These tempeh breakfast sandwiches are made with pan-fried tempeh in a savory sauce, stuffed in an English muffin and piled with avocado and baby spinach.
Breakfast sandwiches have been a mystery to me for most of my life. This is mainly due to the fact that they usually involve eggs, and I've never been fond of eggs. I started experimenting with them a bit though, after discovering that I do enjoy eggless savory breakfasts. I also really enjoy sandwiches. With those two things in mind, a savory vegan breakfast sandwich was kind of inevitable.
I had a loose idea in mind when I made these, and if you read the recipe you might pick up on that. I wasn't totally sure it would work, but I wanted the tempeh to, at least to some degree, take on the flavor of sausage.
Guess what? It worked! Now, I'm not going to go and say you'd fool someone into thinking they were eating sausage with these, but the sausage flavor is definitely there. In fact, I didn't even mention my sausage-tempeh goal to my husband. Just handed him a sandwich and asked for an honest opinion. I addition to loving the sandwich, he quickly commented that the tempeh had a sausagey flavor. Score! Further proof that you don't need meat, or even meat substitutes for that matter, to enjoy the flavors we've come to associate with it.
Another thing about these sandwiches: they are filling! The recipe gives you the option to make two or three sandwiches. I always have this problem with tempeh. Have you read the "number of servings" listed on the nutrition label of a tempeh package? 2.5 servings. Why? This number is terribly inconvenient, and unfortunately, also pretty accurate.
I never dine with 2.5 people, so often my tempeh recipes end up giving you a range for the number of servings. In this case, if you stretch your tempeh out and go for the three serving batch, I promise, you will not be hungry. Incidentally, I always seem to wake up famished, so I went with the super-stuffed, two serving recipe. I spent the rest of the day cursing myself, because it was the same day I visited Bethlehem VegFest, so I kinda wished I had more room in my belly. Plan accordingly.
Savory Tempeh Breakfast Sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 8 ounce package tempeh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 vegan English muffins, split and toasted
- ½ avocado, sliced
- About ½ cup baby spinach
- Dijon mustard
Whisk the soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, garlic, paprika and pepper together in a small bowl.
Slice the tempeh in half, thickness-wise, so you end up with two thin slabs. Slice each of your slabs in half or thirds, so you end up with 4-6 slabs total.
Coat a large skillet with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh slabs in an even layer and cook until they're browned on the bottoms, about 3 minutes. Pour soy sauce mixture over tempeh and cook another minute or so, until the sauce dries up and forms a thick coating on the tempeh.
Flip tempeh slabs and cook about 3 more minutes, until browned on opposite sides and most of the liquid has cooked off.
Slather the English muffins with ketchup, Dijon and any other dressings you like. Stuff the muffins with tempeh slabs, topped with avocado slices and baby spinach.
Check the ingredients on your English muffins before buying them, as not all brands are vegan. Trader Joe's British Muffins are vegan.