“Now I’m plant-based, I get really stuck with what to put in a sandwich.” Does this sound familiar? I get sent a lot of messages about this or it comes up in conversations with my nutrition clinic clients. And of course, no matter how much you love hummus (and I do love hummus!), you don’t necessarily want it every day, and neither does your microbiome. Those friendly bacteria that hang out in the gut love a bit of variety; the same thing every day can make them fade not flourish.
Of course there are many vegan sandwich fillings you can get your hands on now which is great as long as you don’t need to worry about the ingredients (of which there are often many!). But if you’re following a whole-food plant-based diet with no oil for health reasons or if you have food allergies and intolerances, these options are off the menu.
So let me help! You can find two great sandwich filling recipes here on the blog – chickpea sandwich spread and creamy mashed beans. There’s also a fab lentil and walnut paté as well. And now I offer you these amazingly tasty and super easy smoky tofu slices.
If you miss texture in your lunchtime options, then these will make you happy. The recipe requires super dooper extra firm tofu which means it doesn’t fall apart or go mushy. The Tofoo Co. is a great option as it’s really firm. And if you like a bit extra flavour, choose their smoked tofu for extra smokiness.
The most complicated thing about this recipe is time – to get the best flavour, the tofu needs marinading for at least an hour. If you’re busy, quickly pop it together in the morning for later (great if you’re still working from home) or even the night before. Once the flavours are in, the slices need a few minutes in a pan and they’re done.
I have this recipe in my book Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie. That version I say to bake the slices, and indeed if you have time, you still can because you can go away and leave them to do their thing (as long as you set a timer!). In this version, I suggest cooking in a frying pan – but they need watching, so no wondering off to do other things or the smoke alarm will be bleeping before you know it.
The marinade is made up of just 3 ingredients – tamari or coconut amines (or soya sauce if you’re ok with it) for the umami flavour, maple syrup for the sweet and smoked paprika for the smokiness and red colour. It’s a great team.
I use a plastic tub to mix up the marinade and pop in the slices. I find it easier to make sure all the tofu gets soaked as it’s easy to turn upside down and around. Time wise, try to leave them to soak for an hour, but to be honest I’ve done a flash 10 minutes and they’ve still been ok.
Once cooked, you can use them straight away if you want a BLT kind of option, or they can be cooled and kept in the fridge for later or popped into sandwiches, rolls or wraps for the lunchbox. Alternatively, add them as a great plant protein element for a salad or Buddha bowl.
I hope you enjoy these delicious smoky tofu slices – do let me know how you get on in the comments below.
Smoky tofu slices
- 200 grams extra firm plain or smoked tofu
- 2 tbsp soya sauce or tamari or coconut amines depending on your needs
- 1 heaped tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Mix the marinade ingredients together into a small bowl or plastic tub with a lid.
- Cut the tofu into 8 equal slices then place them in the marinade. Turn them over to make sure both sides are coated.
- Leave to marinade for at least an hour if possible, turning from time to time.
- When you're ready, either pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and place the slices on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes.
- Or place the slices in a quality non-stick frying pan over a medium heat (no oil needed) and 'fry' for 2 minutes. Turn over and 'fry' the other side until lightly browned.
- Use straight away whilst hot or leave to cool and keep in a container in the fridge until ready.