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looking for vegan sandwich and stew suggestions

 
Posts: 28
Location: Utah
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I am trying to move away from animal products (not entirely... baby steps).

I love sandwiches, but I generally think of a sandwich with meat (usually) and cheese (always). Can any of you suggest vegan sandwiches that you love?

Similarly, winter's coming and I love a thick stew when it's cold. I have a go-to vegan stew: root vegetables, squash, red peppers, lentils or garbanzo beans, and coconut milk for creaminess. I love this recipe, but I find myself craving a beef stew. Any suggestions for a vegan stew that would appeal to my craving for the umami found in beef stew?

Thanks!
 
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hummus sandwich:

toasted bread, hummus, sliced red pepper and spinach, sliced smoked tofu (optional)

for umami flavour experiment with sauteed mushrooms, nutritional yeast, smoked things, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic
 
gardener
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egg salad type thing with cooked chickpeas
sliced eggplant or zucchini, pan fried with spices you like (or teriyaki marinade)

a stew heavy on umami flavors (red wine, dried mushrooms, soy or worcestershire sauce) will help make up for the beef, like this one https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/portobello-vegan-beef-stew/
 
Grant Holle
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Tereza Okava wrote:
sliced eggplant or zucchini, pan fried with spices you like (or teriyaki marinade)



I do love breaded, roasted eggplant in a sandwich (though, I've always added melted cheese).
 
Tereza Okava
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you can also marinade eggplant in something like soy with liquid smoke before cooking on a searing hot pan and it makes a decent substitute for bacon, particularly in a sandwich with a good tomato.
Back in the day when I was developing recipes this was my happy space. Her recipes are based on whole, real food and minimal 'fake' food, and they are excellent.
https://www.theppk.com/recipes/
 
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A good "umami" spread for bread and crackers:

-crush about 1/4 cup skinless hazelnuts into a paste in mortar
-add half teaspoon of marmite (more or less to taste)
-stir in small amount of water a little at a time to get desired consistency.

I won't say it tastes like cheese spread,, but it satisfies the same sort of flavor craving.  
 
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For tasty plant-plant-based-eating sandwiches, I can't beat hummus as your base spread.  Although pesto also has its moments, if you make your own with basil and nuts and the oil of your choice, sans the cheese that's in most commercial products.

I make a "vegetable filling" that I use mostly in tortillas, but it also works well in sandwiches.  Basically whenever my local supermarket puts a lot of peppers (doesn't matter what kind, but I prefer mostly sweet peppers) or tomatoes on the distressed produce "cook today or the mold will be here tomorrow" rack for cheap, I buy 'em all.  Then I sautee the peppers (I'm talking several pounds, I don't get out of bed for a cooking project unless it is gonna feed me a bunch of meals) together with three to five pounds of onions and whatever quantity of distressed tomatoes I have.  (Too many tomatoes makes the vegetable filling wet, unless you take steps to reduce or remove the extra liquid during cooking.)  The resulting mix is tasty and filling.

I'm also partial to olives (black are not as flavorful as green, but they are slightly less caloric) as a sandwich filling, and a scattering of pickled (brined) capers always adds a nice salty zing to any sandwich.

Although I buy almost no highly-processed "fake meat, fake cheese" vegan products, one rare exception I'll make sometimes is the Daiya brand vegan not-actually-cheese sliced cheeses.  They aren't persuasive as cheese, but in a sandwich they serve the same functions of flavor, salt, and mouthfeel richness.  

Don't forget pickles!  Most people don't use them on sandwiches that aren't hamburgers or meaty subs/hoagies, but I like them on any sandwich.  I'm also partial to a nice sweet crunchy slice of sweet onion.

The "peanut butter and onion" sandwich is actually a thing, as is peanut butter and apples.  Peanut butter and bananas is yummy too, but is closer to a dessert than a meal.  

If I am using any kind of commercial whole grain bread, it's never fresh enough "out of the bag" to be wonderful.  And it can be crumbly, leading to sandwich breakage.  The solution that works for me is to virtually always toast my sandwich bread.  A good toaster works fine and doesn't add calories, but if you toast it in a pan that's been lubricated with a nice flavored oil (like an olive oil that's had garlic cloves soaked in it) that's even better.
 
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Seconding dried mushrooms, especially shiitake.  They also give a good chew like you would expect from beef (most dried and rehydrated foods will be chewier, especially green beans).  Dumplings (not even the fancy filled kind, just the dough kind) or vegan meatballs in the stew would also add to the chew factor.

Miso is really great for stews, as are Vegemite and Marmite.  Also, after sauteing onions/ carrots/ celery/ whatever and adding stock or broth, scoop some out and blend it, then add it back in.  It'll give it body and creaminess without adding a new layer of flavor.

