It’s National Sandwich Day! A Celebratory Get Baked and OPEN THREAD

November 3 is National Sandwich Day, which is like Christmas for Autostraddle if Christmas were un-religiously affiliated and didn’t involve gifts and was celebrated on your own instead of with a family group and also only by Autostraddlers. So actually it has virtually nothing to do with Christmas at all except the good food part. But the important thing is, we can eat sandwiches! And so we shall.

Several weeks ago, Laneia and I got copies of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!. At first this seems like a silly idea for a cookbook. Sandwiches aren’t hard to make. You put a thing between two slices of bread (maybe even one slice!) and you’re done. But when you realize that in this cookbook, “sandwiches” somehow include ginger cream crépes with pears, beans on waffles, and ratatouille sandwiches, it makes way more sense. “Sandwiches” is a very inclusive label.

There are a million and one ways to celebrate National Sandwich Day, vegan or no, but hard decisions have to be made. We chose two recipes from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day! for our own personal sandwich celebrations.

FRENCH TOFU SALAD SANDWICH

by Rachel

I’m not usually into tofu-y mayonnaise-y salads. But this recipe is almost an exact replica of a Barefoot Contessa chicken salad that I loved back in my non-vegan days, and so I had to try it. And it’s great! There’s enough other salad ingredients that you never get a whole bite that’s just tofu and fake mayonnaise, and there are many delicious flavors and textures all mixed together. I used a multigrain baguette, which I think was a good choice. All in all this was very pleasing and felt pretty fancy, especially considering that I just made it for myself to eat alone on the couch while listening to the Go-Go’s.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon canola oil, if needed
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon tamari
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup quartered seedless green grapes
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted (I used walnuts and it was fine.)
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1 baguette

1. Heat a small skillet with a very thin layer of canola oil, and fry your tofu cubes gently, stirring occasionally until most of the sides are a light golden color. This will take maybe 5-8 minutes. After they’re cooked, take the skillet off the heat and toss the cubes with the tamari (or soy sauce would probably be fine). If you haven’t already toasted your nuts, make sure you do. It makes a big difference.

2. While you wait for your tofu and nuts to cool, chop all your choppable ingredients (grapes, shallot, celery, herbs) and mix them in a bowl with your wet ingredients. (As a note, I used pretty much all dried herbs for this instead of fresh, with the exception of chives. It was totes fine.) When your tofu and nuts are at room temperature, stir those in too.

3. You’re supposed to let this chill in the fridge for a full hour so the flavors can meld. If you have that much patience, hats off to you.

4. The recipe doesn’t tell you to, but I recommend gently heating your baguette under the broiler on low so it’s warm and crispy. Because a warm baguette with a cold salad on it is delicious.

5. Now you’re ready to assemble! You can add a layer of arugula or spinach on your sandwich if you want, or just slap your salad on. Then you’re ready to celebrate with your mouth!

SHROOMS ON A SHINGLE

by Laneia

My grandfather basically lived off the original version, called sh*t on a shingle, while he was in the Army in the early 1950s, so of course I felt historically obligated to choose this vegan redux. It’s an open-faced sandwich — which, to me, means it isn’t actually a sandwich at all, but let’s stay focused — and this vegan version takes everything that seemed terrible about the original and turns it into a mushroom disco! You guys, this sandwich is amazing. I’m making it again tomorrow.

Topping
2tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter / nondairy butter
1/4 c minced shallot
4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed & gilled, then cut into 1/2-inch slices
1lb other mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
salt + pepper
1/2 c chopped roasted red pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbl drained capers
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 c minced fresh basil
1 Tbl minced fresh chives
2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 c vegetable broth, divided
1 Tbl cornstarch

1. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet on med-high, then saute the shallot and the mushrooms for about 4 minutes or until the mushroom babies are soft. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper until you’re happy.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the roasted peppers, garlic, capers, pepper flakes, basil, chives and lemon juice. Tl;dr add everything from roasted red peppers to lemon juice and cook for another 2ish minutes.

