Vegan BLT Sandwiches

Is it lunch time yet? I think it might have to be.

I’ve been making this vegan-ized version of a BLT for a few years now, and it never disappoints. It’s savory, smokey, and perfect for a summer day.

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It all starts with the marinated tofu ‘bacon’, which is flavorful and crispy. Add the mayo, tomato, greens, avocado, onion, and bread, and it’s sandwich heaven. Enjoy!

VEGAN BLT SANDWICHES

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Author: Envi Eats

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

TOFU ‘BACON’
  • 16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp honey or agave
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
BLT SANDWICHES
  • Sandwich bread
  • tomato
  • spinach or lettuce
  • avocado (optional)
  • vegan mayo or hummus (optional)
  • red onion (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Thinly slice the pressed tofu into strips. Combine all of the tofu ‘bacon’ marinate ingredients together and place strips of tofu into the liquid. Allow to marinade for at least 15 minutes (up to 12 hours).
  3. Bake the marinated tofu for 15 minutes on each side, or until crispy and fragrant.
  4. Assemble BLT sandwiches by spreading vegan mayo or hummus on the bread, adding greens, tomato, avocado, onion, and tofu ‘bacon’.

Serve with in sweet potato fries, kettle chips, veggies and hummus, or apple slices!

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SPICY VEGAN CHILI

I make this chili recipe at least once a month. It stores well, tastes great, and fills our tummies with lots of plant-based protein and fiber.

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It’s thick, chock full of beans and corn, and smoky! I like to pair this chili with dark chocolate, avocado, greek yogurt, and roasted veggies.

 

SPICY VEGAN CHILI

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Author: Envi Eats

Type: Main Dish

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 32-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15-oz can red kidney beans
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 package of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Add oil, diced onions, salt, and pepper, and stir frequently for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  2. Mince the jalapeno and garlic, and add to the pot with the onions.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, and stir until aromatic.
  4. Add the large can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, strained/rinsed beans, corn, and crumbles (if using). If the mixture seems too thick, add water. I usually end up adding about 1/2 cup of water.
  5. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to simmer and reduce. Stir occasionally.
  6. Adjust seasoning as needed. Salt for saltiness, a bit of sugar to balance the heat, or chili powder and paprika for smokiness.
  7. Serve as is, or top with cilantro, greek yogurt, cheddar, or avocado!

NOTES:

Leftovers store well for up to 5 days.

 

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MORNING ENERGY BUDDHA BOWL

This is my favorite on-the-go, quick, healthy breakfast! It’s packed with protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and is naturally sweet. This with a slice of whole wheat toast is a complete protein meal, and will leave you feeling satisfied for hours!

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MORNING ENERGY BUDDHA BOWL

Prep time: 5 minutes

Author: Envi Eats

Type: Buddha Bowl, Main Dish, Breakfast

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 1 banana
  • a handful of blueberries
  • 1 cup of non-dairy or dairy milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the banana, and add 1/2 to each bowl. Add a handful of blueberries, a scoop of nut butter, and cover with milk.

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VEGAN GUMBO WITH OKRA

A NOLA classic. Vegan-ized.

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We start with a roux, add the ‘holy trinity’ of onion, celery, and bell pepper, soak everything in vegetable broth, spices, and hot sauce, then thicken with okra and vegan chorizo sausage.

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I used this vegan chorizo from Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, the packaging was not recyclable, nor was the sausage casing. Beyond that, the texture was not solid at all–it was crumbly, which was not what I expected. The flavor was great, but the texture and packaging were not so great. Use at your own risk!

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Overall, this dish is savory, spicy, thick, and will have you day dreaming about a trip to New Orleans with every bite! Serve with rice, cajun fries, or fresh baguette slices!

