I love discovering new food blogs and recently I stumbled across Have Cake Will Travel. After spending far too much time on my lunch break browsing through delicious recipes, I stopped on one that really caught my eye, and more importantly my stomach. It was a recipe for a vegan peanut butter banana bacon sandwich. The best part about this is that the “bacon” is actually smoky roasted chickpeas. This sounded brilliant as both a snack and a bacon substitute.
This website lead me to the vegan cookbooks written by the same woman who created this sandwich. There I discovered her BLT with a hearts of palm spread and I decided to put my own spin on the spread. Then, I had the idea to combine these two sandwiches. Instead of tempeh bacon, I wanted to use these smoky chickpeas on the BLT. I knew the sandwich would need a crunch but romaine lettuce didn’t seem quite right with this, so I decided to incorporate some fresh baked kale chips into the sandwich. I slathered the hearts of palm-sundried tomato spread onto some sprouted grain Ezekiel toast, added the chickpeas and the kale and took a bite. The result was crunchy, smoky, sweet and tangy and I didn’t miss the mayo or real bacon (not that much anyway). I’ll definitely make this again in place of the traditional sandwich that often leaves me feeling a bit gross from all of the grease. Here’s how to make it..
Chickpea Bacon (From Have Cake Will Travel):
1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste (I use fine pink Himalayan salt)
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons (30 ml) liquid smoke
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil or any neutral-flavored oil
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow, 8-inch (20-cm) baking dish. Make sure the chickpeas are in a single layer so they cook evenly. Bake for 18 minutes, checking and stirring every 6 minutes to make sure the chickpeas don’t burn. The chickpeas are ready when the liquid has been absorbed and that they are crispy and dark golden brown. Carefully remove from the oven. Let cool and if possible, place in the fridge overnight in an airtight container: it will allow the flavors to intensify.
Hearts of Palm-Sundried Tomato Spread:
1 can hearts of palm (drained)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1–2 tbs water
In a food processor, combine the hearts of palm, sundried tomatoes, olive oil and garlic and blend until smooth. My food processor had a hard time blending the sundried tomatoes so I recommend cutting them into smaller pieces. I added about 2 tbs of water to help smooth the texture of the dip/spread and this didn’t weaken the flavor at all. I also initially made the mistake of adding salt to this. Because the sundried tomatoes are so salty, I found that even a pinch of added salt was way too much. Once everything is blended together, transfer to bowl and serve as a dip or spread on your favorite sandwich in place of mayonnaise.
1 bunch of kale
1 clove of garlic chopped finely
2 tbs olive oil
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Pull leafy part of the kale of of the stem, tearing into small pieces. In a large bowl, mix together the kale, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place kale on top — trying not to overlap the pieces. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until crispy but not burnt
Spread hearts of palm-sundried tomato spread into toast of your choice, pile on some of the kale and chickpea bacon and serve. I added a little extra smoky seasoning to it for some enhanced flavor.