Caramelized (well, browned, I rarely have the patience to go the distance for full caramelization) onions are my best friend.

And a very good sandwich recipe: toasted sesame bagel, vegan cream cheese/ soft tofu mixed with onion dip mix (or just cooked onions and a little salt/ soy sauce/ etc), alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrot and cucumber, fresh spinach (or lettuce), and sliced tomato.  It doesn't make a great packed lunch, though, it's more of an eat right away thing.

If you do Veatloaf, just slice some of that and slap it on bread with ketchup (or mayo, or gravy).  Or use a bean burger.
 
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falafel sandwiches are really good when done right
veg soup is easy, onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, split peas, barley and maybe some dried beans,salt, pepper,and whatever else might be of interest to you boil then simmer for couple hours=soup
 
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Grant,

As you move away from meat but still love the textures and flavors of meat, I would recommend some of the commercial offerings out there to let you know what is possible: smoked-flavored replicas of lunch meat, like the deli-style turkey (Tofurky brand?), ham, pepperoni, and bologna (Yves), and then the 'Beyond' products like the hamburger patties and the bratwurst/Italian sausage.  Since it's a market still in its infancy, you may have to try some products that just don't 'work' for you, but I'd say there are some pretty good (and improving) choices out there right now.  For homemade, I'll make seitan-based burgers and sliced meat substitutes along with tofu-based meals.  For beef stew replicas, you may wish to try using "Not Beef" cubes of vegan flavoring soup stock along with mushrooms  and add Gardein's "Beefless Tips", which are okay, but the texture could use some work.  All of this is to complement the other excellent suggestions above.  
 
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This is one of our favorite soups/stews and we frequently make it for guests.  We are not even vegetarian but we have had more people ask for this recipe than anything else we have served.

https://www.thekitchn.com/slow-cooker-recipe-curried-vegetable-and-chickpea-stew-67520
 
Tereza Okava
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Mk Neal wrote:marmite


I found that marmite/vegemite hit that umami savory spot quite well, and often provided that "somethin somethin" that was missing in gravies and sauces. (miso works well for this too).
 
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I make this super yummy butternut squash (can sub in pumpkin if you want instead of butternut) soup.
I made some the other day. The ingredients get "eyeballed" and its all "to taste". Its a big hit with the family, here it is!

-Chopped & skinned butternut chunks (or pumpkin)
-Steam those thoroughly while heating up in a separate Large Pot: canned coconut milk (the thick kind) one to two cans depending on how much squash you have, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and vegan butter (all to taste).
-Once the squash is soft, place half into a blender with whichever alternative milk you use (soy, almond, coconut) and blend until smooth. Take the remainder of the squash, make sure its in bite sized pieces, and place into the heated mixture and stir, place the blended mixture into the heated mixture and at this point it should all be in one large pot. Wait until soup is boiling together for about 5 min, the put on simmer for about 20 min and cook all ingredients together. Taste the mixture when you put on simmer to make sure its tasting right to you. Add addl ingredients to taste. If you feel that you cant taste many of the ingredients, try adding salt to taste, then add anything additional after that. Thats it!
Enjoy!!!
 
Mk Neal
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Tereza Okava wrote:
I found that marmite/vegemite hit that umami savory spot quite well, and often provided that "somethin somethin" that was missing in gravies and sauces. (miso works well for this too).



I agree, I never eat it on its own, but great as a sort of flavor enhancer.
 
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Not a vegan, but thought the burger we had recently at a local restaurant that consisted of a marinated and roasted slice of beet substituted for a beef patty was fantastic and savory. Lots of recipes online.
 
Grant Holle
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Update:

I've been trying out some of you all's suggestions.

First, I made a stew with stuff I had on hand: onions, garlic, yellow squash, leftover sauteed mushrooms, potato, sweet potato, carrot, celery hoisin sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste. It was good--nothing to write home about. The hoisin sauce was a mistake... too sweet.

Then I went to the store and stocked up: eggplant, miso soup mix (no plain miso in my local store), liquid smoke, beet, shiitake and portobello mushrooms.

I spread some liquid smoke on thin slices of eggplant and roasted them; sauteed the onions and garlic in olive oil; added thick slices of mushrooms to the onions; threw in carrots, celery, diced beet, diced potato, diced sweet potato; added the eggplant, some water, the miso soup mix, dried thyme, dried sage, and a spoonful of tomato paste. I brought it to a boil and put it in the haybox cooker. I left it in there for 24 hours--it's cold enough outside now that I can do that. I brought it back to a boil and ate it. This one's a keeper. The mushrooms give something to chew on. The beet gives a nice earthy flavor. The miso soup adds the umami I was wanting (alas, I later read the label and it has fish in it, so my stew's not vegetarian). I think my kids will like this one (10 and 7--they're on a trip right now, so I'm a temporary bachelor). The only downside is it's not as filling as a beef stew, so I'll have to make more of it.

