Grilled Tofu Salad Sandwiches aka Flashback Food

Grilled Tofu Salad Sandwich

After making that Eggy Tofu concoction for the Kedgeree, it reminded me of a great sandwich filling from years ago. So I adapted it a wee bit and made these delicious grilled tofu salad sandwiches, a retro dish with a retro color scheme photo, for a retro time: the early ’80s.

Let me tell you about that tofu salad. If you’ve ever been to Tommy’s in Coventry (Cleveland, Ohio), you might have noticed a sandwich called the “Lynne” on their menu. It’s a tempeh salad sandwich that’s grilled. Did you ever wonder who Lynne was?

Years ago, there was a little cafe in Euclid called the Noble Bean, which also made tempeh. Lynne was the owner of the Noble Bean and did all she could to promote tempeh, including getting it on Tommy’s menu. The sandwich was named after her, and this is my version made with tofu instead of tempeh. I know, it’s a bit backward since it’s tofu and she loved tempeh, but one taste of this tofu salad took me back there instantly. If you’re one of those who thinks “Ewww, hot tofu salad?”, you can always have it cold. But it’s worth trying hot.

Eggy Tofu Salad aka Flashback Food
Enough for 2 sandwiches and a little sampling

12 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed really well, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
nonstick spray
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons vegan mayo
1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon minced red pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the tofu cubes, cooking until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, tamari, liquid smoke, nooch and turmeric. Stir to coat tofu cubes, place the skillet back on medium heat, and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the cubes are coated. Place in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and adjust the seasonings.

For sandwiches:
vegan margarine
4 slices bread
1/4 cup fresh baby spinach
1 tomato, sliced

Butter the outsides of the bread with the vegan margarine. Spread about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of salad on the bread. Top with lettuce and spinach. Place in a panini grill or grill on the stove until golden.

We enjoyed these sandwiches with chips, a pickle, and loads of memories.

Coming tomorrow: a book contest!

Note to Allison: I got your emails but my replies keep bouncing back. I hope you see this. Love Soup will be in the mail on Monday. Hope you enjoy it.

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  1. Posted October 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    yummy sounds good!!

  2. Posted October 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    This sandwich looks so good!

  3. Posted October 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I love Tommy’s so much. I always get the CeeCee (no peppers or cheese) and a chocolate rice dream shake. I really need to branch out a little! I never even look at the menu anymore!

  4. Posted October 4, 2009 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    This looks great! I love tofu salad, but mine can be a little bland sometimes – your ingredients make this sound amazing, and I like grilling the sandwich for extra goodness :)

  5. Posted October 4, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I have never had tofu salad! That picture loos great (really 80ies!) and I love that story behind the sandwich.

  6. Posted October 4, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    With pickle!

  7. Posted October 4, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    This looks great – I love tofu in a sandwich!

  8. Posted October 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    yum i looove faux egg salad sandwiches, i think theyre much better than the real deal ones i remember :)

  9. Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Homey and happy. I’m sure if you crated it is is delicious.

  10. Posted October 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    oooh retro sassy!

  11. Posted July 23, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    My mom is Lynne! I worked at Noble Bean and Tommy’s :) Thanks for posting this…it was great to see. The “Lynne” sandwich at Tommy’s is the tempeh salad recipe from Noble Bean on whole wheat pita with toasted sunflower seeds, mustard, onions, and cheddar cheese. My mom had the same sandwich at theNoble Bean and called it the “Tommy Melt”

  12. Posted July 23, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Tea Rose, is your mom the Lynne who had Noble Bean? That’s what I’m thinking you are saying. She was such a tempeh pioneer. We absolutely adored her. If so, please tell her “Bright and Sunny” said hello! (If she is your mom, we knew you… too… when you were tiny.)

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