Tempeh BLTs

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Makes 4 servings

For the tempeh

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon safflower oil, divided

¼ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 8-ounce packages tempeh, each sliced into 8 strips

For the sandwiches

8 slices gluten-free or whole wheat bread

2 large tomatoes, sliced

8 lettuce leaves

½ cup vegan mayonnaise

Enjoy late-summer tomatoes in this classic sandwich, made more planet-friendly by swapping the bacon for sliced, marinated tempeh (a fermented soy food). Your family can eat freshly-made Tempeh BLTs for lunch at home during the last days of summer vacation, then pack the premade sandwiches for lunch once school starts. Since the vegan mayo is egg-free, there’s no need to worry about spoilage.


In a large baking dish, add the wheat-free tamari, ¼ cup of the safflower oil, maple syrup, vinegar, tomato paste, liquid smoke, and garlic. Whisk to combine and add the tempeh, tossing to coat. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or up to overnight.

Heat a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon safflower oil and the marinated tempeh (you can refrigerate the marinade to reuse for up to a week). Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until both sides of the tempeh are browned and crisp. Transfer the tempeh to a plate.

Assemble the sandwiches: Place four slices of bread on a work surface and spread each with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Place four slices of the tempeh on each slice of bread, then top with tomato slices and 2 lettuce leaves. Spread the remaining four slices of bread each with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, then use to top the sandwiches. Slice each sandwich in half and serve, or wrap tightly in foil and pack for lunch.

Per Serving:

Calories: 399

Carbohydrates: 43 g

Fat: 20 g

Protein: 16 g

Fiber: 4 g

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes