Many new vegans struggle with sandwich fillings. If you’re used to putting cheese, ham and bacon in your sandwiches, what do you use instead?
The same is true for people wanting to eat a more plant-based diet.
There are basically 4 approaches to making vegan sandwich fillings:
- Make your sandwich as usual but replace some ingredients with vegan equivalents.
- Recreate favourites using plant-based ingredients
- Make more sandwiches with fillings that are naturally vegan.
- Use your imagination (or use posts like this one) to explore amazing new combinations.
1. Make your sandwich as usual but replace some ingredients with shop-bought vegan equivalents
The range of vegan cheese (or cheeze) continues to grow. Some are available in supermarkets. Others online or from health stores. You can now buy vegan cheese in blocks, in slices and ready grated (shredded). You can buy ones to replace parmesan or mozarella or cream cheese.
Vegusto No-Moo Mild-Aromatic was the winner of the UK Vegan Society’s ‘Best one to give to non-vegan friends’ category and Violife Creamy Original was the best spread The best vegan cheeses: rated | The Vegan Society.
Your Daily Vegan offers what it calls “the ultimate vegan bacon guide”. It reviews bacon brands and offers lots of homemade recipes, making bacon from mushroom, tempeh, etc.
Quorn is among the many companies now offering vegan ham slices, but be aware they also offer a vegetarian ham slice. Quorn like some other companies may use eggs and milk in their non-meat products, so you need to read the label or look for a vegan flag on the packet to be certain.
2. Recreate favourites using plant-based ingredients
One of the most popular vegan fillings is a replacement for tuna mayo.
Simple Vegan Blog says this about his vegan tuna mayo recipe:
“I ate a lot of fish growing up, so I missed it even more than meat when I went vegan… This vegan tuna hasn’t the same texture than real tuna and it isn’t the most beautiful recipe we’ve ever shared, but it has a delicious fishy flavor thanks to the nori sheet and the rest of the ingredients we’ve used. If you miss tuna, give this recipe a try, it’s awesome!”
If you want to try something more elaborate, try this one from Vegan Food and Living. Grilled vegan cheese, kimchi to add an umami flavour and vegan tuna give a tasty vegan twist on the classic tuna melt sandwich.
If you’re missing egg mayonnaise sandwiches, the vegan community have many recipes for the replacement using tofu.
Viva!, a campaigning vegan charity, offer an easy recipe and says that they taste pretty much like the traditional egg mayonnaise equivalent – and the filling takes but a moment to make!
Here are the ingredients for it:
- 1 block (225-250g) firm tofu, crumbled
- 1 red onion, chopped fine (use pre-chopped if short of time)
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp egg-free mayo – see above
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (Engevita brand)
- Salt and pepper to taste – if you want more of an eggy taste Kala Namak black salt
- Cress, or else use scissor-chopped chives or rocket
There are lots of vegan BLT sandwich recipes from the vegan online community. Check out the recipe from Strength and Sunshine. The Ultimate Vegan BLT that’s also gluten-free and soy-free. Smoky eggplant bacon, crisp lettuce, ripe tomato, and a homemade tahini based mayo, sandwiched between two toasty pieces of your favorite bread.
The Minimalist Baker has a BLT that is made from Eggplant (aubergine) Bacon (or Coconut Bacon) and Vegan Mayo.
3. Make more sandwiches with fillings that are naturally vegan
You may already be eating sandwiches that are naturally vegan. Hummus in all its amazing varieties comes to mind as a great filling for sandwiches.
Roasted vegetables and mushroom pate (check the label) also fit the bill. What about peanut and jam?
Some sandwich fillings may need a small tweak. I love Mr Organic Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread. It’s vegan and has all the taste of other ones that contain milk.
This is one of my favourite treats:
4. Use your imagination (or use posts like this one) to explore amazing new combinations
Nut roasts are often seen as one of the outlandish things vegans enjoy. Personally I love a homemade nut loaf, packed with flavour and nutrient-dense ingredients. Great served with roast potatoes, other veggies and some vegan onion gravy. (I’m getting diverted!)
I also love nut roast cold in a sandwich. Sliced with a good chutney and some salad leaves. It’s totally moorish.
Philip Erl has a recipe for walnut pate. When one of my sons came home, he devoured it very fast. Great on a chunk of bread, on toast or in a sandwich with other ingredients.
Anastasia of Kind Earth makes a wonderful sunflower seed pate. It takes time, because you soak the seeds first to sprout them. This makes them easier to digest and easier to blend into a smooth pate.
I think this is nice enough to eat on its own, but you might want to add tomatoes, sliced red onion or some leaves.
I’ve also made a great sandwich filling based on kale and cashew nuts. It’s probably completely different from anything you’ve had before. Do give it a try>>
I hope I’ve given you some ideas for ehat to put betwen those two slices of bread.
And in case you’re wondering vegan butter is getting better and better. I really like Naturali Spreadable.