picture courtesy of Kathy Patalsky's HHL blog
"I'm obsessed with vegan tempeh bacon. I adore the BLT sandwich at Teany in NYC, featuring a smoky tempeh bacon. So, I needed my own recipe. Especially since I wanted to make a vegan club sandwich. You can't have a club without bacon! My recipe is a bit spicy, a tad sweet and a little smoky. And a lot yummy..."
--Kathy Patalsky, creator of the blog: The Lunch Box Bunch. Healthy. Happy. Life. and the inventor of Vegan Facon--
No doubt about it--real bacon is America's favorite "no-no" food. It's the delicious, crispy, fatty, salty, slightly sweet bad-boy of foods! And now there's a vegan stand-in.
Here's where the brilliant Kathy Patalsky comes in. She's a vegan with a passion for creating mouth-watering recipes. I've got her blog on my RSS feed and when I read her Best Vegan Recipes of 2009 post, I immediately clicked on "Tempeh Bacon".
I bought the tempeh. My husband volunteered to prep it, and make the marinade--tweaking it along the way. I took over from there--baking it in a hot oven, instead of pan frying it, as Kathy suggested.
It couldn't have been simpler, and couldn't have tasted better. It made enough for 5 generous "BLT" sandwiches, and that was after all the pieces I kept sneaking out of the refrigerator before we even started making sandwiches!
Kathy's Amazing Facon Bacon - adapted by the Healthy Librarian
Servings: enough for 5 sandwiches (and some tastes!)
8 ounce package of tempeh
3 TBS. maple or agave syrup (we used maple) (original recipe had 2 TBS.)
1 1/2 TBS. olive oil (original recipe had 1 TBS.)
3/4 tsp. cumin
2-3 dashes of cayenne
2 tsp. liquid smoke (Colgin brand)
1 1/2 TBS. soy sauce (use low sodium) (original recipe had 2 tsp.)1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper (original had 3/4 tsp.)
*Update Note 1/12/10: I just made another batch of bacon, and changed the measurements. My husband's version tasted awesome, but the measurements he gave me didn't replicate the same product. I upped the maple syrup, the soy sauce (it needed more color), the oil, and lowered the pepper.
1. Slice the tempeh thinly across the width--making many short-sized pieces, rather than long ones. This prevents the bacon from falling apart.
2. Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.
3. Place tempeh in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over the slices. Cover, refrigerate for about an hour or more.
4. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. I used my "convection roast" setting which alternates between baking & broiling. Place the slices carefully on a foil-covered shallow baking pan or cookie sheet. If you like, go ahead and spray lightly with a smidge of olive oil. Bake for about 5 minute; turn slices; and bake for another 5 minutes. You do not want to burn these, so watch them very carefully--you want them caramelized and a little crisp--but not burnt!
5. Note: I poured the excess marinade over the tempeh before it baked. I also gave it a very light spraying with olive oil.
6. Great on toasted Ezekiel Bread, topped with a little avocado, broccoli sprouts, sliced tomatoes, and a dash of my favorite Terrapin Ridge Spicy Chipotle Squeeze (not-vegan). I couldn't tell you how much I looked forward to my brown-bag lunches this week. The "bacon" makes a scrumptious sandwich, and the possibilities are endless.
For Kathy's original version, click here.
In my humble opinion, this was 100% better than LightLife's Tempeh Strips--Fakin' Bacon
Nutritional Info based on 5 serving per 8 oz. of tempeh: (for fat gram watchers, note that tempeh has its own natural fat content which is what brings the tally up)
Serving Size: 1 serving
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