3. Now add 1 cup of the vegetable broth! In a separate little bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of broth and the cornstarch until smooth. Stir this into the saute pan situation and cook for another minute or two, until it’s thickened. BAM. MUSHROOM ANGEL CELEBRATION DISCO MIX.

Shingles
1 Tbl butter / nondairy butter, softened
1 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt + pepper
8 slices ciabatta or other Italian-style bread
minced fresh parsley

4. Set the oven to broil and combine the butter and oil with all the herbs and such. Spread this herby butter onto one side of your bread, then broil this bread butter side up until it’s pretty and golden.

5. Mmmkay now just put these bread slices on a plate and top them with the mushroom angel celebration disco mix. Because you are one fancy motherfucker, this is when you garnish your party with parsley, the most royal of all herbs.


What are you eating for National Sandwich Day? Share in the comments!

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and the editor who presides over books and news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy."

Rachel has written 752 articles for us.

46 Comments

  1. Thumb up 7

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    if shrooms on a shingle counts as a sandwich i want crackerscheesehotdogs to count too. it’s an invention of my mother’s, or maybe her mother’s. i think it’s a family recipe passed down through many generations. it’s a saltine with a quarter slice of american cheese and four slices of vienna (vie-eeny) sausages. you put it in the oven until the cheese is melty.

    or maybe crackerscheesehotdogs count as more hors d’oeurves. idk. maybe it doesn’t matter.

  2. Thumb up 3

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    I’m campaigning today (we’re on break)and I just tried this awesome sandwich called the Suzzy it is oven roasted turkey breast topped with a special recipe of cranberry orange relish, cream cheese and lettuce on a toasted sourdough roll. It tastes like thanksgiving.

  3. Thumb up 1

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    I almost got the really good almost $7 locally made gluten-free bread at the store earlier and then I decided to be responsible and just eat the food I had at home already…if only I knew it was NATIONAL SANDWICH DAY I would have just splurged! But now I’m going to sadly eat quinoa and beans.

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      I know this feeling, it’s like “I want to be responsible and gluten free bread is expensive” and then you get home and think of all the glorious sandwiches you could make, if only you had bread.

      This might happen to me all the time.

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        Ugh I know. New Cascadia Traditional bread here in Portland is SO GOOD and available at the grocery store near my house, but it is seriously $6.49 for a loaf and goes moldy in two days so I always end up throwing half of it out. (Why don’t you just freeze half the loaf, you might ask? Because I have no forsight.)

  4. Thumb up 9

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    My favorite restaurant has a great sandwich called Jeremy’s Package. I mean, how does one even order that? “I’ll have Jeremy’s Package” or “Can I get Jeremy’s Package?” I tend to say THE Jeremy’s Package when I order, but it doesn’t really make it that much better. Also, it got super awkward the time I met Jeremy.

  5. Thumb up 6

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    Rachel and Laneia! I was studying for the LSATs and I stopped by Autostraddle during a study break and saw the good news about national sandwich day and I just wanted to tell you in a really run on sentence kind of way that I love you guys a lot on normal days, but right now I love you more than ever because you love sandwiches the same way I love sandwiches.
    So thanks.

  6. Thumb up 2

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    So many lunch inspirations! Unfortunately I don’t have any ingredients that go with each other, which means I’ll probably end up with a peanut butter, banana pepper, and cheese sandwich or something equally disgusting.

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      At first I couldn’t remember what that (pretty gross) sandwich reminded me of and then I remembered that when I was little and walking with my dad and holding hands we would split around telephone poles and such and say “peanut butter and jelly!” and then it evolved into saying the grossest sandwiches we could think of. It was fantastic. Thank you for sparking this memory.

      Also I wanna make a sandwich but I had to throw out most of my food because of Sandy :/

  7. Thumb up 2

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    I usually live off of pb&js, but I finished my bread and my peanut butter and my jelly yesterday, so I made sad little sandwiches out of ritz crackers and hummus for lunch because that was the only food left in my dorm room, but the fact that it’s National Sandwich Day elevates my cracker sandwiches and makes me feel less pathetic about my life. Thanks autostraddle!

