I almost like the day after Thanksgiving more that the holiday itself. And no, it's not because of Black Friday. That craziness is absolutely not for me. I prefer waiting until the very last minute and trying to buy all my holiday gifts on December 23rd.
The reason the day after Thanksgiving is my favorite is because a.) Leftovers, b.) I can wear my pajamas and/or stretchy pants, c.) All of the holiday pressure is gone (no need to answer a billion different people's questions about veganism and you don't have to fake-smile through your uncle's awful jokes), and d.) Leftovers. This year, since we're visiting family out of town for Thanksgiving, I'm actually only preparing foods that I want to have leftovers of. So I can make this Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich. And eat it while wearing pajamas.
For this sandwich, you need leftovers of Maple Hazelnut-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets. If you made a seitan roast or meatless loaf or some sort of tofurkey thing, then by all means, use that. I sliced the tempeh cutlets into thinner triangles to make it more sandwich-friendly. I tried using two thin slices (as pictured), but it turns out that my eyes are bigger than not only my stomach, but also my mouth. If you have a gigantic mouth, you should be fine.
For other leftovers, I must suggest my Green Bean Casserole with Onion Ring Topping, because ONION RINGS IN SANDWICHES ARE AWESOME. The creamy, mushroomy green beans are a wonderful addition themselves. If you don't make this,
you'll be sorry any old casserole should be fine (stuffing, mac n' cheese, something with brussels sprouts). You also want some leftover sweet potatoes (I used some Pomegranate Orange Sweet Potato Bake leftovers) because you don't need a reason. Sweet Potatoes. Period. Also, you're going to want some leftover cranberry sauce (whatever kind you made and/or bought) because the tartness of this sauce really plays well with the other flavors. You also need some leftover vegan gravy (I had some of this gravy on hand, but you could also try my Miso Mushroom Gravy or any other vegan gravy you may love) because gravy in and/or on anything is a no-brainer.
One of the best things about this sandwich was the gluten-free, vegan sourdough bread from Bread SRSLY. I bought this bread myself and I was not asked to review it, but I have to tell you: It's a game changer. When I went gluten-free, I thought bread was going to be one of my biggest hang-ups, but now that I've found this chewy, moist, flavorful treasure, I have no need for gluten-bread. Sure, you can use any old bread you want for this sandwich, and if you need to use gluten-free bread, you have several options. This sourdough, though- it's worth the higher prices and shipping costs (they're located in San Francisco). It freezes beautifully, so if you purchase a 5-pack, like I did this time, it will last you awhile (and they have sourdough bread with kale in it! Kale!). Because I love this bread so much, and I want to give all of you an incentive to try it, Bread SRSLY is offering all Keepin' It Kind readers a 10% discount on their purchases from now until December 14th, 2014. Just use the code keepinitkind with your purchase. Holla! (Update: Offer Expired)
Since I love T-day leftovers so much and I'm like Joey Tribiani when it comes to sandwiches, it's no wonder that I loved this sandwich so much. It was basically the best sandwich I've had this whole year. I encourage you to join me on Thanksgiving Leftovers Day and make this sandwich for yourself. Don't forget your pajamas!
- 1 Leftover Maple Hazelnut-Crusted Tempeh Cutlet, sliced in half into thinner cutlets (or whatever "main course" you have)
- Leftover Green Bean Casserole with Onion Ring Topping (or casserole of your choice)
- Leftover Sweet Potatoes (I used Pomegranate Orange Sweet Potato Bake
- Leftover Vegan Gravy (whatever you have will be fine)
- Leftover Cranberry Sauce (again, whatever you have will be fine)
- 2 slices of Vegan, Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread (or your choice of bread)
- Heat up your tempeh cutlets, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and gravy using your preferred heating methods (stovetop, oven, microwave, over an open fire, whatever). Slice your bread and toast it in a toaster (or however you prefer to toast your bread).
- Spread some gravy on one slice of bread and some cranberry sauce on another. Assemble your sandwich as follows, from bottom to top: bread with gravy, green bean casserole, tempeh cutlet (use 1 or 2 slices, depending on mouth size), sweet potatoes, bread with cranberry sauce. Eat immediately. Enjoy!
Since this is the last time I'll talk to you guys until December 2nd, the day my cookbook comes out (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I'll just give you a little reminder that if you want to pre-order it, and take advantage of the great pre-order prices, then you have a few days left to get on that! And also, someone told me that cookbooks make great gifts or something, so....
What's going into your Leftovers Sandwich?
Photography by Chris Miller