Happy Sunday everyone! This week I wanted to recreate an American classic – the BLT. With all the vegans out there trying to make bacon using ingredients like coconut, rice paper, and now eggplant, I thought I would toss my hat into the ring and make my own version. Using eggplant is an excellent choice since not only does it have a meaty texture, but it’s like a sponge – it’ll absorb any flavour you give it. By using a marinade containing maple syrup, tamari, and the star of the show, liquid smoke, we have the makings of a great bacon replacement. Sure, it doesn’t taste exactly like bacon, but my omnivore dad and I who ate this glorious sandwich were impressed! You get the same smokey, sweet, and salty taste you want from bacon but without the guilt.
If you want to go above and beyond with your BLT, you should try making one of my sister’s bread recipes, she is a bread goddess. She has tons of recipes, but if you want to make a good BLT I recommend the sourdough. Luckily she had baked some fresh bread when I was making my BLT so of course I was sure to use some! I wasn’t too sure about making this recipe, but I’m pleased to say it was a success (I winged it along the way so I gave myself a big pat on the back)! If you didn’t want to use eggplant, you could totally pour this mixture onto some unsweetened coconut and make bacon bits! I hope you give this recipe a try, and if you decide to create it, tag me in a photo on social media (my social media links are listed on the sidebar).
Eggplant Bacon BLT SandwichPrint Recipe
- For the Bacon:
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of flavourless oil
- 2 tbsp of tamari or light soy sauce
- 1 tsp of liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp of good maple syrup
- A good pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 an eggplant sliced into bacon-like strips
- For the BLT:
- Good bread (I used sourdough)
- 1 clove of garlic
- Vegan mayo
- 1 Avocado
- The juice of half a lemon
- Eggplant bacon
In a medium sized bowl, pour in your marinade ingredients and whisk until well combined. In a large dish with a lip, pour your marinade over the eggplant strips. Take your hands and give the eggplant a good toss so every bacon-like strip is covered. Take a piece of cling wrap, cover the dish and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Set your oven to 275 degrees.
After 30 minutes, heat up a pan on medium heat, and drizzle some flavourless oil. Take a few strips of bacon and lay in the pan evenly. Each side will take roughly 2-3 minutes to cook on each side or until a deep golden brown colour (like bacon!) has developed. On a lined bacon tray with parchment paper, lay your cooked bacon evenly and pop in the oven. Although your bacon is cooked all the way through, by putting it in the oven you're drawing out the leftover moisture that the eggplant still has. Let the bacon cook in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once this is done, set the bacon aside while you prepare your BLT.
To prepare the BLT, begin by toasting some fresh bread. Go for a good hearty bread like a sourdough. When the bread is done toasting, rub a clove of fresh garlic onto each side while it's still warm. Once the bread has cooled, spread some vegan mayo on one side. In a bowl, mash your avocado with some lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and spread this avocado mixture on the other slice of toast. Take some lettuce and mount it onto the bread (I used spinach because that's all I had in my fridge) and then add a few slices of tomato. Next, top your sandwich off with a your eggplant bacon. I added about 8 slices, be generous! Cut your sandwich in half and enjoy!
If you decided to skip the eggplant and use tofu, tempeh, or any kind of meat replacer, the cooking time will change.