Sunday, 2 October 2011

Vegan MoFo - Me and Sammiches

I was gonna write about ice cream, pancakes for dinner, and things of that nature today, but a friend was in a pickle (pun intended) about sammiches, so I offered to help.

Ruth, who blogs at dorkymum, posted about Perfect Sandwiches (caution: not vegan!) a few months ago.  Today, a reader commented that she doesn't eat sandwiches because she's dairy-free and (presumably) can't find a dairy-free spread.  Rather than simply comment about dairy-free spreads, I offered to write up a little something for her to pass along.

I wrote a whole bunch of superfluous stuff, and then I wrote what follows, which frankly is enough on its own.  So let's just go with this - a few ideas for spreads and sandwiches that will get you back in the sammich-making game.  FYI - most of this is aimed at the UK reader (e.g., the bits about where to buy), but there are a couple of things that will be helpful to anyone. 

Margarine - Pure do a variety of non-dairy spreads, made from soya, olive oil, and sunflower oil.  These can be found at the vast majority of big box stores.  Some of the big boxes also carry Vitalite, which is my personal favourite.  It's more spreadable and just has a nicer flavour.  You might also be able to find Suma spreads at health food shops like Holland & Barrett, Real Foods (Edinburgh), Roots and Fruits (Glasgow), and Whole Foods (London). 

Mayo - Mayo shouldn't actually have any dairy in it - its creaminess comes from an emulsion of egg and oil.  Regardless, there are a few good vegan mayos.  You can get Tiger Tiger plain or garlic mayo at larger Sainsbury's stores.  There's another brand found at most big box stores whose name escapes me.  Some health food shops will also carry Plamil mayo, which comes in a variety of flavours (garlic, chili, tarragon and chive, etc.).  My current favourite, which I bought at Real Foods in Edinburgh but which should also be available in Brighton and probably London, is Infinity Foods' organic vegan smoked garlic mayo.  I want to eat it with everything!  OK, everything savoury.  It's much thicker than standard mayo, but it's crazy good. 

Mustard - I admit that I rarely eat mustard without something else, but it can be good on wholemeal bread encasing a plain old (homemade) seitan cutlet.  You can make them beefy or chickeny (or even hammy), but they'll all be good with a swirl of mustard.  In fact, mustard is pretty much the only thing Mike will eat on his sammiches. 

Dressings - Some salad dressings would make a great sandwich spread, especially if you can make them yourself and cut out some of the liquid to make them more spreadable.  For a few ideas, click on the look inside thing on the Amazon page for Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  The salad section usually comes up first, so you could try a few of those out before you buy the book (which I would recommend because it's amazing). 

Sandwich ideas - Check out the (small) selection of sandwiches in the PPK Recipe section.  This is another place where Amazon's look inside feature is helpful - you can preview The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Newman (FYI - if you log in, you can see more).  And if you can wait a while, Tamisin Noyes, author of American Vegan Kitchen (which, incidentally, has a section on sandwiches, though unfortunately has no look inside option) and Celine Stein (co-author of 500 Vegan Recipes and a couple others) are writing a cookbook all about sandwiches!  Tami has 43 sandwich-related posts on her blog!

I hope Ruth and her reader(s) find this helpful.  Or maybe you're new to veganism and didn't realise just how little you actually have to give up in the sammich department!  Either way, hopefully this wasn't just an exercise in remembering where I've bought or seen certain products.

What's your favourite sandwich or sandwich spread?


  1. I love sandwiches, you've made me crave a burger / mayo sandwich!

  2. The best sandwich spread I ever had was when I used Isa's sanctuary dip because I ran out of mayo. It's amazing!

  3. My favourite thing to spread on a sandwich is avo but I have to admit that since going gf I hardly ever eat sandwiches, even when I have gf bread.