Grilled Tempeh & Pickled Onion Sandwich with Carrot Aioli

Lately I’ve been obsessed with using carrots in my recipes, in everything.  I’ve been wanting to incorporate them into a sandwich, but I didn’t want big chunks of carrot in there, so I decided to incorporate it into an aioli!  It gives such a unique sweetness, and now I just want to put it on everything.  This aioli is great to just make and keep on hand for all types of things, but combined with soft tempeh, and tangy pickled red onions pull it all together.

DSC_008520160729 - 4608 x 307257DSC_008620160729 - 4608 x 307258DSC_009020160729 - 4608 x 307262

Let’s start out with the aioli, it only has a few ingredients and is pretty easy!  You’ll need to start out with some vegan mayonnaise.  You can definitely make your own if you’d like, but I used Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo.  It’s my favorite vegan mayo, but if you can’t find it, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise is also great!  Next add some salt & pepper, minced red chile (we used a red jalapeno), and carrot juice!  Using carrot juice works a lot better than using actual carrots, because it has a stronger carrot flavor overall, and distributes really well throughout the mayo.  I think the chile is crucial as well because it elevates the flavor profile and enhances the carrot.  Mix this all together, cover, and pop in the fridge until you’re ready to use!  I used a bigger dish just so I could show the ingredients better in photos for you guys, but making this in a mason jar is best because then you can continue to store it in the fridge!

DSC_009320160729 - 4608 x 307265

Making pickled red onions is SO easy and super fast, plus they end up lasting really long in the fridge, and honestly the longer you have them in there, the better they become!  First you’ll wanna start by heating up your pickling brine.  For this, mix apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic cloves, peppercorns, and fresh thyme in a pot and bring to a boil.  Slice your red onion into half moons (you can use white or yellow onion, or even shallots if you’d like- but I prefer red onion because of their sweetness and also they turn a beautiful hot pink after pickling) and put into a fine mesh strainer.  Heat a small pot of water over the stove, once it’s boiling, pour this water over the onions through the strainer.  You just want the water to run over the onions and heat them slightly, this allows the brine to absorb better later once you combine them.  Add your onions to a mason jar, and strain your boiling pickling brine into the jar.  You want to get out all the peppercorns & garlic, but I like to add a few thyme sprigs back into the jar with the onions.  Seal the jar, give it a good shake, and then throw it in the fridge for at least a half hour before eating, but the longer it sits, the better they will be!  I usually like making these the night before, and I make a huge jar of them so that I have them in the fridge for a few weeks.

DSC_009420160729 - 4608 x 307266DSC_009520160729 - 4608 x 307267DSC_009720160729 - 4608 x 307269DSC_010020160729 - 4608 x 307272DSC_010120160729 - 4608 x 307273DSC_010220160729 - 4608 x 307274

We’ve done a lot of tempeh recipes on this site, primarily using it for bacon, so I wanted to show you guys a different flavor / use for tempeh.  We’re still going to braise it, I’ve talked about this before on how it really makes the tempeh nice and tender and soft, and helps really infuse the marinade.  We put some vegetable stock, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, maple syrup, tamari, and vegan worcestershire in a pot with salt & pepper, and brought it to a boil.  Then add in your tempeh.  The blocks I bought were about the same size as my bread already, but they were pretty thick, so I just sliced them in half so they were thinner but still the same size overall to fit on the bread.  Allow your tempeh to braise on a low boil in the liquid for about 10-15 minutes.  Then, in a cast iron skillet preferably, heat up some coconut oil over medium – high heat.  Add your tempeh, as well as an extra splash of your marinade and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned to your liking.

DSC_010520160729 - 4608 x 307277DSC_011120160729 - 4608 x 307283

Finally, let’s assemble this sandwich!  We used some toasted gluten free rye toast as our bread, but really you can use whatever bread you like best, and then added some sliced avocado, fresh arugula, our tempeh, pickled red onions, and lots of that delicious carrot aioli.  I like to serve extra carrot aioli and some hot peppers on the side as well just incase you wanna add extra flavor in certain bites.  I could seriously eat this for lunch everyday and be totally satisfied.  I really hope you guys enjoy this recipe!

DSC_010820160729 - 4608 x 307280


CARROT AIOLI

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 small red chile, minced
  • 3 tbs carrot juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a mason jar and store in the fridge.

PICKLED RED ONIONS

  • 2 large red onions
  • 1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 16 peppercorns
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  1. Bring all ingredients besides your onions to a boil.
  2. Slice your onions into thin half moons.  Place them in a fine mesh strainer, and run boiling water over top of them to soften them slightly.
  3. Add your onions to a mason jar & strain your pickling liquid over top.  Add a few extra thyme sprigs into your mason jar, tighten the lid, shake lightly, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

MAPLE MUSTARD TEMPEH

  • 1 block original tempeh
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tbs dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs yellow mustard
  • 1 cup tamari
  • 3 tbs vegan worcestershire
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  1. Bring all ingredients besides your tempeh to a boil.  Slice your tempeh into thin blocks, and add to your boiling liquid.
  2. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until softened.
  3. Heat up a pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat, add some coconut oil, and then add your tempeh cutlets.  Spoon a small amount of the marinade overtop each tempeh slice.
  4. Allow to brown for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until its dark enough to your liking.

SANDWICH INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Toast some gluten free rye bread (or any kind you’d like) until golden brown.
  2. Add a generous amount of carrot aioli, some sliced avocado, fresh arugula, pickled red onions, and a cutlet of tempeh.

Leave a Reply