|Out of Tuna Sandwich from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! Kelp-infused chickpeas with crunchy green beans.|
Layout and photos: You eat with your eyes first, and thanks to Celine's gorgeous photos, this colorful, eye-pleasing cookbook will have you licking the pages. Its layout is clean, well-indexed and easy to scan, which in my eyes, is always a plus.
|The Chazwich was my favorite: a spicy tofu spread "glue," studded with marinated artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.|
Recipes: This cookbook features 101 sandwich recipes, from new takes on old favorites [eg, Muffaletta, Pan Bagnat] to revolutionary delights [eg, Peanut Butter Banana Bacon, Mac-shroom]. I tested 3 recipes for my tour. I listed them below in my order of preference. Because of the storm though, please note I wasn't able to use the exact breads specified.
1. Chazwich [named for Celine's hubby, Chaz. There's also a Jim-wich for Tami's husband]
2. Out of Tuna Sandwich
When most of us make sandwiches, they usually consist of bread, a store-bought condiment and a store-bought filling. These creative ladies have catapulted the humble sandwich to new levels of flavor complexity by giving us recipes for all 3 components: fresh breads, DIY dressings, and hand-made fillers like Gobbler Slices and No-Cluck Cutlets. Although created specifically for sandwiches, the usefulness of the individual components reaches well beyond said 'wich recipes. For example, I ate leftover tempeh "unfish" sticks with ketchup for lunch one day, and I dressed my salads with the umami-yummy leftover Miso Dressing I had used for the Unfishwish and Out of Tuna Sandwich.
|The Unfishwich: Breaded tempeh sticks slathered in an Old Bay/kelp flavored tartar sauce. Mercury and cruelty-free!|
Sandwiches are usually something we quickly and mindlessly throw together when we are hungry and lazy. Celine and Tami have slowed ... sandwiches ... down... and have elevated them to works of art, with several levels of well-thought-out flavors.
The only real issue I have with the book is the Pittsburgh Steak Sandwich. Pittsburgh? Nothing against the Steel City, but Philly is THE home of the vegan cheesesteak. Obviously, Pittsburgh was a typo.
|Unfish sticks, made with tempeh, all ready for baking. I used panko|
Authors: Instead of serving up the usual vegan biographical fare, I thought it would be fun to ask Celine and Tami a question: "If they were a sandwich, what kind would they be and why?"
Celine: "I would be a crispy whole grain panini filled with pesto, melting homemade cheese (Miyoko to the rescue!), and well-seasoned, grilled veggies. Because it's simple, wholesome, and delicious and I'm...not?"
Tami: "Oven-toasted french bread (pull some of the insides out to make room for lots of goodies inside) barbecue sauced seitan (the apple butter bbq sauce from the Mac-shroom is one of my favorites), fried pickles (check out the Jimwich for these), and if I have it, crumbled vegan blue cheese. If not, a smear of mayo on the bun. I’d also add some pico de gallo. I just had that with a bbq sandwich at Melt in Cincinnati and the two of them together was bliss.
How does this relate to me? As an old school punk, (looks can be deceiving), I don’t like boundaries, authority, or the word “no”. Combining elements that aren’t typically paired together to create a knock-out sandwich was one of our goals of the book. We want you to pick your favorite parts from a bunch of recipes and put them together in your own way. Oh, and I can be saucy, spicy, and sometimes cheezy."
The contest: To enter to win a free copy of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! please leave a comment and tell us if you were a sandwich, what kind would you be and why? I will choose a winner in the next few days [Caveat: power-permitting...it may be longer depending on the whim of Hurricane Sandy.] US and Canadian residents only, please. And be sure to include a way we can contact you. Good luck!
The hurricane: To everyone in Sandy's path: be safe, be sensible and prepared, and please make sure you have a disaster plan in place for your pets. Heaven forbid, but if you see pets who are kept outdoors [eg, canines in doghouses] speak up and take action, if needed.
|Nothing like 5 Weather Channel warnings|