried tomato pate for years, I’ve never thought to put them together in a sandwich like this. It is a devine combination.
Tempeh is a processed food, but it is done through fermentation, where the whole bean is retained, making it more nutrient rich and healthier than other processed soy foods. It’s also much easier to digest. It’s versatile and flavourful and can be used in so many ways, like making faux tuna. Here it is baked BBQ style in a flavourful and herby soy marinade.
The sundried tomato pate is made with hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and the avocado cream is whipped to perection with lemon juice, garlic and salt. This sandwich comes together so quickly once you have all the ingredients prepared. So make everything ahead and then store in the refrigerator for a quick lunch fix.
Baked BBQ Tempeh Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Pate and Avocado Cream
Recipe & Photography by Nissrine @ Harmony à la Carte
This artisan plant-based sandwich rivals the meat and cheese variety in terms of flavour, heartiness and nutritional profile. Packed with the goodness of tempeh, avocado cream and a nutrient dense sundried tomato pate loaded with hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds for a boost of protein, iron, calcium and fiber.
For the Baked BBQ Tempeh with Soy Marinade:
- 1/2 block of Tempeh (about 125g) sliced into strips
- 1/4 C Soy Sauce (Shoyu or Tamari)
- 1/4 C Water
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/4 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp Rustic Dijon Mustard (optional)
- Place tempeh in a baking dish in one layer.
- Whisk all marinade ingredients together and pour over tempeh, making sure the slices are fully covered with marinade on both sides.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated over on 200 C for about 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil in the last 5 minutes and let them tempeh brown and caramelize slightly.
Remove from oven and serve as is with grains and vegetables, stuff into a wrap or sandwich, or make some vegan sushi, aka quinoa nori rolls.
For the Sundried Tomato Pate:
- 1/2 C Sundried Tomatoes, soaked in 1/3 cup of boiled water for at least 10 minutes
- 2 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds, dry toasted
- 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds, dry toasted
- 2 Tbsp Hulled Hemp Seeds
- 1 Small Clove of Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Peperoncino (aka red pepper flakes), to taste (optional)
- Soaking water, as needed
- Fine Sea Salt, to taste (depending on the saltiness of your sundried tomatoes, you may or may not need this. The ones I get from the market here in Milan are so flavourful that I don’t need to add salt at all, but I find the sundried tomatoes in Canada are a little less flavourful and sometimes I add a small pinch when I made it there)
- Soak the sundried tomatoes in boiled water for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly dry toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a pan over low heat, one at a time, being careful not to burn the them. The pumpkin seeds will start to pop as they toast. The sunflower seeds don’t pop as they toast, but they brown very quickly, so keep a close eye on them.
- Drain sundried tomatoes and reserve the soaking water, as you will need it to thin out the pate, in place of using too much oil.
- Add sundried tomatoes, garlic, peperoncino (if using), toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds and hulled hemp seeds to a food processor and puree to smooth spreadable consistency, adding the tomato water in small increments as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
- Drizzle in olive oil and blend one final time.
For the Avocado Cream:
- 1/2 Ripe Avocado
- 1 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, or to taste
- 1 Small Clove of Garlic
- Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree to a smooth consistency. You can also mash the ingredients together with a fork, using a small bowl, but be sure to crush/press the clove of garlic first. I prefer the food processor method because it results in a fluffier whipped cream consistency.
To assemble the sandwich (makes 1 sandwich):
- 2 Slices of Bread (I used a yeast free multiseed/grain bread that is also low in gluten)
- 3 Slices of Baked BBQ Tempeh with Soy Marinade
- 1 Tbps of Sundried Tomato Pate
- 1 Tbsp of Avocado Cream
- Handful of Greens (I used valeriana, a microgreen grown mostly in Europe and Asia, with a delicate flavour and used medicinally as a sleep aid and to reduce anxiety, stress and migraines)
- Lightly toast the bread (or not). Spread one slice with sundried tomato pate and the other slice with avocado cream. Top one slice with the baked BBQ tempeh and the other slice with greens. Combine to form a sandwich, slice on the diagonal (or in any direction you like) and enjoy.