Sunday, January 2, 2011

Open-Faced Awesome-ness

For as long as I can remember, my mom has prepared Pork Chops and Sour Kraut on New Year's Day, as tradition claims that this meal brings one good luck for the upcoming year.

Regardless of how marvelous my mom's p-chops are, I have to ask: Where does this meat-centric tradition leave vegetarians? In a perpetual cycle of bad luck...year after year?

Of course not, friends. We're simply left to create our own good-fortune meal.

Enter Open Face Barbeque Tempeh Sandwiches with Carrot-Cayenne Slaw. Yes, it's truly as awesome as it sounds...times ten.

We received a rockin' new cookbook under the Christmas tree this year: Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. This 5-star cookbook features healthy, high-quality vegan versions of all your Southern favorites. Tonight's recipe was highlighted in Terry's "Favorites" chapter, whereby he shares his top 6 favorite recipes (and who doesn't want to try a chef's personal favorite?).

You know I love fork n' knife vegetarian sandwiches, and this little number was no exception. I piled my bread mile-high with barbeque tempeh, slaw, and caramelized onions, and I'm already looking forward to the leftovers.

Do you have any New Year's food traditions?

Open-Faced BBQ Tempeh Sandwich with Carrot-Cayenne Slaw
(adapted from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen)

This flavorful vegan sandwich will fill you up for sure--and it will definitely bring you good luck for the new year!

Sandwich Ingredients:
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP lime juice
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce (plus more for later, if you like it saucy)
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1/2 pound tempeh, sliced
  • Homemade bread, sliced
  • 1 large onion, caramelized or sauteed until browned
Carrot Slaw Ingredients:
  • 2 - 3 cups chopped cabbage (we used pre-chopped bagged cabbage)
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Finely chopped dill pickle (as much as you'd like! I probably added about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2) To prepare the tempeh: In a food processor, combine the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, olive oil, honey, cumin, cayenne, and water. Divide sauce in half. Set one half of sauce aside, and add the tempeh to the remaining sauce. Stir to coat, and pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 40 minutes.

3) When you remove the tempeh from the oven, dice it (so it's chunky!). If you like your barbeque tempeh saucy (like I do), you can mix your serving of tempeh with some of the reserved barbeque sauce, or extra plain tomato sauce.

4) To prepare slaw: Combine mustard, honey, white wine vinegar, salt, cayenne, and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Combine cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, and pour vinegar sauce over top. Stir to coat; stir in sesame seeds and chopped pickle.

5) To assemble: place a piece of toasted bread on your plate. Pile with tempeh, slaw, and caramelized onions. Rock out your New Year :) It's 2011: Bring it on!


  1. wow, nice work! I Would never to think of making something like this but it looks so good!

  2. Drool! Those flavors sound amazing, think I could do this with chicken?

  3. Your sandwich looks for a new year's menu tradition....blackeyed peas are also known for their good luck qualities. If prepared as a side or in a salad, it works well for the meatless meal eaters.

  4. bbq tempeh? yummmm!!!!! This looks like a snazzy deli sandwich =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  5. My boyfriend's mother is also big on pork and kraut on New Year's Day, love the concept of the open faced deliciousness!

  6. in my family (to be read my parents) have this tradition of eating a specific meal on Christmas day and New Year's Eve & Day, of course it all comes down to pork.
    Now, since my husband doesn't eat meat either is Christmas and New Year's meal change according to our wishes around that time.
    your sandwich sounds delicious

    have a wonderful Sunday evening

  7. Isn't it funny how different parts of the US have different New Years traditions? At my house, we HAVE to eat black eyed peas and greens. My mom makes them every year. But this sandwich looks mighty good. We've just fallen in love with tempeh over the last few months. I can't wait to try this. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Please have a happy and joyous week!

  8. Mmm I enjoy a good fork and knife sandwich! There aren't any specific foods we eat for New Year's but once we get a house I would like to start some kind of tradition! Happy New Year friend!

  9. we eat pork and saurkraut every new years like the good Germans that we are ;)

  10. I've never been a fan of tempeh's taste/texture but this sounds like a delicious way to eat it!

  11. IT's so funny how some of these traditions come about, and how we have no idea where some of them come from. I'd love to try this sandwich sometime. I've tried tempeh a couple times, both from Trader Joes and I have to say I didn't really like it. Can I ask where you got yours? I really want to like it!

  12. I like the name of this dish... I love tempeh!

    Happy 2011!

  13. That sandwich looks fabulous! Hubby and I are eating meatless more often, and this sandwich with all of its flavors is perfect. :)

  14. Tried this tonight with the girls. Awesome!!!

  15. Yum, another awesome sounding tempeh recipe that I need to try! Still haven't cooked with it, but did have it in some enchiladas at a restaurant in Austin. Also, I'm not much of a slaw fan, but that recipe sounds good! For a NYE party, I made black-eyed pea dip. :)