Need a weekend breakfast idea? Well, oh my giddy aunt, do I have a treat in store for you here! This will get your belly rumbling, even if you're one of those people who says they never fancy breakfast. I don't ever say that - breakfast, or brunch if I end up eating a bit later, is my favourite meal of the day, and I like to make it extra special at the weekend.
Of course, this Vegan 'Bacon & Cheese' Club Tower Sandwich works very well for a weekend breakfast. Or even a lunch, or supper. To be honest, one of the habits I 'unlearned' over the last few years of intuitive eating has been to see any food as particular to a certain time of day. So if I want to eat curry at breakfast, or porridge for supper, I will (how's that for anarchy?).
When I bought the vegan chorizo to try out a couple of weeks ago, I had also found a packet of Redwood Vegetarian Streaky Rashers, which became part of this meal. I can't really call it a 'recipe', as it's more about throwing a few things together. But these few things certainly do work out well!
Although I was full up after eating this, I have to say, I did want to eat it all over again since it was so scrummy. And it is a whole lot healthier (and more compassionate, of course) than a meat and dairy-based club sandwich, even though it doesn't lose out on flavour. But yes, it definitely does lose out on cholesterol - this is one club sandwich that won't be clogging your arteries up!
Plus, I just kind of seared the veggies, rather than fully cooked them, so that they stayed nutrient-rich and full of flavour and bite. Oh, this really was just delicious. In fact, I love it so much, I may eat it again for breakfast tomorrow morning! Or brunch. Or supper, indeed.
It looks a bit more fabby on the sandwich if you have the courgette (zucchini) sliced diagonally, and the slices are wider then too.
The instructions below look a bit more complicated than they actually are - all you have to do really is cook everything, then throw it all in :)
Vegan 'Bacon & Cheese' Club Tower Sandwich
One per person
3 small slices brown bread (I use Hovis wheatgerm as I know it is vegan)
½ yellow pepper, sliced in rings
3 rashers vegan bacon
⅓ courgette (zucchini), sliced diagonally
2-3 canned plum tomatoes
Handful mixed salad leaves
2-3 large mushrooms, sliced
3-4 slices vegan cheese that will melt (enough to cover one side of toast, I used Tesco Soya Mild)
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 bamboo skewer
1. Lightly grease a heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan with a spray of oil, as fine as you can get away with (to keep it healthy), and heat the pan on a medium-high setting.
2. Place the mushrooms, pepper and courgette in the pan to start searing. Keep shaking the pan to stop the veggies from sticking, and keep turning them over.
3. While they are cooking, toast three slices of bread both sides. Keep one slice just a little less toasted than the other two, as you need to melt the vegan cheese on this one later. Put the toasts aside but keep your grill/broiler on for melting the cheese.
4. When your veggies are almost done which will take around 5-6 minutes at the most (they should be lightly browned on the outside but not overly cooked), push them aside in the pan (or take them out of you don't have room) and put your rashers in to cook slightly. They will need about 1- 1½ minutes each side.
5. As your rashers are cooking, place one slice of toast back under the grill (broiler) and melt the cheese. This should take 1-2 minutes if the grill is already hot and still switched on.
6. As well, while your rashers are heating up, heat your plum tomatoes too (you may use fresh tomatoes if you prefer, but I love the canned type for this!), either slowly in their juice a saucepan (then you will need to remove with a slatted spoon to allow them to drain), or just pop them into the microwave for a minute or two.
7. Now for the fun part, stacking your sandwich! Place the first slice of toast on a plate, and spread your vegan mayonnaise onto it. The place your handful of salad leaves onto the toast/mayo, and layer about half of your vegan bacon, and the pepper slices.
Place your second slice of toast on the stack, then spread with tomato ketchup. Arrange the courgette, mushrooms and the rest of the bacon over it. Then put the final piece of toast, cheese-side down, over the stack to top everything off. Push your bamboo skewer through the middle and there you go!
Now – all you have to do is work out how to eat it!