Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sandwiches and Guinea Pigs

When I was first told the potluck I was going to was sandwich themed, I was frustrated that my options of foods to bring, and taste, was limited. I really like a good sandwich, but they are hard to come by. I am not usually interested in simply veganaise with tofurky, although it can be good at times. I prefer sandwiches with more creativity and unique ingredients. I decided to make my Pizza Sandwich.

At the potluck, there were tofurky sandwiches, and also one with grilled veggies and a "chicken" salad which was tasty. Luckily a few people also brought dessert. My favorite part of the day was not any sandwich though, it was meeting some guinea pigs. So here is my complete tangent from sandwiches.

Guinea pigs are unique animals who are no longer considered a part of the rodent family but have their own category. They are fascinating since they have no tail, make interesting noises, are born with their fur and have an amazing ability to interact with people.

When I was seven years old, I got a guinea pig for my birthday. I named her Kristy. Kristy became everything to me; entertainment, friendship, family and support. Whenever I was having a tough time, I would take her out of her cage and she would sit with me. I would just pet her and it would cheer me up. If I was crying, she would purr and kiss my tears away. She was so important to me that my family would have house elections for all our pets, and Kristy was always elected president. No one ever questioned she was the top "dog". Although she may not have been the goddess I made her to be as a child, she is the reason I made it out of my childhood sane.

Whenever a survey asks who your hero was growing up, Kristy is the first individual I think of. She is the one I contribute to teaching me compassion and understanding there is more to an animal than to serve a human's purpose. I did not know then what it meant to fight for animal rights, but I did know that people could be very cruel and that needed to change. Although I did not become a vegan until my college years, Kristy started my path towards caring for other beings.

The guinea pig at the potluck reminded me of all this. She was adorable herself and very social. I spent probably half the time I was there holding her, a fourth the time playing badmitton and the other fourth eating sandwiches and promising to post the recipe for my sandwich on my blog.

The Pizza Sandwich
This is a large version for potlucks or group picnics.

Marinated Tofu:
1 lb Tofu
2 Tb Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos

Cashew Spread:
2 Roasted Red Peppers, whole
1/2 cup Cashews
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Tb Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Salt

2 Tomatoes, sliced
16 oz. Basil, rinsed
1 loaf Ciabatta Bread (plain or kalamata olive)

Prepare the tofu and cashew spread as directed below. Cut loaf of bread in half. Spread on a good layer of the cashew spread on both the top and bottom pieces of bread. On the bottom half of bread, place the marinated tofu of top of spread, staking tofu pieces on top of each other as needed. Place the tomato slices on top of this and then the basil on top of that. Place top piece of bread over topping and slice into desired quantity of sandwiches. This can be a messy sandwich so bring a napkin.

Marinated Tofu - Cut the tofu into about 15 slices. Mix together the liquid ingredients to make the marinade. Dip the tofu slices in the marinade and place on a baking sheet. Pour remaining marinade on top of tofu. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes total or until liquid is absorbed, flipping tofu every 10 minutes. Change oven to broil for the last 3 minutes.

Cashew Spread - Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.



elizabet said...

Yeah, I know, you were talking about that kick ass lemon bars with blueberries stuff that cool girl...what's her name...brought.


jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I am still sad I didn't have the appetite for eating any (aka Your!) sandwich on that day. I'm glad you posted the recipe!

also, I don't know what liz is talking about. David said he made the lemon bars.

; )

Chelsea said...

I thought Harriet made the lemon bars, that's why they were so good. : ) The pie was also really tasty.