VEGAN GUMBO WITH OKRA

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Author: Envi Eats

Type: Main Dish

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

 ROUX
  • 1/4 cup oil (corn, canola, or vegetable work great)
  • 1/4 cup flour
GUMBO
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 4 cups vegan vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp LA hot sauce (I used Tabasco and Crystal)
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 oz frozen okra
  • 12 oz vegan chorizo (optional)
  • salt & pepper
  • rice or quinoa for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Dice the bell peppers (I used one red & one green), onion, and celery. Mince the garlic and jalapeno. Set aside.
  2. Create a roux by adding oil and flour to a thick-bottomed pan over medium-low heat (I used a frying pan, but cast iron works well, too). Stir constantly for about 20 minutes, or until the roux takes on a milk chocolate color. See notes below for more in-depth instructions.
  3. Once the roux is a milk chocolate color, add the diced onions, peppers, and celery. Stir the veggies into the roux, and continue to stir for 8-10 minutes, or until the veggies are softened. Add the garlic and jalapeno, and continue to stir for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, hot sauces, spices, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and frozen okra to a large pot. Add the roux + softened veggies to the liquid and stir to combine.
  5. OPTIONAL: fry the vegan chorizo with a bit of oil to brown the outsides and bring out the flavors and aromatics. With the TJ’s sausage I used, I had to remove the casing before cooking–be sure to read the instructions on your sausage before cooking. Add the browned sausage to the pot.
  6. Bring the pot of gumbo to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add more cayanne/hot sauce for spiciness.
  7. Serve warm with a scoop of cooked quinoa or rice, fresh baguette slices, and green onions.

Look here for more in-depth roux instructions: http://emerils.com/122904/basic-roux

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BBQ TOFU BUDDHA BOWL

This Buddha bowl encompasses summer for me PERFECTLY. Smokey neighborhood BBQs, creamy potato salads,  and relaxing in the sun. This vegan bowl is packed with plant based protein and fiber, and will leave you feeling full and healthy!

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The tofu is smokey and spicy, and the potato salad (heavily adapted from Minimalist Baker) is creamy, full of raw and roasted veggies, and packs a spicy punch.

It might not be summer time outside, but it is in this Buddha bowl!

BBQ TOFU BUDDHA BOWLS

Prep time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 30 minutes

Author: Envi Eats

Type: Main Dish, Buddha Bowl

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

BBQ TOFU
VEGAN POTATO SALAD
  • 1 lb red and sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup raw, diced veggies (ie. bell pepper, jicama, celery, red onion)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • salt & pepper
BUDDHA BOWL
  • Mixed greens
  • salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the pressed tofu into flattened squares (see photo above). Add to tupperware with BBQ sauce, vinegar, and liquid smoke. Allow to sit for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake the tofu slices for 15 minutes on each side (30 minutes total, or until crisped on the edges & firm to the touch).
  3. To prepare the potato salad, soak cashews overnight in water (leave 1 inch of water atop the cashews). OR cover cashews in boiling water and allow to sit for 1 hour. Rinse well with water once done soaking (for both methods).
  4. Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until tender (450 degrees). Allow to cool.
  5. Add the soaked cashews, 1/3 cup of water, oil, vinegar, mustard, spices, hot sauce, and garlic to a food processor or blender. Scrape down sides, and blend until smooth, thick, and creamy. Add more mustard or hot sauce for spice, more more salt for saltiness.
  6. Dice raw veggies, and add to a bowl with the roasted potatoes. Coat with a think layer of cashew sauce.
  7. Assemble the bowls by adding the baked BBQ tofu to a bowl with a scoop of potato salad and a handful of mixed greens.

NOTES:

Potato salad stores in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Potato salad recipe heavily adapted from Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Potato Salad.

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CHICKPEA HASH BREAKFAST BUDDHA BOWL

Another Buddha bowl recipe…YAHOOO!

Here’s a Buddha bowl that is ready to help you rise and shine. It’s quick, protein-packed, and tasty.

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This bowl is smokey, spicy, energy packed, and satisfying. It’s also very customizable, and can be made vegan by subbing eggs for tofu scramble or some roasted veggies.

