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Review: Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!

by Mihl

Many of you know how much I love Celine Steen’s and Tami Noyes’ recipes. So you can imagine how exited I was when I invited myself was invited to be part of the blog tour for Celine’s and Tami’s new book Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day. (Make sure to check out this post and this one to see who else takes part and check the participating sites for possible giveaways or recipes.)

I was a tester for the book and already did a post on the sandwiches I had tried. I hope you can forgive me reusing some of the pictures here. At the end of this post I am going to share a recipe from the book.

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day is a wonderful cookbook. I am personally very fond of it because I tested for it during my pregnancy. Especially at the end of it the sandwiches I made did indeed save my days. Or my lunches to be more precise. (After all I had nutritious sandwiches to look forward to many times instead of a bag of crisps.) There are 101 recipes to choose from, including breakfast and dessert. Many are accompanied by gorgeous pictures, all taken by Celine. In the introduction the authors encourage their readers not to follow their recipes to a t and to adjust them to their preferences. After all sandwiches are meant to be flexible. At the same time the recipes are pretty fool proof. So changing the spread or choice of bread won’t ruin your entire meal. Which brings me to another important point: the recipes are both for beginner and expert cooks. There are some which require a minimal amount of time and are made with ingredients you’ll probably have on hand, others require a bit of preparation and they call for ingredients like bread, spread, or cold cuts made from scratch. (But again the authors give a lot of tips on how to simplify things if you don’t have the time to make your own bread. Make sure to check out the introduction, where Celine and Tami give you tips on this subject and tell you how to keep your sandwiches intact while travelling. You will also find explanations on ingredients you might not be familiar with.)

The main chapters are:

  • Rise and ‘Which (Breakfast sandwiches both sweet and savoury.)
  • Going Topless (Lots of filling, not so much bread. These are great for a nice lunch or dinner at home and maybe in front of your TV. Invite your friends and serve them onion ring sandwiches or fancy Navajo Sandwiches!)
  • Keep it Cool (Sandwiches to make ahead and bring to work, a trip, or wherever you want to take them. They are also fast. So you don’t have to worry about spending the whole evening in the kitchen just to prepare your next day’s lunch.)
  • The Classics and Deli Delights (Your favourite restaurant and diner sandwiches finally veganized!)
  • Pushing the Boundaries of Taste-Bud Adventure. No Passport Required (Unique international sandwich recipes.)
  • Sweetness Follows (Ice cream sandwiches, filled mini brioches, and sandwich waffles. What more could you want?)
  • The Building Blocks (Make your staples from scratch! Bread recipes, seitan, cold cuts, Celine and Tami cover it all.)

I made some of the breads from the last chapter like the Green Monster Sandwich Bread and the Brioche. The sandwich bread is very easy to make and definitely one of the fool proof recipes, even if you are not used to baking with yeast. The brioche requires a little bit of experience, but Celine’s explanations are very detailed so that I would still recommend this recipe to everyone. (You can have a look at it here.)

There’s another staple recipe, which can be found in in the Going Topless chapter. It is a coconut cream based cheese, which can be frozen and then shredded. The authors use it for a pizza recipe, but I have to say that I make sure to have a block of this in my freezer for all kinds of recipes.

Other topless recipes I tried were the Welsh rarebit, the Navajo Taco and the Onion Ring Ranchocado (recipe follows later). I had no idea what to expect from a Welsh rarebit, I have never had one before. But this for sure was a winner, especially with the crispy cheese topping.

I loved the Navajo Taco because it’s made with fried bread. Fried bread is the best, if you ask me. But there are also lots of nutritious ingredients which go into the filling like lettuce, avocado, and chickpeas.

Like the Navajo tacos I had never heard about Kati rolls before. Homemade chapatis filled with tofu, potatoes and other vegetables and cooked with Indian spices. Pretty perfect, if you ask me.

Another favourite of mine was this marinated eggplant sandwiches. Even eggplant haters will love this. trust me, I served it to them.

There are several great seitan recipes in the book. I tried two which both call for both gluten and TVP, which results in a great texture. This is the meatball sub:

And these are the Greek burgers, made not only with seitan and TVP but also with dried tomatoes, artichokes, and olives. We lived on these for days:

The dessert recipes are also outstanding! There are several which call for the aforementioned fantastic brioche recipe. And there are waffles. For example an oreo wafflewich. I heard several people rave about the filling, which is pretty authentic.

One of the recipes I only tried recently but got addicted to is the Onion Ring Ranchocado. Onion rings aren’t really a big thing in Germany. Which is definitely something that should be changed very quickly. I loved these so much that I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Onion Ring Ranchocado (Recipe from the book Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. Reprinted with kind permission from the authors and publisher.)

