There's an awesome vegan restaurant in L.A. (Silverlake) called Flore. I have never ever had one single menu item that I didn't like- or even just went "eh, s'alright" Every single thing is awesome. Way back when I started going there, I decided to capitalize on the fact that every menu item was an option for me (pretty rare as a vegan) and order something different every time that I went there. This was difficult because everything is so good, I kept being tempted to order the same delicious things that I had previously had. My exploration of the menu only lasted about 4 visits until I hit on their club sammie.
It consists of; baked tofu, tempeh bacon, eggless mayo, lettuce, tomato, avocado and sprouts. They lightly toast the bread so it's more substantial and can hold all that goodness in. It's amazing! The combo of the salty tempeh, the creamy avocado, the juicy tomato... it's so good. After ordering that, I couldn't bring myself to order anything else there. I was dying to continue exploring the menu, but that sammie just called at me every time.
Until I decided to de-code it and make it at home. The biggest deal about making this is that the tempeh needs to be marinated for at least 4 hours. But, if you're home in the afternoon to start it and around about 2 hours in to flip it, this is really no effort at all. Especially for how good it is. I think a few places carry "tempeh bacon", but really, this marinade is over the moon. To save time and effort though, I use pre marinated/ seasoned/ baked tofu from Trader Joe's. This is what I came up with:
(makes 4 sammies- you can make them 1 or 2 at a time tho)
1 large avocado
1 large tomato
1-2 leafs Romaine lettuce per sammie
1 package Trader Joe's baked tofu- savory flavor
1 package tempeh, marinaded
Veganaise (optional, but highly recommended)
2 slices whole grain or sturdy bread per sammie
2 T olive oil for frying up tempeh and tofu
Marinade ingredients (see below)
About 4 hours before consumption of sammies is intended, whip up the following marinade (I use an 8 x 8 baking pan and whisk ingredients)
4 T Tamari
1/2 c water
1 T Agave Nectar
a pinch- 1/8 t garlic powder
1 T Liquid Smoke
Mix all 5 ingredients in pan. Slice tempeh about 1/8" thick lengthwise, coat each slice in marinade, and leave for 2 hours. After 2 hours, turn to coat other side of slices.
Okay, that was really the hard part. So, wash your lettuce and set aside, slice up the tomato into sammie slices. If you're making less than all 4 sammies, just slice what you'll need on one sammie (about 3 slices depending on the size of the tomato). Slice the tofu- for each brick in the 2 brick package, you'll get 4 slices. Each sammie takes 2 slices, so slice as much as you'll need for the servings you're making. I cut them from the side so that each slice is the same size as the original brick in front (I should draw a diagram, but you'll figure this out when it's in front of you)
Put the oil into a large pan, and add the tempeh from the marinade and the tofu slices over medium heat. Watch them carefully and turn them when necessary. Undercook any tempeh that you aren't immediately serving to be reheated the same way the next day. Only cook the tofu that you're serving- the rest will keep in a ziplock until you need it.
Slice the avocado. I use 1/4 large avocado per sammie. Lightly toast the bread (about 1/2 the toasting time you'd do for toast).
Blot tempeh and tofu on a paper towel and assemble sammie. These are BIG and teetery, so I don't recommend cutting them in 1/2. To assemble, I go in this order for maximum taste and stability: bread, veganaise, avocado, tempeh bacon (about 4 1/2 slices per sammie), 2-3 slices tomato, 2 slices tofu placed next to each other, bread slice.
Nothing makes us happier than having these for dinner. Well, almost nothing. And, with the club decoded (the home version is a bit different from Flore's, I still recommend trying there's if you're in L.A.)- I am free to order new menu items there again. Yesterday I had the tofu egg salad sammie with a side of potato salad, It was flippin good.