Everybody loves bacon, but not everybody loves it enough that they’re willing to eat it despite its coming from a living thing. Luckily for us vegans there are a ton of meat-free options in the grocery store: There’s LightLife’s Smart Bacon, Sweet Earth’s Benevolent Bacon and others. And as much as I enjoy eating both of those, lately I’ve been trying my hand at making my own.
A pretty common bacon substitute is tempeh, so that’s what I’ve been working with. It has a meaty consistency, and it’s pretty versatile; you can spice it up however you’d like. And after a lot of attempts, I think I hit on a simple and flavorful marinade that might not taste exactly like real bacon, but it fills in nicely.
You can do anything you want with this bacon recipe, but in this case I decided to recreate one of my favorite summer sandwiches: the BLT. And for a little extra pizzazz I whipped up some avocado mayo to go along with it.
I really love this sandwich and hope you will, too. It’s perfect for a warm afternoon when you’re sitting around reading a book or hanging out on the back deck while the dog runs around in circles chasing its tail in the yard. I think you’ll like it as much as I do.
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. agave
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 (8-oz.) package tempeh
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup vegan mayo (I use Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1 cup romaine lettuce leaves
- 4 slices bread, lightly toasted
- In large bowl, mix soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, agave, paprika, and liquid smoke.
- Slice tempeh in thin slices and marinade for 2 minutes in liquid mixture.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat in skillet; add tempeh.
- Cook for about 2 minutes and turn over to other side, then cook for another 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl mash avocado and mix in mayo; stir until smooth.
- Spread mayo on each piece of bread; add half tempeh, lettuce, and tomato.
Pairs great with our Lavender-Infused Lemonade!