Thank goodness the days of sandwiches comprised of bland bread, uninspiring cold cuts, and flavorless slices of cheese are behind me. Going vegan means getting creative – and sandwiches are no exception. Chances are everything you need to create a delicious, healthy sandwich can be found in your refrigerator, cupboards and pantry. Roasted veggies? Olives? Sprouts? How about those slices of marinated and baked tofu from last night’s dinner? Sounds like a sandwich to me. I had some leftover roasted tomato sauce and a small amount of silken tofu (tofu mayo!) to which I added eggplant, caramelized onions, crisp greens and a couple of fresh-baked whole wheat buns to hold it all together. Lunch was served.
Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions [Vegan]
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
- 3 tbsp. liquid aminos (or low-sodium tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- pinch ground pepper
- 1/2 cup roasted tomato sauce
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2+ vegetable broth
- handful fresh arugula, baby spinach or mixed greens
- 2 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
- 2 whole wheat buns (or your favorite sandwich bread)
- Preheat the broiler. Place the sliced eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the liquid aminos (or soy sauce), lemon juice, liquid smoke, garlic powder and pepper and brush on both sides of the eggplant slices. Broil eggplant for about 5-8 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and flip eggplant slices, brushing with additional sauce. Return to broiler until nicely browned. Remove eggplant from oven and set aside.
- To prepare the onion, over medium-heat pour about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a small skillet. Add the onion and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onion slices are soft, buttery and golden in color. This could take 15-20 minutes. Keep adding small amounts of vegetable broth to keep the onions from sticking – but let the broth cook off each time. When the onions are done, set aside.
- To prepare the sandwiches, lightly toast the split buns (if desired) then spread tofu mayonnaise on one half of each sandwich; divide greens and place on top of the tofu mayonnaise, then divide the caramelized onions between the sandwiches. Add 2-3 slices of eggplant per sandwich and top with roasted tomato sauce. Place the top of the bun on the sandwiches and serve.
I make tofu mayonnaise by combining a small amount (about 2-3 tbsp.) of soft silken tofu with about a 1/2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle or two of dry mustard, a pinch of black pepper, a few drops of agave nectar – and then I add one small clove of finely minced garlic and some lemon zest into the whole mess – and whisk. Delicious. You can also make a larger quantity, of course.