He Leaned in Close and Whispered, “You smell like bacon…”

My favourite things to make are things that vegans normally don’t get to dine on. I love making non vegan food into vegan food and sharing it with everyone and seeing the surprise on thier face. I’ve tried a couple vegan bacon recipes and none of them were quite as good as real bacon. I never thought this would turn out to be so easy when I went on a venture to create my own…

It’s not easy to convince a meat eater to eat tofu bacon. Really, it’s no child’s play. However, if you talk them into trying this one, you’ll get to enjoy the sweet impressed look on their face as well. I have fed this tofu bacon to several meat eaters who said it tasted JUST like bacon. You’ll be very surprised.

Apparently, bacon is what often “turns” vegetarians back into meat eaters. It’s what vegetarians miss because, no, there isn’t a good sustitute to be found. Until now. Texture and all, this is what you’ve been waiting for.

It’s only a couple ingredients and I don’t have exact measurements…I usually just wing it myself and it’s not too particular. It will sizzle like bacon does and your house will fill with the smell of bacon, so turn the fan on. Also, make this in the morning before you shower and get ready for the day, or someone might wait until you’re out in public to tell you you smell like bacon. You will smell like bacon.

Tofu Bacon

extra firm tofu, thinly sliced (and I mean thinly sliced…)

liquid smoke

soy sauce

salt

oil

Cut the tofu into thin slices. Place on a paper towel, place a paper towel on top and gently press liquid out of the tofu.

In a cast iron frying pan (really, use cast iron because this has great potential to ruin other frying pans…) heat about a tablespoon or two tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. DO NOT EVER raise the heat over medium or you’ll burn the bacon.

In a small bowl coat the tofu pieces generously with liquid smoke and place in frying pan. Sprinkle with salt (I use lots of salt because I love salt). Cook for about 3 minutes.

Brush the tofu pieces with soy sauce and cook about another 2 minutes. Flip (I use a fork to flip) and coat the other side with soy sauce.

Cook, flipping and moving placement in pan often, until it looks (somewhat) like bacon. Remove from heat and serve.

*Sometimes the tofu will stay soft, however, it will get crunchy onces removed from the pan and cooled slightly.

*Do yourself a favor and clean the pan right away!!!

I made my tofu into a sandwich. Just bread, tomato, Veganaise, lettuce and bacon. Best thing ever.

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Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip

This was another recipe from Veganomicon. It was my first time making seitan and it turned out good. I liked this a lot. I did everything the same, except I omitted the cilantro because I just don’t like it. The seitan was a PAIN to make but well worth it. I think the texture of the  cutlets would work really well for a Chinese style ginger beef dish…so maybe I’ll work on that next. Enjoy!

Seitan Cutlets

Makes 6 cutlets

Broth

6 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Bring to a boil in a pot and then turn off the heat and keep covered.

Cutlets

1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten

½ cup cold vegetabl broth

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves farlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grate

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)

Place the wheat gluten in a mixing bowl. Pour the cold vegetable broth into a measuring cup. Then ppour in the soy sauce. Add the oil, garlic and lemon zest and mix. Pour the wet mixture into the flour and combine with a woden spoon until most of the moisture has absorbed and it’s partially clumped up with the flour. Use your hands to knead for about 3 minutes, until the dough is elastic. Divide into six equal pieces.

Take each piece and stretch and knead it into an oblong cutlet shape that is a little less than ½ inch thick. Use your body weight to press it and stretch it on a hard surgace; there will be some resistance but just keep at it.

Pour the heated vegetabl broth into a 9/13 inch baking pan. Plafe the cutlets in the broth, , then bake for about 30 minutes uncovered, turn the cutlets over and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place the cutlets in a colander to drain. The cutlets are now ready to use in whatever seitan recipe you choose. If you have extra seitan, store it in the cooking liquid in a tightly covered container.

Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip

Serves 4

Dipping broth:

2 ½ cup of brothe from seitan cutlets

4 cloves of garlic, left whole with peel but gently crushed

1-inch piece finger root, slices into 1/8-inch pieces and gently crushed

½ teaspoon five-spice powder

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 ½ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

In a 2-quart sauce pan, combine the broth, garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, and pepper flakes. Don’t cover the pan. Bring to aboi land boil for 5 minutes, then turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the sugar and lime juice, and cover the broth to keep it warm until ready to serve. You may strain the brother before serving; it’s easily done by ladling individual servings through a mesh strainer into serving bowls.

Sandwiches:

4-8 Seitan Cutlets, grilled, baked or fried, cut into thin slices

4 (5-inch) French baguettes, or indivisual mini baguettes

Several sprigs of fresh cilantro

Red onion rings, sliced thinly

Cucumber (seedless is best), peeled and sliced into long, thin strips

Prepared vegan mayonnaise, several rablespoons per sandwich or to taste

Warm the seitan slices in a pan or keep warm in the oven until ready to use. Slice each baguette in half. Keeping one long side intact, open up and lightly toast. Spread mayonnaise on each half of the baguette and layer one side with cucumber, onion rings and seitan slices; top wit hthe cilantro. Close the sandiwches and press odwn on top to smush down a little. Holding it firmly, slice each sandwich in half on the diagonal. Serve witha a small cup of hot broth.