This toasted vegan veggie crunch sandwich with tzatziki & balsamic drizzle has got it all going on (with a name to match). Crisp and crunchy veggies are thinly sliced and piled high on toasted bread. The finish touches? A generous slather of vegan tzatziki sauce and a dainty drizzle of balsamic reduction. Vegan sandwich perfection.
By the time you read this, I'll be plopped down in a jam-packed, slightly steamy auditorium listening to colleagues reminisce about their sun-soaked summer adventures. It's hard to believe that yet another summer has come and gone, but I'm so thankful for the time "off". "Off" as in busier than ever, yet I loved just about every minute of the craziness.
My checklist of summer accomplishments includes...
* Finalizing 85 recipes for the book and photographing nearly 70.
I had planned to photograph 80 to 90 recipes for the book over the summer but after two weeks of working at that pace, I was exhausted and stressed. So, instead of pushing myself for 9 weeks straight and returning to work a crumpled up ball of stress, I scaled back my expectations to alleviate some of the pressure I had put on myself. This made a world of difference in both the quality of work and my ability to stay present in the moment and enjoy the process. Slow and steady, quality over quantity.
On another note, I could write an entire post solely dedicated to this summer's photography bloopers. New props, complicated backgrounds, and my occasional impatience crossed with a streak of clumsiness led to all sorts of disasters. Just last week alone, there were 4 major incidents: 1) a background board came crashing down on a jar of chia pudding and splattered it everywhere, 2) the berry soft serve and chia parfait from last Thursday's post succumbed to a similar fate, which is why all four photos are from a nearly identical angle, 3) I spilled a half-full bag of millet on the counter and in the crevice between our stove and counter (how does one clean in between there?), and 4) approximately 182 pepitas launched into the air and onto our kitchen floor when an impossible-to-open bag finally gave way to my powerful vegan arms (no, seriously, they're pretty strong). I make it rain.
* Recipe testing and photographing 30ish blog recipes.
* Jumping headfirst into a 6-week course to earn a certificate in plant-based nutrition.
I had been wanting to do this for over a year and kept putting it off, thinking I would have more time later. The procrastinator in me makes all sorts of grand plans for the future, but that additional bit of time just never seems to appear. By early June, I was tired of stalling and decided to punt caution to the wind and take the leap, and I'm so glad I did.
What does any of this have to do with a veggie sandwich? Such a good question.
I figured there is hardly anything more appropriate for going back to school/work than a good ol' sandwich. Lunch-appropriate, packable, and crunchy enough to snap even the most prone to afternoon sleepy slumps (e.g., me) out of their head-nodding, mouth-agape drift.
To make it, you'll...
2) Toast up some super-seedy, hearty slices of bread (I like to use sprouted or gluten-free).
3) Slice your veggies and pile them high.
4) Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, drizzle with balsamic reduction, slather with tzatziki.
5) Close. Slice. Serve. CRUNCH.
Toasted Vegan Veggie Crunch Sandwich with Tzatziki & Balsamic Drizzle
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, drained
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup peeled and roughly diced cucumber (about ¼ medium)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup grated cucumber (about ¼ medium)
- 2 tablespoon chopped chives
Toasted Veggie Crunch Sandwiches
- 4 slices hearty seeded bread, toasted
- 4 pieces butter lettuce or other tender lettuce
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shaved into ribbon-like strips using a vegetable peeler
- 1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
- ½ medium cucumber, thinly sliced
- small handful of sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction (see notes for recipe link)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add the soaked cashews, water, peeled and diced cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper to a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Transfer to an airtight container or jar, and stir in grated cucumber and chopped chives.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Top two slices of toasted bread with the lettuce, carrots, tomato slices, and cucumber. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds (if using) and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Slather the top slice of bread with the cashew tzatziki and place on top of the stack of veggies. Slice in half and serve immediately.
- Note: If you want to pack this sandwich for lunch, I recommend packing the toasted bread, veggies, tzatziki, and balsamic separately. Then, assemble when you're ready to eat.