by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

I'm pretty excited this week to introduce you to a wonderful new ingredient you may not have heard of before = liquid smoke. Whilst it might seem like one of those things that ends up gathering cobwebs at the back of your cupboard, I guarantee once you start using it you’ll fall in love with the incredible things it can do. If you’re transitioning to a more plant-based diet (or are an avid vege-lover already), liquid smoke will be your new best friend for creating delicious smokey BBQ type flavours, once reserved only for things like bacon and smoked salmon. Once i started experimenting with it, I quickly realised that the main thing I had enjoyed about those foods was actually the sweet, salty, smokiness, rather than the meat itself!

SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics 5

So here you go. Smokey Tempeh “Bacon” BLATs. Salty, sweet, smokey, chewy, and utterly delicious. All the things you love about bacon, without the parts you aren’t so keen on (animal cruelty, chemicals and additives, environmental degradation, global warming...). Did you know incidentally that pigs are as intelligent as three year old children? That fact shocks me even more, now that Mila is 19 months and is so crazily smart - she understands everything we say to her (go put on your shoes, where’s your bib, do up your seat belt), and has started saying so many words now. But back to our piggies, they really are the most incredible and smart animals, despite their less than glamorous appearance. They love to play games, kick balls, play fetch, and cuddle if you let them too - just like dogs (and three year old children!).

SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

If that’s not enough to turn you off, the World Health Organisation recently classified bacon, along with other processed meats, as a Group 1 carcinogen. The same group as tobacco and asbestos, i.e. there is convincing evidence that they cause cancer. In particular, eating processed meats such as bacon, salami, chorizo, ham, beef jerky, biltong and the like, have been shown to cause colorectal cancer, as well strong associations with stomach, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Not what we want at all.

SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

Lovely Liquid Smoke
Luckily, we have liquid smoke. In this delicious recipe, we’re recreating a classic BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) into a gorgeous bite of plant-based deliciousness. Tempeh is one of my favourite foods to recommend people consume as part of a plant-based whole foods lifestyle, as it’s a great source of protein, is fermented (so easily digested and great for populating your gut with good bacteria), is easy and quick to cook (perfect for mid-week meals), and has a similar texture to meat, so many find it the perfect substitute to turn their favourite traditional recipes into healthier plant-based versions. I’ve spoken more about tempeh before here, so today let's focus on that liquid smoke.

SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

Liquid smoke is made by collecting the steam that’s given off when burning various types of wood, and condensing it into a liquid. It literally just contains water (the steam) flavoured by smoke from the burning wood - an infusion of sorts. It’s super flavoursome and very strong, so you only need a little, but it imparts incredible flavour to food. Various woods can be used such as hickory and maple, and each give a slightly different flavour profile to the liquid - this is the one I've used in this recipe here and is completely natural with no flavour enhancers.

SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

So if you covertly still have thoughts about the smokey, salty bacon, definitely give these incredible Smokey Tempeh BLATs a go. I promise you’ll get all the same flavour and more, and be doing your health, animals, and our planet an incredible service at the same time! The tempeh bacon is super quick to make, and will no doubt become a kitchen regular for you after you try it. It stores really well in the fridge too, so is great for making sandwiches or sprinkling over a salad the next day. Combined with creamy avocado, tangy cashew mayo, crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes, these healthy BLATs really do make the most flavoursome yet refreshingly light lunch (or dinner as we often do). 

If you try them, I'd love to see your pics on Instagram - it's always such a treat seeing your recreations and hearing your successes. If you do, tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics and I’ll be sure to pop over and say hello.

Enjoy your smokey sammies this weekend, I’m crossing fingers for more of that lovely sun - these out on the deck would be just perfect. Til next week, stay happy and well.

x Buffy-Ellen

PS If you like this recipe, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or post it to Instagram. And if you're not already subscribed to my weekly recipe emails, make sure you do that here! My new YouTube channel is also now up and running – don’t miss my next video by subscribing here.

Smokey Tempeh BLAT 

SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

VeganVegetarianDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeNut FreeSugar FreeContains Organic IngredientsCruelty Free

Makes 4 sandwiches

Takes 15 minutes  

Make with

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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible

Smokey Tempeh 'Bacon'
250g tempeh
4 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp sweetener*
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-3 tsp liquid smoke**
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp coconut oil

Cashew Mayo
1 cup cashews (soaked 1-2 hours, rinsed and drained)
1/2 c water
Rind, juice & flesh of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt

To Serve
8 slices of sprouted or wholegrain bread
Tomatoes
1 large avocado 

*I personally love coconut nectar as a sweetener, for reasons I've outlined here, but you could also use maple syrup, brown rice syrup or whatever liquid sweetener you have in the cupboard.

**3 teaspoons makes for super smokey 'bacon', so if you're new to liquid smoke, I recommend trying the 1 or 2 teaspoon measures to start.

c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon

How to
  1. Slice the tempeh into 3mm slices, then pan fry in coconut oil on a medium heat.
  2. Whisk the remaining tempeh bacon ingredients together, then when the tempeh has browned, pour them over the tempeh and reduce the heat to low, simmering until the liquid has just evaporated.
  3. Meanwhile add the cashew mayo ingredients to a high speed blender, and blend until super smooth with no lumps, scraping down the sides of the blender in between if needed. Add more salt or lemon to taste if desired.
  4. Toast your bread slices until golden, then serve topped with layers of lettuce, sliced avocado, thick slices of tomato, tempeh slices (~4 per person), a dollop of cashew mayo, and your top slice of toast. Serve with a simple garden salad and enjoy.
    Notes
    • If you love this Smokey Tempeh Bacon (which you will) I highly recommend making a double batch and keeping leftovers for salads and sandwiches the next few days. Leftover tempeh slices will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Delicious the next day sprinkled on a salad or to make more sandwiches.
    • Cashew mayo leftovers meanwhile will last for up to 5 days in the fridge too - keep it in a sealed jar.
    • If your cashew mayo isn't blending or too thick, you can add an extra tablespoon or two of water to get it going. In contrast, if it's too thin for your liking, feel free to add a teaspoon or two of coconut flour to thicken it up. Once you put it in the fridge it will thicken up considerably overnight, so you can add a bit more water to loosen the next day, if you like.
    • Liquid smoke is a super strong and unique flavour, so if you're trying this for the first time, try the 1 teaspoon option. I of course like it super smokey, so go for the 2 or 3 teaspoon measures!
    • Kids will love this tempeh bacon too - Mila especially - she normally asks to taste a few slices out of the pan before we've even gotten near to the sandwich preparation part!
    • You can also make this recipe with panfried portobello mushrooms or eggplant slices. Lower in protein but still smokily delicious.
    • To make this recipe nut free, simply swap the cashews for sunflower seeds.
    • To make it gluten free, choose your favourite gluten free wholegrain or sprouted bread.

     

    SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

    SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics

    SMOKEY TEMPEH BLAT - vegan, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, natural, lunch, tempeh bacon, sweet and salty, begoodorganics



    Buffy Ellen
    Buffy Ellen

    Author

    Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes. Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.




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