Sunday, August 29, 2010

World's Greatest Sandwich, Etc.


Doesn't my Coke look frosty and delightful there in the background?

On Saturday we made the most delicious tempeh-bacon sandwiches using this recipe I found on 101 Cookbooks and tweaked just the tiniest bit. We piled some hearty whole-grain toast with mashed avocado, baby spinach, homemade tempeh bacon, and Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes roasted in olive oil, brown sugar, and salt. The tomatoes were fresh from our garden, so tiny and sweet, more like currants than tomatoes. They turned even sweeter in the oven after roasting in brown sugar sauce; they provided a very nice contrast to the spicy tempeh strips (marinated in adobo). But I think the most important element of the entire sandwich was the mashed avocado. That was the glue that held everything together.

I spent Saturday afternoon weeding and weeding and weeding while Rob built a truly professional compost bin conveniently located near our vegetable garden. I saw lots of hummingbirds and skinks as I worked. It's the season of Turk's caps, colorful mushrooms, bright purple beautyberries, and big fat banana spiders.

In the evening we watched old Alfred Hitchcock movies and popped popcorn. Rob also taught Elroy (our most babyish cat) to play blackjack--well, that's what we pretended. We always talk for our cats, simply vocalizing what they are so obviously thinking. Elroy was terrible at blackjack, Rob said, because he just kept saying, "Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!"

Elroy is a complete baby. (He squeaks.) So is his twin brother, Leroy. I like to say that Aunt Buntin (our craziest cat) took Elroy and Leroy to the Fun Station and they got really scared because she drove the go-kart really fast. I have pictured this scene so often that I kind of believe it really happened. Of course Buntin would be the craziest go-kart driver. She'd be speeding and swerving and running other drivers off the track. And meanwhile Elroy and Leroy would be screaming, holding hands in the passenger seat.

I'm including some random pics I took around the house this weekend. They don't have anything to do with what I just wrote. I should have gotten a shot of Elroy and Rob playing cards.

Tempeh Bacon, Spinach, and Tomato Sandwiches

Ingredients:

Tempeh Marinade

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers

Other Stuff

8 ounces of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch-thick strips
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Baby spinach
2 large avocados
4 slices hearty, whole-grain bread

Directions:

Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Pour into a baking pan and add the tempeh strips. Let the tempeh soak for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, get your tomatoes ready to roast. Mix together the olive oil, brown sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl. Stir until the tomatoes are well coated with oil.

Spread the tomatoes out on a baking sheet and roast in a 450-degree oven until slightly browned.

Put the tempeh and the marinade in a frying pan and boil until the marinade cooks off. Then add a little olive oil and pan-fry the tempeh until it's slightly browned and a little crispy on the edges.

Mash the avocados with a little salt.

Toast the bread and spread two slices with mashed avocado. Top the avocado with a few spinach leaves. Then add roasted tomatoes and tempeh strips. Top with the remaining slices of bread.



Clown peppers, basil, and eggplant



Our lovely front porch. So glad you can't see the mildew from this distance.



Handsome Greg. He's mad because I interrupted him. He was stalking a giant grasshopper.

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