Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vegan Sandwiches!

I had the pleasure of helping to cater lunch for representatives of many animal rescue organizations yesterday, on behalf of Compassion Barn. (Here is the news coverage of the event.) It's always a joy to me to introduce people to the vibrancy and wholesomeness of vegan foods, but especially so when it's for such a dedicated crowd of do-gooders. Then we took the leftovers to our hosts at the Loggerhead MarineLife Center and had the opportunity to explain the benefits of a vegan diet to many of the volunteers there. It was a good day for vegan cooktivism!

Anyway, I was asked about the recipes. Unfortunately, I was too busy to take photos of the food, so you'll have to use your imagination. Also, I may be somewhat imprecise in my measurements as I'm scaling down the recipes from feeding 40 people to a more reasonable amount.

Delicious Vegan Sandwich #1:  Grilled & Chilled Roasted Vegetables on Ciabatta with Basil Mayo

Step 1: Lightly roast the vegetables.

Ingredients:Any amount of zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplantOlive oilSalt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice the vegetables evenly, about 1/4 inch thick. (A mandolin slicer works great for this, but if you're like me, watch your thumbs. I am currently sporting a band-aid.) 

Place the veg in a gallon storage bag, and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil (depending on how much veg you cut). Seal the bag and knead it gently with your hands to toss and coat evenly. Add a bit more olive oil if needed to lightly coat.

Spread the slices in a single later on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just cooked through, but still firm. Let cool 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a dish and move to the refrigerator to chill. 

Step 2: Make the basil mayo.

1 jar of vegan mayo (I used grapeseed Veganaise, but your vegan mayo of choice is fine)
1 bunch of finely chopped basil or 2-3 tbsp of basil paste (this is chopped basil in oil that can often be found in the produce department of your local grocery)

Just put the mayo in a bowl and mix in the basil! You can use it right away, or let it sit overnight for full flavor.

Step 3: Assemble the sandwiches.  

Slice the ciabatta roll, slather both sides with basil mayo, and stack the chilled vegetables in layers (a layer of squash, a layer of zucchini, a layer of eggplant). Serve and enjoy!

Delicious Vegan Sandwich #2: Cool Black Bean Wraps with Tomato-Corn Salsa

Step 1: Make the black bean spread

2 cans (roughly 3.5 cups) cooked black beans, drained
1/2 bottle of taco sauce (roughly 1 cup)

Run it through the food processor until mostly smooth.

Step 2: Make the tomato-corn salsa

3 cups fresh tomato, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 finely chopped bunch of cilantro
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of corn kernels, drained
Salt and/or lime juice to taste

Mix all ingredients. Season with salt and/or lime juice if you like.

Step 3: Make the wraps

Take the tortilla or wrap and swipe 2-3 tbsp of spread down the center. Top with 2-3 tbsp of salsa. Add some shredded romaine. Fold the top and the bottom of the wrap toward the center. Then roll from one side. Slice in half and serve.

That's it! There were a couple of other things that were served that were fantastic, but weren't made by me. (One of those things was a vegan creamy potato salad - Susan told me to mix the leftover veganaise into some German potato salad, and it was DELICIOUS!) 

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