CHICKPEA HASH BREAKFAST BUDDHA BOWL

Prep time: 5 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

Author: Envi Eats

Type: Main dish, Breakfast

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

CHICKPEA SWEET POTATO HASH
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Generous sprinkles of salt and pepper
BUDDHA BOWL
  • 4 eggs
  • mixed greens
  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  1. Slice the washed sweet potatoes into small cubes. Add the potatoes and drained & rinsed chickpeas to an oiled baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. While the hash is roasting, fry the eggs with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Scramble, or leave as is. Fry the minced onion & garlic on the other side of the pan (this will be for the hash).
  3. Once the veggies are crisped and tender, remove them from the oven and sprinkle them with salt & pepper, paprika, fried onion & garlic, and lemon juice. Toss with chopped parsley.
  4. Assemble bowls with a handful of mixed greens, a large scoop of the chickpea sweet potato hash, eggs, sliced avocado, a dollop of greek yogurt, and salt & pepper.

 

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JAPANESE BUDDHA BOWL

I am a HUGE Buddha bowl fan, as you will come to see 😉

Buddha bowls are simply a combination of plant-based ingredients, such as grains, veggies, fermented goods, and nuts & seeds.

One of my favorite go-to Buddha bowls is this Japanese-inspired bowl, containing marinated tofu, freshly pickles veggies, avocado, and quinoa.

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JAPANESE BUDDHA BOWL

Prep time: 15 minutes (+time for marinated tofu & pickles)

Baking time: 30 minutes

Author: Envi Eats

Type: Buddha Bowl

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

MARINATED TOFU
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
BUDDHA BOWLS
  • Avocado
  • Pickled radishes, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, etc.
  • 1 cup quinoa (or brown rice)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice pressed tofu into cubes or flattened squares (as I did, picture above). Add the tofu to a tupperware and add soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, and sesame oil. Shake and let sit for at least 1 hour, or over night. Prepare the pickles.
  2. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. Once the tofu is marinated, place on a lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
  3. If the quinoa is not yet prepared, do so with 1 part quinoa: 2 parts water. Bring quinoa and liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. (This can also be done is a rice cooker with the same ratios).
  4. Remove the tofu from the oven when it is crisped on the edges and firm to the touch, around 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Create a simple sauce by adding soy sauce and wasabi together and mixing vigorously. Add more wasabi for bite, and more soy sauce for umami.
  6. Prepare the Buddha bowl by adding cooked quinoa, sliced avocado, pickled veggies, and baked tofu slices to a bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds, Sriracha, and/or the soy/wasabi sauce.

 

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SPICY TOFU BANH MI SANDWICHES

I’d consider myself a sandwich lover.

And this is my all-time favorite sandwich: a banh mi.

As a vegetarian, I have yet to try a banh mi in a restaurant (they are almost always made with pork belly), but I have always been obsessed with the smells, colors, and flavor combinations of these sandwiches.

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I have spent many months perfecting a vegetarian version of this Vietnamese classic, and have tried many recipes (my favorite coming from Love & Lemons).

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This sandwich starts with baked, spicy marinated tofu and a fresh baguette, and is topped with peppery Sriracha mayo, homemade pickles, and cilantro. It’s the perfect combination of spicy, peppery, bread-y, and pickle-y.

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SPICY TOFU BANH MI SANDWICHES

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 40 minutes

Author: Envi Eats, adapted from Love & Lemons

Serves: 4 

INGREDIENTS

SPICY MARINATED TOFU

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced (removed of seeds if sensitive to spice)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

BANH MI SANDWICHES

  • Fresh baguette
  • Mayonnaise, or vegan mayo
  • Sriracha
  • Black pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh pickles

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make 1 day before: Press tofu 15 minutes, then slice it into 1 inch thick strips (picture above). Combine all of the spicy marinated tofu ingredients in a sealed container and allow to marinate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the marinated tofu on the baking sheet and allow to bake for 20 minutes. Flip, coat with a layer of leftover marinade, and allow to bake for 20 more minutes. Let cool before serving.
  4. Combine mayo, black pepper, and Sriracha in a small bowl. Ratios are based on preference; I love spicy flavors, so I add mayo and Sriracha in equal parts (2 TBSP each), then add pepper (~1 tsp).
  5. Slice the fresh baguette into sandwich sized portions. Smear with Sriracha mayo, add a few baked tofu slices, and top with fresh pickles and cilantro.

NOTES

Tofu will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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