There's almost nothing I love more than breakfast. Especially savory breakfasts- they're kinda my thing. In fact, I have such a distaste for sweets in the morning that if I have any before noon, I usually get sick. But back to breakfast- I like it. A lot. Breakfast is the first (and supposedly most important) meal of the day, so I usually try to make it hearty and delicious, and adding a side of tempeh bacon does just that. A little smokey, a little crunchy, and two ways to cook it up! It's great by itself, but even better in a breakfast sandwich or crumbled into a bowl of creamy polenta. And why go out and buy it when you can make it at home? More rewarding and more delicious! Need a few things to pair it with? Try our Rye & Vegg French Toast or South of the Border Scramble!
1- 8 ounce block of tempeh
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
In a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together everything but the tempeh. (This is your marinade.) Set aside.
Remove tempeh from wrapper. Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick 'bacon' slices. Gently place tempeh into marinade, using a spoon to scoop excess marinade over the tempeh slices to coat completely. Cover and place in the fridge at least 3 hours, but as long as overnight if you can. Try to flip the tempeh slices or use the spoon trick several more times while marinating to ensure even flavor. The longer it marinates, the more bacon flavor it will have!
Once tempeh is ready, pour off excess marinade. At this point you can choose to bake or fry the bacon;
To bake it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place strips onto a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half-way through. Remove, let cool for several minutes, and eat up!
To fry it, simply heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan and add slices, cooking until golden and crisp before flipping. Remove from heat when strips are uniformly golden and crisp and blot on paper towels to remove excess oil (or don't). Serve immediately.
Bacon saves well in a resealable bag or container for about a week. Great on salads & sammies, too!
Its been hard finding restaurants in Maine that cater to a vegan lifestyle. There are some, especially in the big city of Portland, but thats almost an hour from us and frankly, I'd rather eat close to home when I can. We've been doing a lot of cooking for ourselves, which I love, but it would be nice to occasionally order out and not have any dishes to wash.
Last week we finally found a restaurant that we love...and its close to home! Located in Damariscotta, Savory Maine offers a little bit of everything. They are familiar with the vegan lifestyle and willing to accomodate to it. Gluten-free? Vegetarian? They've got your backs, too.
My first trip in I ordered their Tempeh-based Reuben with homemade vegan potato salad and I've been craving it ever since. Though I wish I could eat there every night, I just can't afford it. I needed to quell the craving...so I came up with my very own recipe!
It starts with a good, flavorful bread like rye or pumpernickel. I found lots of options at the market but settled on an organic loaf made on a farm right here in Maine. Rich in caraway and with a touch of espresso grounds in the batter, this bread adds so, so much flavor to the sandwich.
Topped with fried tempeh, spicy vegan cheese, and local sauerkraut and you've got yourself a meal even Savory Maine would be proud of.
Pair it with our balsamic potato salad for a truly 'Maine' meal.
(for one sandwich):
2 slices Rye or Pumpernickel bread
Tempeh- about 4 1/4 in. slices
2 tablespoons vegan thousand island dressing
1-1/4 inch slice of Daiya havarti jalapeno & garlic block (or your favorite cheese alternative)
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegan butter for frying
1/2 teaspoon Braggs aminos or soy sauce
Set aside your two delicious slices of rye or pumpernickel. Its good to use a darker bread here to get the caraway and espresso flavor of the bread-trust me, it adds a ton of flavor to the sandwich!
If your tempeh is in block form, slice four 1/4 inch slices. If pre-sliced, use about 3-4 slices. In a frying pan, melt a little oil or butter and add the soy sauce. Fry the tempeh strips until crispy and golden brown, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
Grab your bread slices and spread about a tablespoon of vegan thousand island on each side. Top with fried tempeh, and the slice of cheese. Put the sandwich together and using the same frying pan, grill sandwich until cheese melts, a few minutes on each side. Remove from pan, separate bread slices, top with sauerkraut, and reassemble into sandwich form. Now take a giant, gooey, cheesy bite...enjoy!
SAVORY RYE & VEGG FRENCH TOAST