I know. I already KNOW what you’re thinking. “Tofu, mayonnaise, BREAD… BREAD?! NONE of those are lectin-free!”
Truth is Kim & I don’t always eat lectin-free. Do we embrace it as one of the healthiest lifestyles? Most definitely. But we’re also hhhuuugggeeeee foodies, which means we love to cook, eat, and try out new foods. So yeah, if you’re worried about lectin intake, this may not be the sandwich for you. But I’m alright with new foods every once in a while, and if you are too then keep scrolling!
This sandwich is the evolved version of one that Kim & I have made several variations of throughout the last month. Being that it’s one of those meals we whip up for a quick lunch, you can bet that it’s a breeze to make; if you have 20 minutes, you can make this sandwich.
The tofu is quickly marinated in a mixture of toasted sesame oil, tamari & rice vinegar then seared until heavily browned on both sides. Thinly sliced onion is added into the pan while the tofu sears because intense heat transforms the flavor the onion – basically meaning we like grilled onions more than raw onions. Soft French Bread is spread with garlic aioli, which is a simple mixture of vegan mayo, fresh garlic, lemon juice & salt. To finish off the fillings, we add ripe avocado and crunchy romaine lettuce. As the final touch, the sandwich is grilled using a makeshift sandwich press, which flattens the bread, toasts the outside, compresses the fillings, thus creating a sandwich that’s easier to eat. Hooray!
Oh, and about that makeshift sandwich press – if you have a heavy pan then you have everything you need. If you have a cast iron grill pan and a cast iron skillet, then even better. All you do is heat your grill pan (or whatever pan you have) over medium heat, add the sandwich, then place the heavy cast iron skillet right on top of the sandwich and press down. The top cast iron pan will compress the ingredients and ensure that the bread will have nice, toasty grill marks. Take that you fancy, $100 panini press!
All in all, this sandwich is:
- Savory, garlic-y & dressed perfectly
- Full of marinated tofu, garlic aioli, grilled onions, crunchy romaine & creamy avocado
- Easy to make, taking only 20 minutes from start-to-finish
- Filling enough for two
If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Go Forth & Devour,
Savory Grilled Marinated Tofu Sandwich w/ Garlic Aioli, Creamy Avocado & Grilled Onions (vegan)
Seared sesame tamari tofu & flavorful garlic aioli are the stars of this grilled French Bread sandwich.
- 1/4 c vegan mayo (I prefer homemade)*
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of salt
Marinated Tofu & Onions
- 1/3 block extra firm tofu
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 large onion, thinly sliced (sweet onions work nice)
- 6 in piece of a thick & soft French Loaf, sliced in half (see notes for further details)*
- 1/2 ripe hass avocado, sliced
- garlic aioli
- tofu & onion
- romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
- Cut off 1/3 of a block of extra firm tofu, then cut that piece into three equal strips horizontally. Place tofu strips in between two layers of paper towels and lightly press to remove excess moisture.
- Place drained tofu onto a plate and coat with tamari, sesame oil & vinegar. Toss to combine and allow to marinate at room temp for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl or personal sized blender, blend/stir together all of the garlic aioli ingredients. Set aside in fridge.
- Heat a medium non-stick saute pan (10-12 in) over medium-high heat. Add in tofu once pan is hot. Cook until heavily browned on first side; about 4 minutes.
- Flip tofu and add onion slices to pan. Cook until opposite side is thoroughly browned as well; another 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To assemble sandwich, spread a good layer of garlic aioli on each of your bread pieces. Evenly distribute a handful of shredded lettuce onto bottom slice.
- Neatly place tofu strips atop lettuce and top that with grilled onions. Set avocado slices on top of that, centered in the middle of the sandwich (they’ll spread out once grilled). Top with second piece of bread.
- Heat a medium saute pan or cast iron grill pan over medium heat. Once hot, spray with a touch of coconut or olive oil spray and lay sandwich on the pan.
- Set a heavy pan (preferably cast iron skillet) right on top of the sandwich and lightly press down to compact it. Cook, with cast iron pan on top, until bottom side is lightly toasted; about 2 minutes.
- Carefully flip sandwich, place cast iron pan back on top, press down, and cook until opposite side is also toasted; about another 2 minutes.
- Note: Be sure to frequently check for the doneness of your bread while it’s grilling, because it can go from golden brown to burnt within minutes.
- Transfer sandwich to cutting board and cut in half (we cut ours into triangles). Enjoy immediately!
*I prefer homemade mayo – if that’s something you’re into then I recommend using this recipe! You can use a hand whisk or stand up mixer fitted with the whisk attachment instead of an immersion blender. The brown rice syrup can be replaced with erythritol.
*For our sandwich we used a large, soft French loaf, which we cut straight down the middle, thus leaving a bottom piece and a top piece, akin to a panini. You could also use a similar styled sourdough loaf or two thick slices of a rustic loaf of your choosing. Just stray away from small, sandwich-style breads, as they won’t be able to support all of the fillings.