Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Sandwich-a-Palooza

If you watch 30 Rock, you probably know that Liz Lemon's world view can be summed up thus: "All anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich." Now that's a philosophy I can get behind. Everyone should be able to sit in peace and eat a sandwich. A vegan sandwich. And I'm going to show you some yummy vegan sandwich combos.

With the weather warming up, I find myself less and less inclined to spend my time in a hot kitchen cooking, so sandwiches are perfect. My absolute favorite sandwich requires no effort at all: peanut butter (crunchy, of course) and fig jam. This is a combo made in heaven. And apparently fig jam is also made in heaven, which explains the high transport costs, because this last jar that I bought from Whole Foods (insert "Whole Paycheck" joke here) cost a whopping $7.99! That's EIGHT BUCKS for a jar of fig jam. It's scandalous how much this cost, but I love this stuff so much. And it's not like I'm spending all my hard-earned dough on lobster and caviar, you know what I'm saying? A gal has to splurge once in a while, and fig jam is worth it, in my book. But to my readers out there, rest assured that there are more reasonably priced brands of fig jam to purchase. This just happened to be the only one I found on this particular shopping trip.

Fancy French fig jam

Fig jam also happens to be the secret ingredient in my newest favorite panini combo of the moment. It might sound weird, but I promise you'll love it. It's a delectable sweet-savory combo with tempeh bacon, caramelized onions, Daiya cheese, and fig jam, on raisin pecan bread.

Bacon, Carmelized Onion & Fig Jam Panini
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices raisin pecan bread
1 med. onion, sliced into thin rings
4 slices tempeh bacon
about 1/2 cup of Daiya cheese, Mozarella style, shredded
2 Tbsp. fig jam
balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for grilling

1. Saute onions in 1 Tbsp. oil over med-low heat about 10 minutes until they slowly soften and begin to brown.

2. Once onions begin to brown, drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar over them. I used a fig balsamic vinegar, to complement the fig jam, but if you only have regular balsamic vinegar, that is fine too.

3. Saute bacon slices in remaining oil, until browned. Cut each slice in half in order to fit neatly onto the sandwich.
4. Divide cheese evenly between two slices of bread.

5. Add the bacon slices on top of cheese. Spread caramelized onions on top of bacon.

6. Spread fig jam onto top slices of bread. Brush outside of each sandwich with olive oil and press in either a panini maker or a grill pan until cheese melts and the sandwich is golden brown.

7. EAT!

Another combo that works particularly well with the raisin pecan bread we had is turkey, dijon, cheddar, and apple slices. Another salty-sweet combo that I love.

Turkey, Apple, Cheddar Panini
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices raisin pecan bread
8 Tofurky Deli Slices (These slices are very thin. Use less if using another brand with thicker slices.)
about 1/2 cup Daiya cheese, Cheddar, shredded
1 Golden Delicious apple, cut into thin slices
dijon mustard
olive oil

1. Spread dijon mustard on all 4 slices of bread, then divide half of the cheese between 2 slices of bread.

2. Place 2 slices Tofurky on top of cheese, then arrange apple slices in a layer on top of Tofurky.

3. Place 2 more slices of Tofurky on top of apple layer, then divide the remaining cheese between the 2 sandwiches. (The layers should be bread, mustard, cheese, Tofurky, apples, Tofurky, cheese, mustard, bread.) Brush outside of each sandwich with olive oil and press in either a panini maker or grill pan until cheese melts and sandwich is golden brown.

If that's not enough sandwich excitement for you, don't worry, I have more. It seems the past three weekends in a row I've ended up at 'sNice, in either the Brooklyn or West Village locations. I wrote about my love for Terri already, but 'sNice just may be the best vegan sandwich place in NY. (Just for the record, they do have some dairy on their menu, so it's not entirely vegan, but the vast majority of their menu is vegan, and clearly marked as such.)

One of the best items at 'sNice is actually not a sandwich. It's the best milkshake I've ever had. Their milkshakes are all soy-based, and my favorite flavor is their malted. I honestly don't know if this is what they use, but you can buy vegan malt powder here. I haven't tried this myself, because if I were able to make these malted milkshakes at home, that could be a dangerous thing, and not just because it would bring all the boys to the yard. (Sorry, that was so lame, but I couldn't resist.)

But back to sandwiches. This is what we shared yesterday after an insanely long walk carrying approximately 30 pounds of coins that we needed to exchange at the bank (long story). This is just to say that by the time we got to 'sNice, we were ravenous like wild animals. We had a triple decker club sandwich that included layers of tofu, lettuce, tomato, vegan bacon bits, onion, and a thousand-island-type dressing.

Triple decker club at 'sNice

And also a Philly-style seitan sandwich with melted Daiya cheese and grilled peppers and onions on baguette. This is currently my favorite sandwich at 'sNice. It is really well seasoned and so good.

Philly-style seitan sandwich at 'sNice

And then the weekend before we shared a tempeh Reuben, with sauerkraut, cheese, and thousand island dressing:

Tempeh Reuben

And also a Thai "Chicken" wrap with chicken-style seitan, "Thai" salad (and by Thai, they seem to mean that it includes bean sprouts), and peanut sauce.

Thai "chicken" wrap

So that's my sandwich wrap-up for the week. I think we're going to be eating a lot of sandwiches in the near future, so this will probably be the first of an ongoing sandwich series. Unless I change my mind and decide to do a vegan milkshake series instead.


  1. Your paninis look great! I love fig jam. I am blessed to have a large fig tree growing in my front yard. You know what I'll be making when those babies are ripe. Great blog, as always.
    Vampire Gran

  2. Thanks Vampire Gran! My grandmother had fig trees and always made homemade fig jam too. Peach and pear as well. I didn't appreciate it when I was younger, but oh what I would do for some of her homemade jam now!

  3. WOW! I have those ingredients. I must try this soon! I will be going to NY next year and must keep this in mind. Thanks for the restaurant reviews!

  4. You're welcome Noelle! Definitely get in touch whenever you're coming to NY. We could meet up, and I'll have plenty more restaurant tips for you too!

  5. SOunds like a plan! (Sorry, just checked back on your blog to see a response! :) )