Fall is definitely upon us in the Northeast—even the sunny days have a chill to them, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red and yellow, and the nights are chilly enough for a fire in the fireplace. I love the fall!
But being vegan in the fall can be a little difficult, I’m finding. In the summer, all of those light meals made mostly of vegetables are so welcome after a sweltering day, but cooler weather seems to enlarge my stomach and make it hard to fill. My husband has all protested against “all vegetable” meals so there always has to be some dish that feels like a main course, but he doesn’t like tempeh or seitan and I can only feed my family so many beans before the roof blows off the house 😉 Life with boys!!
The sandwich I made for lunch today definitely solved that problem. We received a bunch of green tomatoes in our CSA box this week and there doesn’t seem to be much to do with green tomatoes but fry them up. Most recipes seemed to call for eggs, and the vegan recipes I found online seemed like SOOOO much work! Enter Ian Knauer’s The Farm. I found his cookbook way discounted at Williams Sonoma a few weeks ago, before I decided to try my hand at vegan again. He created his recipes after living for a year on his family’s farm in Lancaster County, and given that we belong to the Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA, it seemed like something that would be particularly applicable and it does not disappoint. His recipes are all veggie-forward, so even though he uses a lot of animal products, you can easily modify them to make them vegan and still totally delish.
Anyway, he had a fried green tomato recipe (in the fall section, no surprise) of just dipping the slices in a mixture of cornmeal, cayenne pepper, S&P. Fry them up…yum! Stick them on some baguette with a few slices of tempeh bacon, some romaine lettuce, and some whole grain Dijon mustard, and you have yourself one badass vegan sandwich.
I envisioned this sandwich saying all sorts of things to the other sandwiches. Mostly “that’s right, I’m vegan mofo.” Or, “I can totally kick your ass, you wussy BLT.”
RECIPE for 2 BLGTs (bacon, lettuce, green tomato)
6 slices tempeh bacon
1 large green tomato
1/2 c cornmeal
2 pieces Romaine
Baguette or sandwich bread of choice
Fry up the tempeh bacon in a little olive oil, just enough to coat the pan. Set the bacon aside but leave the oil in the pan.
Slice the green tomato into approximately one inch slices. Mix the cornmeal; cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste in a shallow dish. Dip the tomato slices in the cornmeal mixture, making sure each side is well coated with cornmeal. Add a little olive oil to the pan as needed–just enough to cover the bottom and nicely crisp up the cornmeal, not enough to really fry them. Cook the tomatoes about 2-3 minutes per side until the crust is nicely browned and the tomato is warmed through.
To assemble the sandwich, divide the tomato slices between the two sandwiches and place on the bottom (trust me, I did the reverse order and it was messy!!). Then add the tempeh bacon and romaine lettuce. Top the sandwich with Dijon mustard to taste, you can also add some veggie mayo if you like. Enjoy!
I entertained the idea of adding capers…maybe next time.