The classic club sandwich gets a healthy vegan makeover with tofu and beet bacon.
This club house sandwich is classic, but with a twist! I swapped chicken and bacon for tofu and beets and it’s over-the-top delicious. There was a time in my young adult years when if I saw a club house sandwich on a menu, I got it. Nothing else mattered. I think you’ll feel some emotions flooding in after one big ol’ bite outta this sammie. The beet bacon really only works in sandwiches like this, so I don’t recommend repurposing it in salads or pasta dishes.
Vegan Beet Bacon Club Sandwich
- 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tbsp neutral vegetable oil
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- ¾ tsp liquid smoke
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 small red beet sliced 1/16 to 18 inch thin with mandoline
- 1 brick firm tofu
- 2 tsp vegan chicken-flavored bouillon or 1 cub
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp neutral vegetable oil, for frying
- 9 slices white or whole wheat sandwich bread
- ⅔ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 4-6 pieces green leaf lettuce
- 1 large hothouse tomato, sliced thin
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
- To make the beet bacon, mix together the tamari or soy sauce, nutritional yeast, oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika in a large bowl. Toss the beet slices in the marinade, coating both sides, and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
- To make the sandwich, slice the tofu into slabs or squares from the largest side, ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. The slabs may vary slightly, but that's OK. You should have 9 or 10. Lay them out on another baking sheet. In a bowl, mix together the bouillon and water until combined. Brush this on both sides of the tofu slices and set them aside until the beet bacon is in the oven.
- Lay each marinated beet slice on the prepared baking sheet slightly spaced apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on the middle rack. You might need to remove any slices that have already crisped up and bake the remaining pieces another 5 to 10 minutes. These will burn very quickly, so check them every 2 minutes to make sure the beet bacon doesn't completely char on the edges or burn. The slices will have wrinkled edges and still feel a little soft but they will get slightly more crisp as they cool.
- To fry the tofu, heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of the oil, coating the pan evenly. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper to the tops of the tofu slices and place the seasoned side down into the hot pan. Fry the tofu in batches. Fry on the first side 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with more sea salt and black pepper and flip. Fry the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat, adding more oil to the pan before frying the next batch, until al the tofu is fried.
- Lightly toast the bread and spread the vegan mayonnaise on the bottom slice. Top with the lettuce and tomato and overlap 2 tofu slices to fit on the bread. Then spread the vegan mayonnaise on both sides of the top slice. Then stack the beet slices, with lettuce and tomato, and spread mayonnaise on the inside of the top slice of bread.
- Slice the sandwich into quarters with a sharp knife and place toothpicks in the centre of each quarter to hold the sandwich together. Serve with pickle spears and mow down!
Looking for other great veggie ideas? Try these Sloppy Joe stuffed zucchinis.
Reprinted with permission from Hot for Food All Day, by Lauren Toyota. Ten Speed Press 2021. All rights reserved.