The TLT is a remake of the BLT…, and that’s not turkey! Last week I ate at the True Food Kitchen, the healthy food restaurant based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. While the tempeh, lettuce, and tomato (TLT) sandwich is not a new idea, it was the first time I ate one. They served it with a side of kale salad, and sweet potato hash. It was truly a delicious and healthy meal!
I know several people who would eat less meat, knowing the fat in meat is harmful to the body, but they don’t want to give up the flavor and texture of meat. While tempeh clearly has the texture of a grain, properly seasoned and tucked into a sandwich…, yeah, it tastes like bacon —but without all the grease to clog your arteries. After only one bite I was already imagining how to replicate the mock bacon at home. I knew it had soy sauce, maple syrup or honey, and smoke flavoring. I found a recipe created by the compassionate cook, which I modified to use less liquid smoke, and to which I add smoked paprika. The result? Let’s just say I won’t be going to the True Food Kitchen for their TLT sandwich.
Prep Time: 12 minutes Servings: 4-5 Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
1 (16 ounce) package tempeh, (makes 20, 4-inch slices of mock bacon)
¼ cup Tarmai soy sauce, or low sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon maple syrup 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons olive oil
Vegan mayonnaise, or mayonnaise
Whole wheat, or gluten-free bread, 2 pieces per person
1. Slice the tempeh into 3/8-inch strips, about 4 inches long. Steam the strips for 10 minutes, and later, cool them for 5 minutes.
2. Make the marinade by combining the following ingredients in a 7-1/2 by 9-1/2 inch glass baking pan: the Tamari soy, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika. Place the tempeh strips in the marinade and refrigerate. After 30 minutes, turn the strips over and return the pan to the refrigerator.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, lightly cook the tempeh for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
4. Make the sandwich: Spread your choice of mayonnaise on a slice of toasted bread, and top with the mock bacon, lettuce, tomato, and (optional) avocado. Top with the second slice of bread. Slice the sandwich in half.