Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bacon Your Pardon

As the start of phase II of the Engine 2 28-day challenge fast approaches, I wanted to do a little somewhat healthy sinful indulging. What's more indulgent than bacon? So, this morning I made a BATO (bacon, avocado, tomato and onion sandwich with mayo, of course.) Oh, did I mention it's all plant-based?

I started with Tofurky's smoky maple bacon tempeh. To give you a comparison, check out the nutritional facts comparing Tofurky's bacon tempeh to Oscar Mayer's original (I had to do a little excel calculating because tofurky's serving size was 7 slices (87g) and Oscar Mayer's was 14g with no mention of how many slices that equaled. You can see if you care about calories, fat, cholesterol or sodium Tofurky wins hands down. For protein, Tofurky had only half of Oscar Mayer's. 

Nutrition is important, but taste matters too. I didn't taste test the oscar mayer bacon (I did eat it growing up), but rather I was interested in testing the difference between following the package directions for the Tofurky bacon by cooking it in oil or going oil-free. As you can see in the picture, the pieces cooked in oil (lower left) had more of a baconesque shine (grease) and better color. The aroma when you cook this stuff is definitely reminiscent of a maple bacon. If you want a close bacon substitute, I would recommend cooking it in oil and getting the pan really hot to assist in the crisping (a cast iron pan would be preferred to the non-stick I used for this experiment.) 

Finally, the BATO sandwich. This is essentially the same recipe as my I'm Heartin' It breakfast sandwich, substituting Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh for Gimme Lean veggie sausage. I did add some Earth Balance vegan mayo because I like how the tomato mayo combo tastes on your average BLT. 

If you like avocado and the taste of bacon, this sandwich will knock your socks off ... all while being much kinder to your heart than the alternative.

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