Makes 4 sandwiches

For spread:
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks
1/4 cup (56 g) vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (10 g) chopped shallot
1 tablespoon (4 g) minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
Salt and pepper, to taste

For onion rings:
1 cup (235 ml) vegan beer, chilled
2 teaspoons sriracha
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
Canola oil, for cooking
12 large (3/4 inch, or 2 cm wide) sweet onion rings, separated

For sandwiches:
2 crusty ciabatta rolls, cut in half and toasted
2 cups (144 g) shredded lettuce
8 slices tomato
Sriracha, for serving

To make the spread: In a blender, combine the avocado, mayonnaise, vinegar, and shallot. Blend until smooth. Stir in the herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the onion rings: Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2). In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the beer, sriracha, liquid smoke, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. The mixture should coat the onion ring well without dripping off. Add 1 tablespoon (8 g) flour or (15 ml) beer if needed. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip the onion rings into the mixture, then slide into the hot oil. The oil should sizzle but not ripple. Adjust the heat if necessary. Be careful not to crowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop. Cook the onion rings for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on the baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven until all are cooked. Repeat with the remaining onion rings.

To assemble the sandwiches: Spread the sauce on the inside of the rolls. Layer on the lettuce, then the tomatoes. Top with the onion rings. Pass the extra sriracha at the table.


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Jess February 18, 2013 - 23:26

Hallo Mihl,
I just tried the Coconut Cheese – but I only found http://www.renukagroup.com/agri_business_cocnut_products/renuka_description.php?p_id=RCC001 is that the right Cremed Coconut? I’m having doubts… What do you usually use when you make this?
Liebe Grüße,

Mihl February 19, 2013 - 13:09

Yes, that is exactly what I use!

Jess February 19, 2013 - 22:58

How long do you mix it? My cheese is kind of full of coconut crumbles… and do you add any coconut milk?

Mihl February 20, 2013 - 09:45

Hallo Jess,

Es ist schon eine ganze Weile her, dass ich den Käse gemacht habe. Außerdem liege ich gerade krank im Bett und habe mein Buch nicht hier. Ich glaube mich zu erinnern, dass ich die Kokoscreme auf jeden Fall verdünnt habe. Celine hatte dazu irgendwelche Tipps, an die ich mich nicht mehr erinnere. (Da müsste was am Anfang des Buches stehen. Man verdünnt das Kokoszeug mit Wassser.)Vielleicht fragst Du sie einfach selbst? Sie kann Dir bestimmt weiterhelfen. celine@havecakewilltravel.com

Jess February 23, 2013 - 20:09

Hallo Mihl,

dann gute Besserung und ich frag Celine mal. Ich wollte sie eigentlich nicht schon wieder nerven (hab ich nämlich schon 3 mal in letzter Zeit :D)
Liebe Grüße und das du bald wieder auf die Beine kommst!

Celine February 20, 2013 - 13:58

Hi Jess,
I’m one of the authors of the book, to the rescue (I hope!). Tell me, what kind of coconut cream did you use? There’s a difference between creamed coconut, and coconut cream. The creamed coconut needs to be diluted, which gets rid of the crumbles you speak of, while the coconut cream is the creamed coconut once it’s diluted. If that makes sense? Anyway, feel free to email me at the address Mihl gave you, and we can figure out together what the problem is.

» Cheesecake and the Last Week of the Blog Tour! Vegan Appetite November 25, 2012 - 19:38

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Maggie Muggins November 7, 2012 - 19:18

I’ve been making sandwiches from it since mofo ended and everything has been so good! I’ve been avoiding the eggplant recipes (self proclaimed eggplant hater here), but if you say in the haters liked it, I may have to give it a try. The greek burgers are the menu for this weekend :)

» Apple Fritters with Cider Reduction and Cheese Winner! Vegan Appetite November 6, 2012 - 20:04

[…] Seitan is My Motor – Onion Ring Ranchocado? Yes,please! […]

Gudrun November 5, 2012 - 22:23

I personally prefer not to use any beer or alcoholic beverages. Do you think that something like seltzer would be a good alternative?Thanks Mihl

Mihl November 8, 2012 - 09:46

Hi Gudrun, I don’t see why seltzer wouldn’t work! It will probably change the taste a bit but it should be fine.

Gudrun November 5, 2012 - 22:16

These sure look good. Our pastor’s wife has a vegan cooking class once a month and it is tonight, so I hope to print this out and take it along. I already shared your website with her. I hope that is OK.
Everything looks Yummy!

urbanvegan November 4, 2012 - 23:54

Isn’t it a grat book? Your review is by far the best yet–you with your gorgeous photos, Mihl :)

Jes November 4, 2012 - 20:28

All of the blogs on this book have convinced me that I need to buy it stat–if only for that rarebit recipe & for more like the onion ring sandwich (I mean, how genius is that?!). Awesome 2nd review!!

Lea November 4, 2012 - 14:23

sounds good… is there any nutrion info in the book?

Mihl November 4, 2012 - 15:34


Rebecca W. November 4, 2012 - 03:35

this is the best review of THE sandwich book i’ve read yet! you seemed to have highlighted the recipes i would’ve decided to make first. i can’t wait to try that cheese recipe. daiya is great, but i’d love to make a shredded cheese homemade.

Andrea November 3, 2012 - 23:00

I keep staring at the marinated eggplant sandwich!

radioactivegan November 3, 2012 - 21:38

that all looks so good! I’m especially interested in this “fried bread” thing .. I think this book is going to the top of my wishlist!

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