Straight up, this sandwich is not the healthiest thing on the planet. But, I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Duh!”. I mean, the theme for this month is mac ‘n’ cheese, that alone is something to celebrate, and I’m not expecting you to eat mac every day. Or am I? Either way, this sandwich is the best of three worlds, and you should enjoy it. It’s no Buffalo Chickpea Mac, but it’s damn good.
You’ve got your creamy mac ‘n’ cheese, and you marry it with the refreshing BLT, which makes it a more cool weather-appropriate sammich. On top of all that, literally and figuratively, you grill it! Also, I have to say that I received a Panini press this past week and I’m addicted, hence this recipe.
For example, I held a b-day get together at my house this past weekend, where I had a legit cheese platter out (courtesy of Artisan Vegan Cheese, as mentioned previously), SO many vegan cupcakes (thank you to those that brought them!) some healthier sides, then.. then there was the grilled cheese bites. For a solid hour I was cranking out different grilled cheese sandwiches and cutting them into bite size pieces. Basically, if I was an attendee at my party, I would have been stoked (and sad about my pants getting tighter). Overall, it was a great time, and it was nice to see so many friends in one place.
Back to the sandwich, this thing was super easy to make. Even with taking photos and writing down the short ingredient list, it probably took my 30-45 minutes. That includes the semi-clean up, plus setting up the final shot. BOOM! So easy. To give you some perspective, it usually takes me a couple of hours for each recipe, not including doing the dishes and taking down my props, etc. Oy. The time certainly adds up!
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that. You can just whip this thing out and chow down! Plus, I made it a single serving recipe, so you can indulge without being tempted further by leftovers. Maybe you have more restraint than I, but that is a serious problem in my kitchen!
Two Years Ago: Mocha Oatmeal
- ⅓ C. Dried Pasta + Water for Boiling
- ⅓ C. Vegan Cheddar Shreds
- 1 T. Non-Dairy Milk
- ½ C. Greens, Packed (chopped if necessary)
- 3 Thin Slices of Tomato
- 1 T. Vegan Mayo
- 2 Slices of Bread
- 4- 3½” long Tempeh Bacon Pieces
- 1 Block of Tempeh
- ½ C. Water
- 2-3 T. Liquid Aminos
- 1-2 T. Maple Syrup
- 1 T. Liquid Smoke
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- Pinch of Black Pepper
- Oil for Frying (Or Parchment paper for baking)
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, then drain and rinse with cool water.
- Put the pasta back into the pot and set the temperature to medium. Add the cheddar shreds and non-dairy milk to the pot, stir until the shreds have melted completely and the sauce coats the pasta evenly.
- Spread the vegan mayo as a thin coat on one side of each piece of bread. On one of the pieces, place the greens (I usually squeeze them to fit more into each sandwich), then the macaroni ‘n’ cheese, next the tomato slices, then the tempeh bacon.
- Top with the other slice of bread, and place on a Panini press or griddle. Press/grill until the bread has reached the desired brown or darkness of crust. Then serve!
- If you can’t buy pre-sliced/pre-seasoned tempeh bacon, you can always make some at home!
- Slice your tempeh block length-wise so that the strips are ⅛” wide. Then slice them in half, so that they are about 3½” long.
- Mix the water, liquid aminos, liquid smoke, maple syrup, onion powder, and black pepper together; creating a marinade.
- Place the tempeh strips in a shallow container, then pour the marinade over the top of the tempeh and let it sit in the fridge for 2 or more hours.
- You can cook these a couple of ways, one being that you fry them in a large pan over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side (or until they are dark and crispy).
- Then other being that you can bake them, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, in an oven at 375ºF for 10-15 mins. on each side. Your times may vary.
In case you missed it, there’s a giveaway going on for a copy of Vegan Slow Cooker for Two or Just You, in my last post! Go check it out!