Lunch with The BAT

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For the month of February, I was strongly encouraged to follow a vegan diet in view of a yoga training I was doing.  At first I didn’t think it would phase me too much, as I love fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  But as the days went on, my creativity also had to become ignigted otherwise boredom would set in quickly.  Lunch was one of the more challenging meals for me, as my typical lunch is a sandwich, salad, or yogurt parfait.  So while working from home one day, I got some inspiration to try something new.  And that’s where the BAT was born.

The BAT is a grilled bacon*, avocado, and tofu sanwhich (*bacon=seitan bacon).  And to make it the perfect winter day lunch, I did it in my panini press.  I got the idea from a local vegan restaurant, who makes a killer grilled avocado sandwhich.  Unfortunately, it’s also a killer on the wallet so I started making my own at home, but sometimes you gotta kick things up a notch.

Because avocados are a great source of healthy fats, I wanted to up the protein factor of this meal.  Tofu is not only a complete plant-based source of protein, but it’s also a high source of calcium, which is something that can be lacking in a lot of vegan diets.  And although bacon has always grossed me out (sorry, bacon lovers), I decided to try a seitan version to get some more variety in my sources of protein while in this period of veganism.

Typically I’m not a fan of foods processed to become “like” something else- in this case a wheat protein made to be like bacon. I prefer to keep my foods as close to nature as possible (until I get my hands on them and inflict some creativity). However, as I said, I was getting bored with my protein options- there’s only so much portabella, tofu, and tempeh a girl can have in a given week.  So while shopping in what my husband refers to as the “crunchy section” of my favorite food store, Wegmans, I decided to check out some seitan varieties.


Seitan (pronounced “say-tan” and not satan as my husband calls it) is often referred to as “wheat meat”.  It is made from wheat gluten, so be warned iimaget’s not a celiac-friendly option.  This meat substitute is high in protein, low in fat/carbs, and provides a good source of iron (which can also be missing in many vegan diets).  However, because it’s a processed food, seitan can be high in sodium, so be mindful of how much you are having if high blood pressure is a concern.

To assemble this creation, some prep work needs to be done first on the other sandwhich components.  Tofu is bland on its own, so I sliced it and added some seasoning and lightly seared it for 2-3 minutes on each side to give it a nice crisp (you must use extra firm tofu or else you’ll wind up with scrambled tofu).  McCormick Perfect Pinch blends are brilliant non-salt seasoning options that come in a variety of combos. The bacon also needs to be cooked as well before assembly.  I recommend using Sweet Earth Natural Foods Hickory & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon for this- the flavors compliment the creaminess of the avocado and seasoning of the tofu.  Assemble onimage whole grain bread in the following order: bacon first, then avocado slices, and finally tofu.  That way, when you flip your sandwich halfway through cooking, the order of your sandwich will be bacon, avocado, tofu.  Serve along with a side of greens for added color and nutrients.

RECOMMENDED REGISTRY ITEMS: A panini pan, silicone spatula, and a non-stick skillet set.

Enjoy your next lunch with the BAT and share your thoughts in the Comments below.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share on your social media and tag #NutritionNuptials for a chance to have your creation shared.  

The BAT (Bacon, Avocado, Tofu) *Vegan*

Servings 1 sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices Sweet Earth Natural Foods Hickory & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon
  • 2 slices extra firm tofu approx 1/4" thick each
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch seasoning any variety of choice
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado sliced
  • 2 slices whole grain bread look for varieties that have >3g of fiber per slice
  • Optional: Mixed greens with vinaigrette dressing on the side

Instructions

  1. Using an olive oil mister, lightly spray a non-stick skillet to coat the bottom. Heat on medium-high heat (See Notes). Add bacon slices and cook 2 minutes per side. When done, place slices on paper towel to blot excess oil. Allow to cool while tofu cooks.
  2. Add another light coating of olive oil to the pan. Lightly sprinkle both sides of the tofu slices with the McCormick seasoning and place in the heated pan. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes per side on medium heat until both sides are lightly browned. Remove from pan.
  3. Lightly spray the panini pan with olive oil and heat over a medium-low flame. Assemble the sandwich on the bread in the following order: bacon slices, avocado slices, tofu slices. Place in panini pan and cover with press (See Notes). Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side- bread should be golden browned. Flip and cook with the press on top for another 2 minutes. Carefully remove with silicon spatula.
  4. Serve with mixed greens on the side.

Recipe Notes

If an olive oil mister is not available, use 1-2 tsp of olive oil to lightly coat pans.

If you do not have a panini pan, use a regular non-stick skillet and a weighted kitchen object to place on top of the sandwich to press down, such as the clean bottom of another pot/pan. You can also manually press down occasionally with a spatula while the sandwich is cooking.

Nutrition Info

1 sandwich= 470 calories, 22.5g fat (3.5g sat fat), 39g carbs, 12g fiber, 28g protein, 393 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)

DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are not influenced or biased by any third parties. I am not compensated for mentioning any specific brands or retailers on this blog.