Summer Strawberry Sammies

6 May

The other day, I saw a recipe on the Whole Foods website that looked like just the thing my kids would love to eat for dinner — except it used cream cheese, which meant I would have to make something different for myself.

I chose, instead, to try to make a vegan version that would be similar in taste, and it worked! This sandwich spread came out creamy and delicious and they gobbled up their dinner. The only problem was that the sandwiches were kind of messy because the sauce I made isn't as thick as cream cheese. It was more like the consistency of mayonnaise. I may have to work on that the next time I make it.

Now, don't freak out when you see that the spread is made with tofu. Trust me when I tell you NO ONE at my dinner table suspected tofu. This spread is sweet and creamy, and would make a fabulous dip for fresh fruits. In addition, it provides a good source of protein since it's made with tofu and cashews. 
Tofu has really gotten a bad rap in America, unfortunately. Most people won't even try it because they think it's going to be disgusting. I'll admit that I don't really care for it when presented as a meat substitute, like cubes of tofu in a stir fry or something. I've had good luck using the soy crumbles as a substitute in chili, but I didn't care for them as a substitute for taco meat. I've also had many successful recipes when using it in a dip, cream sauce, or smoothie. So if you've tried tofu and didn't like it, try it again in a different way, like in my recipe below. You might find you like it! 
makes 5 sandwiches
Sandwich Spread:
8 oz firm (not silken) tofu, drained and pressed to remove liquid
1/4 cup raw cashew pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries 
2 teaspoons fresh mint, minced
10 slices whole wheat or sourdough bread*
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
10 large strawberries, stem removed and thinly sliced
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced 
5 lettuce leaves
Make the spread a day in advance, if you can, so the flavors have time to meld. In a blender or food processor, add all sandwich spread ingredients except strawberries and mint. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour into a bowl. Mash the diced strawberries with a fork. Stir into the spread, along with the chopped mint leaves. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
To assemble, thickly spread one side of each piece of bread with the sandwich spread. On 5 of the slices, layer strawberry slices, cucumber slices, red onion slices and a lettuce leaf. Top each with the remaining 5 slices of bread, spread side down. Slice in half and enjoy!
*Making these on those little appetizer-size bread slices would make delicious tea sandwiches for a party!
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2 Responses to “Summer Strawberry Sammies”

  1. ErinGoBragh May 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Great idea!

    I agree: tofu as a meat sub= ICK! But I've been playing with it because I know it can be extremely diverse, and admit that I did make a vegan lasagna with tofu that was not half bad!

  2. Tamie Spears May 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    My vegan lasagna with tofu "ricotta" came out really good, too! (I'm pretty sure I blogged it.) I have another tofu "dip" recipe that's blended with peanut butter, honey and lime juice. Sounds odd, but it is absolutely addictive. My kids dunk strawberries, apple slices or celery sticks in it!

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