Disclosure: I received free samples of Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
While I love a good piece of high quality bread, and eat hummus daily, I don’t make sandwiches nearly enough! For some reason, as I have gotten older, I have only been having sandwiches on a rare occasion for breakfast with an english muffin or, while out to lunch.
Playing with these fabulous new Sabra spreads for The Recipe Redux has surely reinvigorated my love for a good sandwich though, and I see lots of toasted ones and paninis on my fall and winter weekly menus!When I received the three spreads, I tasted them all and was amazed by the flavor packed into the garlic herb variety but, as I got to testing, found my new creation for the honey mustard was best. They are all delicious, easy to use in a squeeze bottle (no knife or utensils required!), and have 75% less fat than mayo.
When I began eating a more plant-based diet in grad school, I was getting protein from legumes, eggs, nut butters, whole grains etc. One food that took me a really long time to love was tofu! Something about it was just off-putting and, honestly, it was probably just that I had never eaten it growing up and I had no idea how to cook it. I tried to experiment and after a couple of recipe fails, quickly gave up and wrote tofu off. This was all until Tim and I went to an amazing vegan restaurant in Philly right after it had opened (Charlie was a Sinner). We were there for happy hour and ordered some small plates to share and without knowing what the banh mi sliders were made of, fell in love. When we asked the server what ingredients went into the delicious dish, and she said tofu, we were both shocked. We thought we hated tofu! Well, that was a game changer and I haven’t turned back since! I found some better tofu recipes, and like the one I am sharing today, now have my own. It is such an easy and way to get quality protein and minerals in on a vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet.
Many vegan or meat-free sandwiches are very deficient in protein, and I wanted to be sure this recipe had all of the components that I encourage my clients to check off in their meals: a healthy carb, protein, vegetables, and a little bit of healthy fat. In addition to the filling protein, the latter is something I want to emphasize. Note that it says a little bit of healthy fat! Since fat has more than twice the calories per gram compared to carbohydrate in protein, what seems like a normal portion, can pack calories into a meal super quickly. While I was never a huge mayo fan, and prefer hummus or avocado on sandwiches anyway, many of my students and clients about mayo all the time. While it is okay to indulge and be flexible with our diets, if you’re having sandwiches or wraps often during the week, choosing a lighter condiment is helpful. For all of the amazing flavor each of these three spreads possess, they only provide 35 calories per tablespoon versus almost 100 for mayo. What a win!
Now, back to this delicious and healthy recipe! Texture can really make or break a sandwich, or any meal for that matter. Because of that, I decided to do a crispy tofu and toast the bread for a yummy crunch to balance out the creaminess of the spread and veggies I chose. I picked roasted red pepper and eggplant, which I always find are delicious together, and added just a touch of spice with crushed red pepper. To make the protein crispy without adding too much fat, I decided to bake the tofu with almond meal as a coating.
I started with the tofu and after opening the package and draining the water, wrapped it in a towel and pressed firmly to remove excess moisture. I cut the block of tofu down the middle to decrease thickness, then cut in half width wise. I then took those four pieces, and sliced them into triangles. I mixed together the honey mustard spread with some local honey in one small bowl and in a medium mixing bowl, mixed almond meal with cayenne pepper and salt.
I used a small baster to ensure each piece of tofu was coated before placing in the almond flour mixture. After covering the tofu with the mixture, I pressed it firmly onto each piece and then placed the pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet. I gave a light spritz with olive oil cooking spray onto the tofu to help the outside crisp up.
While the tofu was baking in the oven at 350, I was prepping the eggplant and getting other ingredients ready for the sandwich. To cook the eggplant much more quickly and get the perfect texture, I cut a small eggplant in half and grated it with the larger grating size.
After heating 1/2 tbsp avocado or other bland oil in a pan, I added 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, stirred, and then added the eggplant. After stirring a bit, I covered and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times.
The tofu came out slightly crispy on the outside and with a perfectly tender inside.
After toasting two pieces of whole grain bread (this time from the Whole Foods bakery), I spread 1.5 tablespoons of the honey mustard spread on one slice, and then topped it with 2 tablespoons of the eggplant mixture.
Then, covered with as much roasted red pepper as you wish (I recommend a generous amount), and place two piece of tofu and another slice of toasted bread on top!
Slice in half, add a side salad or veggie soup, and savor every last bite!
Crispy Honey Mustard Tofu Sandwich (Veg)
- 1 14-16 ounce package extra firm tofu
- 4 Tbsp + 6 Tbsp Sabra Honey Mustard Spread
- 1.5 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 Cup almond meal
- 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 cups grated eggplant
- 1/2 12 ounce container roasted red peppers
- 8 Slices whole grain bread
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F
- Drain tofu and slice block in half to decrease thickness and then cut each of the two pieces in half width wise. Finally, slice each of those four pieces diagonally into triangles.
- In a small bowl, stir together 6 tbsp of the hummus spread and the honey
- In a medium sized bowl, mix almond meal, cayenne, salt and pepper
- Baste each side of the tofu triangles with the hummus mixture before placing in the almond flour mixture. Press almond flour mixture all over tofu triangles.
- Place tofu on a parchment lined baking dish and lightly spritz with olive oil spray.
- Place in oven for 25-30 minutes, carefully flipping half way through.
- While tofu is cooking, heat oil in a small pan over low-medium heat. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes and then add the eggplant.
- Stir eggplant and cover for 8-10 minutes, stirring twice more while it is cooking.
- After removing tofu from oven, toast the bread
- Spread 1.5 tablespoons of honey mustard spread on 4 of the slices of toast
- Add 2 tbsp of the eggplant mixture on top of the hummus spread and then cover with sliced roasted red pepper
- Add two pieces of tofu and another slice of toast, and cut the sandwich diagonally
What is your favorite sandwich? Do you have a favorite flavor combo or “go-to” topping?