Monday, June 6, 2011

Recipe: Philly Vegan Tofurky Hoagie

Yo! Philly sandwich fans!

Though you may hate our sports teams and fans, few people anywhere can turn down an authentic Philly sandwich. Known in other parts of the country as a sub, a well-built hoagie emerges from its wrapper full of flavor, texture, and memories. Vegans, thankfully, can enjoy a slightly-healthier take on the original: No animal products, of course, and crunchy, textured greens that present the flavor of the oil mixture in unusual ways with every bite.

In the early 1990s, I learned the art of sandwichmaking as an employee of Lee's Hoagie House, a venerable Philadelphia institution. Though my internship there was completed well before I became vegan, the preparation and wrapping skills I obtained will last a lifetime, and I'm happy to share them with my vegan friends!
  • Sea salt, pepper, and oregano (to taste) 
  • 1/2 tbsp. canola oil 
  • 1/2 tsp. organic apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/8 tsp. Spike gourmet natural seasoning 
  • 1 tbsp. organic Vegenaise® (optional) 
  • 1/4 of an organic yellow onion, sliced horizontally into about six 1/8-inch rings 
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized organic tomato, sliced horizontally into about six 1/8-inch slices (wide enough to hold water and not dissolve) 
  • 1/2 cup organic spring mix lettuce 
  • 10- or 12-inch roll (preferably Amoroso's). If seeded, ensure seeds not baked on using egg whites 
  • 10 to 12 slices of Tofurky® Hickory Smoked or Oven Roasted flavor 
  • 5 to 6 slices of favorite mild cheese-flavored squares (optional) 
  • 2 medium sheets thin wax paper (if not eating sandwich immediately) 
  • 2 regular sheets of sandwich paper (obtained at any deli) 
In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and Spike. Set aside.

 Slice (if necessary) and horizontally flatten out long roll so that two halves are still connected at the spine & bread is facing upward. If desired, spread thin layer of Vegenaise over entire surface of open roll. Place Tofurky slices across open face, laying each new new slice about a half inch from the last for maximum overlap. Repeat with cheese substitute, if desired.

Layer tomato slices across roll, and add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Layer on raw onion rings, and add oregano to taste. Add lettuce mixture to top of sandwich and drizzle oil mixture over top of lettuce, being careful not to oversoak.

Turn sandwich 90 degrees to be perpendicular to your body, with sandwich spine to the left. Use flat edge of large knife blade to tuck vegetables into roll, gently folding it over towards closure as you repeat (generally, 2 or 3 times does the trick). When ready to cut, hoagie should be about 4/5 closed and 1/5 open. Cut in half and serve with organic chips of your choice. (Lately, I've really been enjoying the Pico de Gallo flavor from Garden of Eatin®.)

Be careful to eat the sandwich over the paper or a plate AND away from your body. No matter how dry the veggies and how little the oil, drips will emerge from the other end of the sandwich each time you bite into it. It's something you'll learn to minimize and better manage in time, not unlike how New Yorkers manage to fold a pizza slice in half while also walking, sipping coffee, and texting. If not eating immediately, follow travel directions below.

Travel directions (up to 4 hours)

Turn sandwich away from you and place on horizontal piece of thin wax paper. Gather sandwich contents by pinching paper together at top.

Begin rolling outer wrap from below, gathering ends up as you pass the roll and finish.

Seal with small piece of masking tape. Separately package Vegenaise and oil mixture in tight containers.

Extended Travel Directions (4 to 12 hours) 

Place thin wax paper on bread before main assembly. Package for travel as shown above.