I also tried frying the eggplant spread with liquid smoke and making an ELT sandwich. I loved this. I did spread mayo on the sandwich, so not vegan. I'm loathe to compare it to a BLT. The mouth-feel is different, and the taste isn't the same. But if you approach the sandwich as it's own thing, not a substitute for a BLT, it's simply an excellent sandwich.

Thanks, everybody, for your suggestions!
 
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I think you're looking for meat-type sandwiches but don't overlook the lowly Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. I don't eat them at home so I understand what you're asking but I used to do hard, physical labor outdoors in a 5 acre plant nursery and PB&J sandwiches were my mainstay. They don't need refrigeration. They stay with you. They are filling but don't make you feel so stuffed that you feel like you're going to barf if you have to unload a literal-ton of trees from a delivery truck. I take them hiking for the same reasons. It's not my favorite sandwich so I have to get my favorite bread, my favorite fresh ground/no salt peanut butter and homemade jam in order to enjoy it. You can substitute bananas or honey or raisins for the jam. But I do like them when I'm working hard. It seemed to be a pretty common lunch in my profession and the work was really hard. And it payed poorly and PB&J was cheap too.  
 
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You could also make your own vegan cheese. I was a vegetarian for more than 20 years; not vegan just because of cheese. Then I became vegan about 10 years ago after watching a certain documentary. I've made a cheese plate for a Winter Solstice celebration using recipes from https://thegentlechef.com/gentle-chef-cookbooks/non-dairy-evolution-cookbook/. (I bought the digital version.) It was a great hit! I've lost the craving now, but I'll still make some for special celebrations that include vegans and non-vegans.
 
pollinator
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I second everyone's suggestions and would like to add a few.

Similar to the hazelnut spread suggested is one I use a lot: toasted walnuts crushed up with miso and thinned a tiny bit with rice wine vinegar. It's salty, sour, and funky.  Fulfills some cheese functions in sandwiches.

My omni husband really likes zucchini butter as a sandwich filling. Basically grated zucchini with some water drained out and onion fried in lots of olive oil with salt and pepper until it's a soft mash. Similar to Dan's thing.

I make chickpea tuna rather than Tereza's chickpea egg salad. All the stuff you'd put in tuna salad, subbing chickpeas for tuna, olive oil or vegan mayo of choice for regular mayo. Add in some dulse or nori flakes for a fishy taste.

Avocado can be a good addition to sandwiches. It can be a sub for butter or mayo. For an eggy thing, I mash it with kala namak/black salt, which is sulphury smelling and eggy tasting, and raw coconut vinegar, which is really funky fermenty tasting. White wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar are the best substitutes if you're not blessed with odd vinegar choices at your grocery store.

A spoonful or two of avocado in place of egg can also help get the oil to emulsify if you want to start making your own vegan mayo.

A can of full fat coconut milk, or, better, coconut cream, mixed with a  big spoonful of kimchi or kraut juice and left to sit on the counter for a day or three makes an awesome cream cheeze. Look online for other coconut milk cheeze ideas. Some are pretty good. The cream cheeze is the easiest though.

There's an almond feta recipe floating around online that's not bad. Soaked almonds blended, mixed with  some other stuff, and baked.
 
Alex Arn
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We ended up making the vegan stew I suggested for dinner tonight and picked up a loaf of rustic wheat bread from the local bakery and it was as amazing as always.  While we ere eating, my wife reminded me of another vegan stew we make.

Ethiopian Style Lentil Stew
3 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayanne pepper
1/3 tsp ground cordamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups lentils Brown works but better with a mix of types including some smaller ones
8 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 ounces spinach
Juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste)

Preheat pressure cooker and add oil, onions, and spices (except pepper) and saute until the onions soften and just start to brown.  Add lentils and water then cook on high pressure for 10 minutes (start counting once it is up to pressure) then let it to cool for 10-15 minutes (do not speed cool until time is up).  Stir in pepper and spinach then add lemon juice and salt to taste.  

Note:  If making extra for leftover, I recommend only adding spinach to the bowls as the spinach does not reheat well.
 
Mk Neal
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Jan White wrote:.

raw coconut vinegar, which is really funky fermenty tasting



This stuff is AMAZING, I love it mixed about 2:3 with tamari as an easy dipping sauce for dumplings or spring rolls.
 
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