Refreshing Summer Sammies

Well summer is in full swing and what is the best thing to fuel yourself on in the warmer weather?

Watermelon – of course! But that would not result in a terribly exciting write up now would it? Let’s see… Step One: Cut watermelon in half, Step Two: Eat all of the watermelon, Step Three: Repeat – all day every day. The End.

Okay, well what about those days when you want something.. a little, perhaps.. more solid than watermelon? I have just the perfect summer treat to fuel your long runs, bike rides, frisbee golf, whatever your preferred warmer weather events may be!

Behold.. the Vegenaise and Tomato Sandwich!

While there are endless varieties of this sandwich – whatever you are in the mood for – just toss it right on that bread! Avocado works spectacularly well, cucumbers are cool, ever tried carrot bacon or sliced tempeh? Throw it on the sandwich too!

What makes up a Vegenaise and Tomato Sandwich anyway?

  • Let’s start with the base of it all: the bread. Ciara’s bread, simply put, is a culinary masterpiece – fluffiest and tastiest bread that I’ve ever sunk my chompers into – so obviously that would be my first choice! But when we aren’t in bread-making-mode, the next best option would have to be rye bread – we love the earthy, slightly sour, full-bodied spicy funk of rye bread. But of course if you have a longstanding personal fondness for pumpernickel or Ezekiel sprouted seed bread.. then by all means – use what you love (craving a whole wheat hot dog bun.. or gluten-free burrito wrap? ..use that, I suppose!)
  • The tomato will come next (kindly supplement ‘tomato’ with anything you are feeling more in the mood for at the time of making your sandwich.. ie cucumber, spinach, sprouts, tempeh, jackfruit, bell pepper, avocado.. get crazy with your cravings!). Roma tomatoes taste a little bland when compared to some cousin varieties, but retain their shape well once sliced, but still not my first choice (unless I am trying to dip the tomato.. then the Roma is first choice!). Golden tomatoes that I have tried have a very mellow to sweet hint – definitely a go to around here! Basically any tomato that has a good, crisp bit of flavor – give it a shot on the sammich.. it’s your funkadelic creation!
  • Vegenaise! Say.. Vege-what? This mayo substitute will absolutely make your summertime sammich! Produced by a growing company known as Follow Your Heart, Vegenaise is a tangy, mildly salty egg-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, vegan friendly – mayonnaise alternative. Follow Your Heart has been producing Vegenaise since the 1970s and is now made entirely with solar power! Sweet!

What can you do with Vegenaise?

This fluffy white stuff has been a staple in our pantry for quite a while now, why? Because it is so dang versatile! We have been known to add dollops of it into our blender to spice up aioli sauces, drop in a hint of hot sauce to make a fantastic dip for our homemade potato wedges, or spread it by itself onto bread for these wonderful mouth-watering summertime sammiches! I’ve heard of so many other uses for Vegenaise, such as adding into a plant powered brownie mix.. but I’m not much of a baker, so I cannot vouch for this.. yet!

The masterminds over at Follow Your Heart have come up with several varieties for anybody with a restrictive diet, or those who would simply like to try more amazing alternatives! The Original is by far my favorite, but has canola oil as it’s base. A second go-to would be the same recipe but swaps out the canola for grape-seed oil, it has been said around here that this version tastes more true to say.. a Hellmann’s mayo.

But is it more healthy than the authentic.. I mean, mayo is mayo.. right? Heck no! Just for starters.. one glimpse at the ingredient list sets my heart right at ease!

Straight off the back of the FYH Vegenaise label, you can find: Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Filtered Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar, Soy Protein, Sea Salt, Mustard Flour, Lemon Juice Concentrate – things that are easy to read and don’t tie your tongue all in a hot mess trying to pronounce!

When compared to a popular eggy “real deal” mayo we can also find the typical water, sugar, lemon juice, distilled vinegar, but then things start to get a bit outlandish.. “modified food starch”. I had to look into this one: it appears to be a combination of modified corn and potato starch.. more or less a thickener or ‘stabilizer’! “Natural flavor”.. could use a bit more lengthy description than this of course! And my favorite: Calcium disodium EDTA, or better known as the “white crystalline powder.. used as a preservative”. I’m not here to say what is good or bad for you, but when I see tests that indicate this ingredient is safe in ‘small amounts’, but has been known to cause liver damage when taken over a period of time, I’ll stick to my plant-friendly alternative, thank you!

Part of me wanted to include the fancy charts, graphs, slides, images – anything to show you how much more health-friendly the Vegenaise mayonnaise can be, when not eaten by the spoonful (which is how I would like to consume it some days after a long run or hike! ..don’t tell anyone though! 😉 ). I’ll compare it to the newer Vegan dressing put out by Hellmann’s.

First off, the serving size is recommended at 1 tablespoon – good place to start. Identical calories for this serving while FYH has less fat, less saturated fat, no polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat to compare to what Hellmanns stuffs into their variety. Less cholesterol, a considerable amount of less sodium and a trace amount of calcium can be found dancing on your taste buds from the folks at Follow Your Heart. So while I’m not saying this should be consumed at every meal, or eaten by the spoonful when you do indulge – but quite simply that it is the alternative I’ll be going for – even if Hellmann’s can stuff the V-word onto their packaging!

While plant-based mayonnaise is an awesome starter and can be used to perfectify just about any condiment, dipping or dressing addition, please don’t think for a second that the friendly folks over at Follow Your Heart won’t have you covered for your other plant based cravings, you can amp up your kitchen creations with: cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream, gluten-free tortillas, and what’s this now… introducing.. vegan eggs!!

Back to these delightful sammiches!

Is two pieces of bread too much? Sometimes I say yes, in which case we implement simple results to this common problem: introducing the open-faced sandwich; one slice of bread making up the base of your sammich – and that is all! This way you can pile those veggies a mile high over the cloud-like Vegenaise layer!

I hope this helped make your sandwiches and sammiches a bit healthier, happier and heartier!

What’s your favorite veggie to put on your sammich? Send me a photo or let me know in the comments below!

I’m always amped to try something new!

Are you traveling? Don’t forget to look around as you shop for local companies putting out their take on plant-based condiments, mayo, dressings, sauces.. it is a growing ‘backyard’ hobby all over, resulting in some truly epic creations!


Have an epic day and enjoy your sammich!