  8. Thumb up 6

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    i had a falafel roll up for lunch. is a roll up a sandwich? on the one hand i think yes because there’s something vaguely resembling bread on both (well, all) sides of some yummy innards but on the other hand i think no because there was not actually bread involved and the innards were completely encased in the tortilla and i feel like there needs to be some air flow on the sides for it to really be a sandwich.

    i had no idea i had so many thoughts about sandwiches.

  9. Thumb up 3

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    The greatest sandwich I ever had was in 2007 at this little cafe that was in the basement of an old bank either in New Hampshire or Vermont. The place was across from a high school. Looking back I can’t actually remember what kind of sandwich it was, but let me tell you that sandwich was life changing. I realize that nobody asked me to talk about the best sandwich ever, but I’m not over that thing so I like to tell the story.

  10. Thumb up 3

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    Here is a super easy, vegan sandwich. Toasted bread ( I like Ezekiel sprouted w/sesame seeds), couple of slices of vegan cheese (use The jack Daiya wedge. Trust me), a bunch of alfalfa sprouts, and MANGO CHUTNEY!!! Put em all together…. Bada bing bada boom! Enjoy!

  11. Thumb up 6

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    I’m stuck on campus all weekend due to being the RA on call and when my girlfriend came over for a few hours she brought bagels and garlic havarti and avocado and tomato and cucumber and we had sandwiches and wine in mugs for dinner and it was amazing.

  12. Thumb up 4

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    I ate a vegan grilled veggie sandwich earlier today. It was not the most amazing sandwich in the world or anything, but was made significantly more awesome because I ate it in a cabin in the mountains while surrounded by other queer people as part of a bonding retreat for my college’s queer mentorship program.

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    I didn’t even know this was a day but I had the BEST vegetarian sandwich at a restaurant in Northampton today; it involved lots of avocado and garlic mayo and some other stuff.

    Also I think the above the the gayest thing I’ve ever typed on this website.

  14. Thumb up 2

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    Currently living off banana, tahini and maple syrup sandwiches on good bread. Those things will keep your brain going for hours.

    It’s exam time for me, so I have been living of sandwiches. Now I can act like it was for a reason! My dinner sandwich consists of grilled Swiss cheese topped with fresh tomato and avocado.

  15. Thumb up 0

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    I am so excited to make both of these sandwiches this week. Though I’ll probably eat them as not sandwiches, because I don’t usually bring sandwiches to work for fear of sogginess. But thank you for posting delicious looking vegan things! :)

  16. Thumb up 5

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    So I work at a sandwich shop, and am thus an expert in the artform.

    That doesn’t mean I’m good at feeding myself outside of work, though.
    However, I’ll share this masterpiece that we came up with and is available only on our secret menu:

    Tuna melt with swiss cheese, russian dressing, caramelized onions and arugula on rye.

  17. Thumb up 0

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    On Saturday my partner bought a heap of different breads and sandwich fixings for my other partner and I. We’re now down to the last of everything, which means weird sandwich combinations! I just discovered that baked beans, cream cheese, alfalfa sprouts, and sweet chili sauce is an oddly awesome sandwich combination. :D

    Also, all these recipes have me drooling: http://pinterest.com/namelymarly/best-vegetarian-sandwiches/

  18. Thumb up 0

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    Favorite sammiches evar:
    Peanut Butter and Bacon
    Fried egg and ketchup
    Fried bologna
    Grilled Cheese
    BLT
    Kitchen sink sammich: Everything that you can think of that would taste good on a sammich
    Cheese and mayo
    Tuna fish
    Nutella and Peanut butter
    Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter

    Damn I eat a lot of sandwiches…

  19. Thumb up 0

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    Today Im off carbs, boo. But yesterday when I was hungover I had the traditional cure of a bacon, fried egg and sausage sandwich with ketchup, nom. Would have been even more amazing if we’d had mushrooms and hashbrowns, Irish breakfast in a sandwich <3 or as my American friends used to call it, heart attack in a sandwich.

  20. Thumb up 0

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    I made both of these sandwiches this week and they were both super yum. I think I prefer the French Tofu Salad one, but the mushrooms were awesome too. I’ll definitely make these again, thanks for posting!! <3

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