Ethical Eating

For Vegetarians -- Four Awesome Meat-Free Sandwiches

Meat eaters have the advantage over vegetarians in many dining situations, not the least of which is at the deli counter or sandwich joint. Palm Beach County in particular is flush with authentic New York-style delis where the meat-free sandwich options are typically limited to bland egg salad that is more stinky than it is memorable.

If you're struck with pangs of jealousy every time you hear people comparing notes about the best local deli for a Reuben or club or licking their fingers after a messy, delicious BBQ sandwich, we've got four awesome meat-free sandwich recipes that offer a vegetarian take on classic 'wiches.

Four Awesome Meat-Free Sandwich Recipes:

4. Meat-Free Cuban Sandwich -- South Florida is home to tons of great Cuban restaurants, and one of the most popular dishes is the meat-filled Cuban sandwich. Here's a simple meat-free version of the quintessential 'wich, inspired by a recipe in Vegetarian Times.

Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich):

Cuban bread (available in the bakery section at select Publix stores)
yellow mustard, to taste
dill pickle slices
2 slices of Swiss cheese
3-4 slices of vegetarian ham (like Smart Deli)

Directions: Layer mustard, pickles, cheese, ham slices, second slice of cheese on Cuban bread. Spread butter on both sides of the outside of the sandwich. Spray cooking spray on skillet and heat on medium-high. Put the sandwich in the skillet and top with heavy iron pan. Cook about 4 or 5 minutes on each side.  

3. Messy but Meat-Free BBQ Sandwich --
Another great sandwich recipe from Vegetarian Times. If you like a real bite in your BBQ, you'll have to up the hot sauce allotment by a teaspoon or two. You can make your own coleslaw to top the sandwich, or top with Whole Foods' deli variety.   

2. Vegetarian Reuben --
Yet another great meatless deli sandwich offering from Vegetarian Times. A word of warning: This insanely good marinated faux corned beef will stink up the kitchen/your clothes/your hair as you cook it, and the beet juice will stain (all learned the hard way).   

1. Vegan Club -
This meat-free deli sandwich recipe hardly resembles the original version -- there are no layers of dry, mouth-gashing toast or toothpicks here -- but is guaranteed to be a hit with carnivores and veggies alike.


1 package of extra firm tofu (drained, patted dry and sliced lengthwise into pieces about 1/4-inch thick)
1 package of tempeh (sliced into thin pieces)
6 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. light soy sauce
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
freshly cracked pepper
Naan or soft pocketless pita bread and various toppings

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together olive oil, soy sauce and mustard in a large bowl. Dip each slice of tofu in the bowl, shake excess marinade from slice and place on greased cookie sheet. Add liquid smoke and pepper to remaining marinade and use same process for tempeh, place on a separate, lightly greased cookie sheet and place into oven. Bake tofu and tempeh about 25 minutes, flipping once, until lightly browned and crisp on both sides. Heat naan or pita bread in oven for a few minutes. Spread with Vegenaise, top with 2 pieces of tofu, 3 pieces of tempeh, sliced dill pickles, lettuce, and sliced tomatoes and serve.    

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Tricia Woolfenden