This week in my class at McGill University, I taught my students how to make a vegan breakfast. Not just any vegan breakfast, but one complete with an eggless omelette and bacon! Oh, yes, you read that correctly: a vegan can make bacon!
As I have mentioned before, my goal is to show you that vegan cooking can be easy, fun, healthy, kind, full of variety and delicious! Adopting a vegan diet, or just including more plant-based meals in your routine, will not leave you feeling deprived; on the contrary, you will learn so many new and creative ways to prepare meals without any use for animal products. Even vegan bacon – imagine!
Many people claim that they cannot become vegan because they love bacon too much. Well, vegans can make bacon too! Better bacon that is, because no pigs need be harmed. In our society, many of us are raised to believe that a pig is something that is raised so that we can eat it. Have you ever stopped to question this belief? In fact, a pig is a beautiful, sentient, loving being, just like you and I, only we may have never had the pleasure of getting to know one. Pigs are social beings who love to play and cuddle. They can even learn tricks, respond to their names and play video games. Why harm them when it is unnecessary?
We used tempeh, a fermented soy product, cut into thin strips, to make the bacon. I thought up of a marinade with smoky, barbeque-type flavours, created by selecting certain spices, like cayenne and paprika. I had trouble finding liquid smoke, but in the end, it manifested at the last minute and I think it made all the difference. Liquid smoke is commonly used to flavour or preserve foods. It is produced by passing smoke through a tube from a combustion chamber filled with wood to a condenser. Water vapor is then added to a condenser, where the smoke cools and forms a smoky-tasting liquid.
This marinade was amazing! Perfectly balanced flavours, spicy and slightly sweet, a real treat for the taste buds. I found it so delicious that I plan to use it for burgers too, maybe even oven-baked potatoes. Try it!
Enjoy, in joy and in health!
1 package tempeh, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tamari
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Additional black pepper and sea salt sprinkled over bacon at the end, if desired
for frying pan: 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or coconut oil
1. Slice the tempeh into thin, rectangular slices.
2. To prepare the marinade, combine all other ingredients in a shallow dish and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
3. Soak tempeh in marinade for at least 10 minutes.
4. Turn stovetop high heat, add grapeseed oil to the frying pan. Once oil has heated, lay the tempeh flat on the pan. Drizzle a bit of excess marinade onto the pan as the tempeh sizzles.
5. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then flip. Allow to cook for another minute on other side, or until both sides are crisp and browned.
6. Lay tempeh strips on paper towels to cool and to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
When a human being kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why then should man expect mercy from God? It is unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer